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A short history of Seligenthal Abbey

The origins

The monastery was founded by the Bavarian Duchess Ludmilla in 1232 following the assassination of her husband, Duke Ludwig I. The Duchess, who was 62 years old at the time, also had her own death in mind. With the foundation, as she wrote in the deed of foundation, she wanted to "deposit something of her inheritance in the Lord's treasury... so that she would not appear empty-handed before the face of Almighty God". She also stipulated that a convent of nuns from the Cistercian order should live in the monastery. This order was held in high esteem at the time. Seligenthal (vallis felix) still exists today as a Cistercian nunnery.


Secularization

Secularization did not leave Seligenthal unscathed. The convent was expropriated in favor of the Bavarian State University, which was moved from Ingolstadt to Landshut in 1800. Although the sisters were able to stay here, they were no longer allowed to accept new members. When King Ludwig I allowed the convent in 1835 to reestablish a noviciate, five sisters were still living there. So the tradition had not been broken throughout the history of Seligenthal. Already in 1782 the nuns had started a girls' school and continued to run it after secularization until 1820. When the school was re-established, the king obliged the sisters to dedicate themselves to the education of girls. This task still characterizes our monastic life today.


Ludmilla's legacy

In her foundation letter, Duchess Ludmilla instructed the sisters to pray for her two husbands (her first marriage was to the Count of Bogen), her sons and her descendants. We faithfully carry out this mission to this day. The evening commemoration of the dead concludes with the words: "Let us remember our most illustrious benefactress Ludmilla and all Bavarian princes. Lord grant them eternal rest and let the eternal light shine upon them. Lord, let them rest in peace." When the Duchess died in 1240, she was initially buried in the Afra Chapel and transferred there after the abbey church was completed in 1259. The church subsequently became the burial place of most of the Wittelsbacher of Landshut. 42 princes are buried here. The crypt was looted and devastated during the Thirty Years' War. When it was last opened in 1870, it was found to be empty. Today, the only visible sign of the burial site is the tomb of Louis X in the middle of the church.



Sideview of the church of Seligenthal Abbey with its yellow walls, red roof and beautiful sundial
Church of Seligenthal Abbey

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