Schussenried Abbey

Imperial Abbey of Schussenried
Reichskloster Schussenried
Imperial Abbey of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Schussenried Abbey
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
  Abbey founded from
    Rot an der Rot

   Granted papal immunity 13 February 1211 1512
  Gained rights of high
    and blood justice

   Mediatised to County of
  Mediatised to
    Kingdom of Württemberg

Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Waldburg
County of Sternberg-Manderscheid
New Monastery (Neues Kloster) and abbey church
Ceiling painting in stairwell, New Monastery
Deceivers: Nestorians and Arius

Schussenried Abbey (Kloster Schussenried, Reichsabtei Schussenried) was a Premonstratensian monastery in Bad Schussenried, Upper Swabia, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.


In 1183 the monastery here was founded by the local landowners, Berengar and Konrad of Schussenried, and was settled from the Premonstratensian Rot an der Rot Abbey.

Pope Innocent III granted it his protection and guaranteed its immunity by a privilege of 13 February 1211. It acquired substantial endowments and built up a considerable territory, and was declared an imperial abbey (i.e., territorially independent) in 1440.

The abbey suffered tremendous damage and losses however in the Thirty Years' War: many of the monastic buildings were burnt down by the Swedes and the lands were largely laid waste.

Sufficient recovery had at length been made by the 18th century for comprehensive re-building to be undertaken, and the present name Neues Kloster ("new monastery") refers to the Baroque re-construction from 1752. The planning was the responsibility of Dominikus Zimmermann. The original plan of four wings with an integrated church was not completely carried out for financial reasons: the present three-winged construction consists of the north wing plus stumps of the intended east and west wings, and represents about a third of the projected building complex.

After the German Mediatisation of 1803 the abbey and its territory was given, in compensation for their losses to the west of the Rhine, to the Counts of Sternberg-Manderscheid, who used the abbey as their castle. In 1806 the territory was mediatised to the Kingdom of Württemberg, to whom the counts' heirs sold the buildings in 1835.

The State of Württemberg set up a foundry on part of the land, and in 1875 a nursing home was set up in the buildings. Until 1997 this was the State Psychiatric Hospital of Bad Schussenried, later known as the Centre for Psychiatry.

Since 1998 the "Neue Kloster" has been used as an exhibition and event centre.


The Baroque library is the most spectacular part of the monastic buildings and one of the main sights of the Oberschwäbische Barockstraße. The room is extremely light. The locked bookcases are arranged in two storeys. The ornamentation is among the richest of the 18th century in the German-speaking world. The ceiling fresco completed by Franz Georg Hermann in 1757 shows in bewildering detail the workings of divine wisdom in apocalypse, scholarship, education and craft.

To the most recent sculptures created for the room belong the eight groups of False Church Teachers, opposite which stand eight large figures of True Church Teachers. They are by Fidelis Sporer and were finished in 1766.

Abbey church

The abbey church is now the parish church, dedicated to Saint Magnus. It contains elements of Romanesque Gothic and Baroque architecture. Among the most noteworthy features are the choir stalls by Georg Anton Macheln and the ceiling frescoes by Johannes Zick showing the life of Norbert of Xanten, founder of the Premonstratensians.

Provosts and abbots




Media related to Schussenried Abbey at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Schussenried Abbey's Library at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Schussenried Abbey's choir stalls at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 48°00′26″N 9°39′31″E / 48.00722°N 9.65861°E / 48.00722; 9.65861

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