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The nativity cribs of the abbey

Our monastery nativity cribs
The "Great Baroque Crib" of the Abbey of Frauenwörth

The "Great Baroque Crib" of Frauenwörth is considered one of the oldest cribs in southern Germany. As in the diary of the abbess Magdalena Haidenbucher (1606-1650) can be seen, she had the then existing in the convent crib first set up for Christmas in 1627 in the Apostle Chapel (now Irmengardkapelle) in the minster.
As a result of the secularization, whose access the characters escaped happily, unfortunately, we have not preserved any archive documents that would indicate the origin of the uniquely beautiful carvings.
The figures are up to 80 cm high. The sumptuous and valuable fabrics and robes, along with masterful monastic work, undoubtedly originated in the monastery itself. Among the figures still present today, the Infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph, three shepherds, four prophets and three angels are among the oldest.

Mrs. Schulz-Dornburg

On the occasion of the 1200th anniversary of the church consecration of Frauenwörth, in 1982, Abbess Domitilla Veith commissioned the restorer, Mrs. Trautl Schulz-Dornburg, to repair the old crib. For more than four years the artist was at work.


With great expertise, empathy, exemplary repaired, turned and completed garments, she helped the time-honored nativity scene to new baroque splendor.

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

In their interest, we endeavor to preserve our old nativity scene as a precious work of art of baroque cribs and to make it accessible to nativity friends in a framework that is conducive to the old figures for Christmas (Nativity periods).

Trautl Schulz Dornburg

Some crib fotos ...

The "Little Crib of Frauenwörth"

It's story

At the beginning of Advent in 1948, then-abbess Stephania Wolf OSB received a letter from the rectory in Malching am Inn. The then 70 year old Mrs. Gerti Schanderl wrote:

Gerti Schanderl

My grandparents father, resp. Great-grandparents, for their part, bought the little crib from Frauenwörth in 1803 when the monastery was abolished. Of these I have 52 figurines, waxed, textile clothed with the finest filigree work ...

Since there are various people interested, I would like to ask the Reverend Lady Abbess in advance if she would like to return the crib to the monastery?"


Soon after, the figurines came back to their original location in a "parcel" and Mrs. Schanderl wrote:


"... I will not let me pay for the little crib, but if the honorable lady abbess has a little gingerbread and a small bottle of the well-known monastery liqueur for me, then I should and will be happy - but I especially ask for commemoration in prayer ... "

We owe the return of our little nativity sweetheart to this generous gesture of Gerti Schanderl. Due to the circumstances of the time and many other additions, the "returnees" first of all held a 40-year slumber in the filing cabinet.

In 1992, Abbess Domitilla brought her to the Nativity scene, where she now made a new and conscious appearance. After the first inspection it was clear:

These only 9-11 cm large figures had to be restored by proven professionals and then placed so that they could not be damaged in the future. Thus, after 6 years of happy restoration work on the figurines, the construction of a protective nativity scene in accordance with the nativity scenes was necessary. With the help of competent nativity friends this problem was solved to the best, so that Dr. Nina Gockerell (National Museum Munich) closed her speech on 21.12.1999 with the words:


“After the elaborate and meticulous restoration of the figurines and the sensitive production of the new box, the convent on the Fraueninsel has again won a jewel of Bavarian Nativity, which is not only particularly endearing, but also an important milestone in the development history of the Crib in Bavaria forms."


As in the case of the "Great Nativity Crib", the first genesis of the figures is unknown here, although much speaks for a monastic work.

Visiting times:


Scene 1: Nativity with :

Scene 2: Homage of the Magi:


Note: On the weekends, the number of visitors is often very large. A weekday visit is therefore advantageous!

Nativity guided tours / registration:


By appointment, crib tour guides are possible:

Sr. Katharina Heisterkamp OSB
Abbey of Frauenwörth
83256 Frauenchiemsee
Fax: 08054 / 9070


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