The baroque Crib of Frauenwörth

The Baroque crib of Frauenwörth, is one of the oldest, most beautiful and most valuable cribs in southern Germany. We know from her diary that the Abbess M. Magdalena Haidenbucher (1606-1650) set up the crib for the first time in the Chapel of the Apostles (what is now Blessed Irmengard’s Chapel) at Christmas 1627 with the figures that were already in the abbey.

Although the figures themselves survived the Secularisation, the same cannot be said of written documents, so that we do not know where the beautifully carved figures originally came from.

The figures are 80 cm tall and the wonderful and enriched materials used together with the clothes and the filigree handwork almost certainly came from the abbey itself. Among the still existing figures, the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph, three shepherds, three angels and four prophets are belonging to the oldest stock.


A special feature characterizes the  "Dancing Infant Jesus of Frauenwörth". In the scene of the Homage of the Holy Three Kings it dances towards them on a Chiemsee wave, with a peace sign on the raised right hand. 


For the 1200 years jubilee of the Minster in 1982, Abbess M. Domitilla Veith, OSB engaged the well-known crib-restorer, Traudl Schulz-Dornburg to renovate the crib. She has been working for over four years with great expertise and empathy restoring the crib to its former Baroque glory by repairing, turning and replacing the clothing of the figures.

When Traudl Schulz-Dornburg died on 16th September 1988 after a long illness, the restoration of the crib was by no means complete.

The crib continues to be treated in the way Traudl Schulz-Dornburg would have wanted:  We realize the responsibility we have for this precious work of art, and every year we present the crib for public viewing in a way that does not damage the figures. (The first time the crib was set up, people were allowed to walk among the figures, - that would be unthinkable today!) Donations of visitors to the crib and the abbey itself finance the necessary repair works at the crib. We are most grateful to Dr. Nina Gockerell from the National Museum in Munich for her advice and help.