The Abbey

According to tradition, the Benedictine abbey of Frauenwörth was founded by the Duke of Bavaria, Tassilo III (746-788), around 772 AD. Bishop Virgil of Salzburg consecrated the church on 1st September 782.

Around 850, Blessed Irmengard (831/33-866) served the abbey as the first abbess known by name. She was a daughter of King Ludwig the German and the great-granddaughter of Charlemagne.

This period of Carolingian rule was interrupted abruptly by the Hungarian invasions in the first half of the 10th century.

A further religious upheaval occurred at the end of the 10th century with the introduction of the Benedictine Rule due to the influence of the nearby, newly-founded Seeon Abbey (994-1803).

As a consequence of the Investiture Struggles the abbey ceased to be under the direct control of the king in the mid 11th century. Archbishop Anno von Köln gave the abbey to the Archbishop of Salzburg in 1062.

In 1254 the Bavarian Dukes finally gained control over Frauenwörth. The abbey retained the title „Königliches Stift“ (Royal Foundation) until the Secularisation in 1803 and was open only to the daughters of the nobility.

The 14th and 15th centuries brought a period of harmonious development. 

The Reformation in the 16th century brought about a great crisis and a rapid decline.

Before the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) the pious and courageous Magdalena Haidenbucher (1609-1650) was abbess of the monastery. The monastery became a place of refuge for other Bavarian convents which had been made homeless by the war.

animated portrait of the abbess with an audition out of her diary:

Between 1722 and 1730 the monastery was rebuilt and extended by the Abbess Irmengard von Scharfsedt (1702-1733).

In 1803 the abbey was dissolved due to the Secularisation. The nuns were allowed to remain. Five of them experienced the re-opening of the house in 1838 under King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

In 1901 the monastery regained the status of an abbey. Together with the Nonnberg in Salzburg, it is the oldest surviving German-speaking monastery north of the Alps.

The Federation of Bavarian Abbeys of Benedictine Nuns 

The following abbeys of Benedictine nuns: Nonnberg in Salzburg, Frauenwörth in Chiemsee, St. Walburga’s in Eichstätt, St. Gertrud in Tettenweis, Maria Frieden in Kirchschletten, St. Walburga in Virginia Dale (USA) and the Priory of St. Emma in Greensburg (USA) joined together in 1986 to form The Federation of Bavarian Abbeys of Benedictine Nuns.