Backnang Abbey

Back of the abbey church

The Abbey of Saint Pancras of Backnang, better known as Backnang Abbey (German: Stift Backnang), was a German monastery of canons regular founded around A.D. 1100 in Backnang, in the Duchy of Swabia.


The abbey was founded before 1116 by Herman I, Margrave of Baden, and his wife, Countess Judith of Backnang-Sulichgau. Pope Paschal I confirmed the foundation in 1116. As early as 1123, though, the monastery had to be revived by their son, Margrave Herman II, with the help of canons from Marbach Abbey in Alsace.

Between 1123 and 1243 the abbey was the burial place of the Zähringen Margraves of Baden, a connection which brought much influence and prosperity.

Backnang's geographical position exposed it, from the 13th century onwards, to attack by the Counts of Württemberg, and for this reason in 1243 Margravine Irmengard transferred the remains of her husband Hermann V of Baden to her foundation of Lichtenthal Abbey in the town of Baden-Baden.

In 1297 possession of Backnang passed to Württemberg. In 1366 Count Eberhard II of Württemberg succeeded in gaining control of the abbey's finances. In 1477 it was changed into a secular collegiate chapter, with the approval of Pope Sixtus IV.

In 1535, as part of the Protestant Reformation, the community was dissolved. The canons of Backnang, however, by making a complaint to Emperor Charles V, obtained permission to reoccupy it, which they did in 1551. The last of them died in 1593, when the house was finally suppressed.

The abbey church ("Stiftskirche") still stands in Backnang.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stiftskirche, Backnang.

(German) Klosterbuch Baden Württemberg über das Stift Backnang

Coordinates: 48°56′44″N 9°25′56″E / 48.94556°N 9.43222°E / 48.94556; 9.43222

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