Community ID
near Bingen
Medieval Location
Near Bingen; on the other side of the Rhine River from the new convent of Rupertsberg
Modern Location
not far from Rüdesheim
Corporate Status
Date Founded
1148; refounded in 1165
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Foundation Information

In 1148 the noblewoman Marka of Rüdesheim had founded an Augustinian double house, which had been deserted by 1165 due to the chaos of war under the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. This convent was refounded by S. Hildegard due to the increasing number of sisters in her new foundation of Rupertsberg. In 1165 she purchase the vacant monastery and restored the buildings. She then established thirty Benedictine nuns within it. The convent's rights in its supervision were finally established in a document from November 28, 1268.

First Members

The convent began with 30 Benedictine sisters from Rupertsberg. The heads of the house were initially described as "mistresses"; later they became abbesses.

Notable Heads

Benigna of Algesheim held office as abbess of the community for 44 years, from 1373-1417.

Notable Members/Residents/Guests

The convent is famous for its connection to S. Hildegard.

Population Counts

The convent began with 30 Benedictine sisters from Rupertsberg. By 1575, however, only three sisters were still living within the convent.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

In 1219 Pope Honorius III took the convent under his protection.

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The convent has ties to Disibodenberg and Rupertsberg through S. Hildegard.

Social Characteristics

The sisters of the Eibingen convent came partially from the middle class.

Relative Wealth

The convent went into decline during the sixteenth century.

Art & Artifacts

An antependium created by the nuns of Eibingen, also known as the Rupertsberg antependium, dating from the 12th century remains extant. (See also the community of Rupertsberg)

State Of Medieval Structure

There are no remains of the medieval cloister. The monastery was destroyed by fire during the Thirty Years War in 1632. However, the church and convent were restored during the course of the seventeenth and eigteenth centuries. The parish church in Eibingen contains a shrine with the remains of S. Hildegard.

Miscellaneous Information

circa 1505 a reform of the convent took place under the Archbishop of Mainz, Jakob of Liebenstein. Archbishop Daniel Brendel of Homburg moved the last 3 sisters of the convent to the Cistercian convent of the abbey of Marienhausen. Meanwhile, the convent continued to provide shelter for the Augustinian sisters of S. Peter near Kreuznach, who were fleeing the Reformation. After long negotiations, the Baroness Cunigundis of Dehrn, abbess of Rupertsberg, achieved the restitution of the convent and its estate. From 1603 on, the title, "Abbess of Rupertsberg and Eibingen" became customary.

June Mecham
Contributors Notes

The convent at Eibingen was refounded in 1904 and continues today. In the abbey church there are frescoes depicting the life of S. Hildegard. The university of Mainz maintains a website which allows one to follow the path of art and artifacts relating to the life of S. Hildegard in Bingen. The site is in German at http://www.uni-mainz.de/~horst/hildegard/spuren/spuren.html
An English-language page concerning the history of the convent of Eibingen is now available at

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