S. Johanniszelle unter Wildberg
Community ID
Alternate Names
Cella Sancti Johannis sub castro Wildperg (1298); Frauenkloster auf dem Johannesberg; Kloster zu Wildberg
Bad Königshofen
Modern Location
Bad Königshofen near the present Johanneshof; in the governmental district of Unterfranken; in the administrative district of Rhön-Grabfeld.
S. Mary and S. John the Evangelist
Date Founded
1130 (circa)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Cistercian/ Benedictine (See foundation field)
Foundation Information

The foundation history of this convent can not be definitely established due to a lack of documentation (many documents were lost in 1525). According to tradition, the convent was founded by the Countess Palantine Gertraud bei Rhein (Krausen says Gebra) in 1209. The convent has been referred to both as Benedictine and Cistercian. It is likely that the convent was never formally incorporated into the Cisterican order, but lived according to the Benedictine rule and observed the institutions of Citeaux. A document of 1496 mentions the convent as containing Benedictine nuns, although it is unclear whether the convent had altered its observances by this time or not (Krausen, 60). The lords of Wildberg may also have been involved in the foundation of the community. A document dating to 1298, the earliest documentary mention of the convent, granted the lords of Wildberg the right to burial within the cloister. According to Link, the last of the Wildberg line, Count Konrad of Wildberg, also waived his rights as advocate, primarily the payments for protection which he had held over the convent's possesions (Link, 575).

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The abbot of Bildhausen may have served as the spiritual advisor to the nuns.


The lords of Wildberg acted as patrons of the community; in 1130 they granted the convent a fourth of their salt-holdings near Königshofen near Grabfeld (Link, 574). Count Konrad of Wildberg (d. 1298) waived his rights as advocate, primarily the payments for protection which he held over the convent's property (Link, 575). The counts of Henneberg may also have acted as patrons of the community. In 1323 the kinght (or vassal) Albert von Bardorf (Bartdorph) established an eternal mass in the chapel of S. John, which included the tithes from the villages of Schmuckenbach and an estate in Theinfeld for the support of the priest responsible (Link, 575). In 1453 Eberhard von Massbach was appointed as patron of the convent by the bishop.

Relative Wealth

In the fifteenth century, economic difficulties led to the alienation of goods from the convent. For this reason, in 1444 Bishop Gottfried von Limpurg established an administrator for the nuns, who oversaw the convent's income and expenses for ten years (Krausen, 60). Due to the efforts of Abbess Katharina Zollnerin, the convent's economic position improved.


At the time of its dissolution, the convent possessed 429 acres of wooded areas, 6 vats(?) of wine, 10 vats of the convent's own brew(?), and 223 acres of open fields. The convent possessed a farm (Sandhof) with 425 acres of fields, and another (Rothhof) with 650 acres of fields free from tithe. The convent also possessed the (now)-deserted settlements of Ringshäuser with 364 acres of fields and of Weisensee near Stadtlauringen. The convent further possessed fiefs in 33 locations, including Ostheim, Königshofen, Großbardof, and Saal (Link, 575-576).

Architecture & Archaeology

The convent had two churches: a large one for the general populace and a smaller one for the inhabitants of the convent. Both were destroyed in 1570.


The convent reportedly had a relic of skin from the head of S. Gumpert, which performed many miracles. In the late fifteenth century, however, the relic no longer existed in the convent (Krausen, 61). Link states that the grave of S. Gumpert (Gumbert) lay before the high altar in the smaller church and reportedly performed miracles. According to Link, the grave of Abbess Hedwig was also credited with performing healing miracles for sick cattle (Link, 575).

Manuscript Sources

The archives for the community are located in the Hauptstaatsarchiv in München (Munich), in the Staatsarchiv in Würzburg and in the Landesarchiv in Meiningen.

Secondary Sources

HUEMER, B. Verzeichnis der deutschen Cisterzienserinnenkloester. (StMBO 37, 1916).
Die Klöster des Zisterzienserordens in Bayern
Klosterbuch der Diocese Wurzburg.

Miscellaneous Information

The last noble abbess Ursula von Herbelstadt transferred to Königshofen an der Heide and died there in 1555. In 1555 the convent was abandoned; secularization followed shortly afterwards.

Admin. Notes

more research necessary

June Mecham
Date Started
Date Finished