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Baroque gem and Götz von Berlichingen's burial place

Schöntal Monastery

Benefactor Wolfram von Bebenburg, Schöntal Monastery. Image: Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg GmbH & Co KG, Anja Stangl
The benefactor and his monastery

Wolfram von

Bebenburg

The nobleman Wolfram von Bebenburg founded a Cistercian monastery on his family's property near present-day Neusaß, gifting three farms as part of the original endowment. He himself entered the monastery as a lay brother, where he died prior to 1163. His tomb is located in the monastery church.

Exterior of the pilgrimage chapel, Neusaß. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Jürgen Besserer

The pilgrimage chapel in Neusaß.

Why did Wolfram found a monastery?

Apparently, Wolfram was honoring a pledge that he had made as a participant in the second crusade between 1147 and 1149: After his safe return, he would found a monastery. Wolfram gifted the land near Neusaß and three farms for the new monastery, which would be settled by Cistercian monks from Maulbronn. Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa acknowledged the founding of the monastery in 1157, thereby dignifying Wolfram's merits on the crusade. Wolfram was fond of the Cistercian order and joined the new monastery as a lay brother. However, he died prior to 1163 and was buried in the monastery.

Detail of the Berlichingen coat of arms, Schöntal Monastery. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The Berlichingen coat of arms.

Where did the land for the relocation of the monastery come from?

Wolfram von Bebenburg’s wife was from the Berlichingen family. She had brought to the marriage the land in the Jagst river valley on which the Cistercian monks from Neusaß finally settled. Thus, the Berlichingen's were granted burial rights in the monastery. Documents discovered at a later date in Jagsthausen Castle revealed a further detail about Wolfram's life: Apparently, his mother was also descended from the Berlichingen noble family.

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