Community ID
Alternate Names
Maria Maihingen
Corporate Status
Date Founded
Religious Order
Foundation Information

The community was originally intended as a Brigittine double house. However, the men who formed the community were unable to get sisters from Gnadenberg to join their new foundation. According to the narrative preserved in the convent's sixteenth-century Housebook, a widow named Anna Kerg, who later became a lay sister in the house, succeeded where the men failed. Anna solicited letters of invitation from the local count and from the abbess of Kirchheim, taking them back to Gnadenberg. Her appeal to the nuns of Gnadenberg was successful this time in providing an initial female contingent for the new foundation.

First Members

The initial members of the community numbered eight, six nuns, a mother and a cellaria or kitchen mistress.

Notable Heads

Materials for the convent's Housebook were assembled by Prioress Walburga Scheffler and a successor, Prioress Anna. Abbess Barbara Goldschelk (1481-1500), who conveyed 1100 Gulden to her successor, thereby eliminating the convent's debts.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

The Housebook provided a list of bishops who had exempted the cloister from taxes and provided details about the papal gift of relics to the community.

Relative Wealth

The Housebook, begun in 1522, referred to the community as being in financial difficulties around that time. One of the purposes of the Housebook was to record and analyze the causes of the convent's economic difficulties and prevent future abbesses from making similar mistakes.


The convent became involved in a dispute over taxes with Count Ludwig XIII of Oettingen (d. 1486) in the fifteenth century. Abbess Barbara Goldschelck refused to remit the tax. In order to collect on the tax, the count confiscated one of the convent's horses. The abbess then learned that the steward had secretly been paying the count the tax himself to avoid any difficulties. Abbess Goldschelk wrote to her colleague, Magdalena von Oettingen, abbess of Kirchheim, who in turn wrote to the count and reprimanded him. Abbess Magdalena correctly predicted that the count would fall from his horse as punishment by Saint Brigit. After the count did indeed fall and break his leg, he ordered that the horse be given back to the nuns and never again taxed the community. According to the Housebook, the count was seen by an older sister of the community, Veronica, standing on crutches before the speaking window and was present when the settlement of this dispute was agreed upon.

Literary Works

The community produced a Housebook, begun in 1522, which includes both a historical narrative as well as an inventory of properties. At the death of each abbess, the work provided an exact value of the assets and debts she passed on to her successor. The Housebook was to be placed in the hands of the prioress, who oversaw its completion with the advice of the abbess.

Manuscript Sources

Augsburg, Staatsarchiv, MS Kloster Maria Maihingen MuB I.

Miscellaneous Information

According to the convent's Housebook, the initial group of eight members sometimes had difficulty forming the two choirs necessary to perform the offices. The text refers to the nuns spinning between the offices.

June Mecham; Volker Schier
Contributors Notes

Thanks to Volker Schier for the newer secondary bibliography.