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Imperial abbey

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Imperial abbey



Imperial abbeys (German: Reichsabteien, also Reichsklöster and Reichsstifte) were religious houses within the Holy Roman Empire which had been granted the status of imperial immediacy (Reichsunmittelbarkeit) and therefore were answerable directly to the Emperor. The possession of imperial immediacy came with a unique form of territorial authority known as Landeshoheit, which carried with it nearly all the attributes of sovereignty.[2] Particularly after the Peace of Westphalia (1648), all entities of the Empire possessing immediacy enjoyed and exercised de facto sovereign power. Any abbot or abbess, no matter how Lilliputian his or her domain, governed with basically the same political powers as those of any secular prince[3] such as levying taxes, rendering low and high justice, maintaining a standing army, and if they were so inclined, despatching embassies, declaring war, signing treaties, etc. About 45 Imperial abbeys (including priories) survived up to the mass secularisation of 1802-03.

The head of an Imperial abbey was generally an Imperial abbot (Reichsabt) or Imperial abbess (Reichsäbtissin). (The head of a Reichspropstei — an Imperial provostry or priory — was generally a Reichspropst). Some of the greatest establishments had the rank of ecclesiastical principalities, and were headed by a Prince-Abbot or a Prince-Provost (Fürstabt, Fürstpropst), with status comparable to that of Prince-Bishops. Most however (and many of these religious houses had only very small territories) were Imperial prelates (Reichsprelaten) and as such participated in a single collective vote in the Imperial Diet as members of the Bench of Prelates, later (1575) divided into the Swabian College of Imperial Prelates and the Rhenish College of Imperial Prelates.

It was not uncommon for heads of religious houses other than the Imperial abbeys to have similar titles even though their establishments did not have Imperial immediacy. To take three examples, the Prince-Bishop of St. Gall retained his title until the abbey was secularised in 1798, even though it had ceased to be an Imperial abbey in 1648; the abbot of Muri (which had a strong Habsburg connection) was created an Imperial prince in 1710, although by that time Muri was in Switzerland; and the Prince-Abbot of St. Blaise's Abbey in Baden-Württemberg held that title, not on account of the status of the abbey, which was not immediate, but because it was conferred on him by the abbey's ownership of the County of Bonndorf.

Lists of Imperial abbeys

List A: Imperial abbeys named in the Matrikel

The religious houses listed here as List A are those named in the Matrikel, or lists of those eligible to vote in the Imperial Diet, including those whose votes were collective rather than individual. Three of these lists survive and are accessible, from 1521, 1755 (or thereabouts) and 1792.


This list includes the Principalities, Imperial abbeys (Reichsabteien and -klöster), Imperial colleges (Reichsstifte), Imperial provostries or priories (Reichspropsteien) and the single Imperial charterhouse (Reichskartause).

The word "Stift", meaning a collegiate foundation or canonry, possibly belonging to a variety of different orders or to none at all, and either with or without rules and vows, for either men ("Herrenstift") or for women ("Frauenstift"), has been left untranslated, except when it specifically refers to the chapter of a church.


Some of the imperial abbeys were dissolved during the Reformation; others were absorbed into other territories at various times in the general course of political life. Those in Alsace and Switzerland passed out of the Empire in 1648, when Alsace was ceded to France and Switzerland became independent. The great majority of these religious bodies however were secularized during the brief period that included the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and their aftermath, especially as a result of the German mediatization (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) of February 1803. Any that survived lost their Imperial status when the Holy Roman Empire was wound up in 1806.

Abbreviations

  • Description and Imperial status column:
    • RA stands for Reichsabtei (Imperial abbey)
    • RF stands for "Reichsfürstentum" (Imperial Principality)
    • RP stands for "Reichspropstei" (Imperial provostry)
  • Lost imm. column:
    • imm. Imperial immediacy
    • Sec. secularised
    • Med. mediatised
    • Switz. Switzerland
    • Hel. Helvetic Republic
  • College column:
    • RC stands for "Rhenish College"
    • SC stands for "Swabian College"
    • RF stands for "Reichsfürst", i.e., the head of the house in question had an individual vote; there were nine of these (Fulda, Kempten, Ellwangen, Murbach-Lüders, Berchtesgaden, Weissenburg, Prüm, Stablo-Malmedy and Corvey).
CoA Religious house Location Founded Imm. Lost imm. To... Description and status College
Baindt Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Count of Aspremont-Lynden Cistercian nunnery; reichsunmittelbar but remained subordinate to Salem Abbey. RA SC
Berchtesgaden Provostry Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Salzburg Augustinian Canons. Fürstpropstei ("Prince-Provostry"). RF from 1380 or 1559 RF
Buchau Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Thurn und Taxis Frauenstift. RA. RF[4] RC
Burtscheid Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia (Aachen) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Roer Benedictine monastery; from 1220/21 Cistercian nunnery. RF RC
Buxheim Charterhouse Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0/03 Sec. County of Ostein Canons; Carthusians from 1402 (the only Reichskartause). RP SC and RC
Comburg Baden-Württemberg (Schwäbisch Hall) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0s Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 before 15th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Duchy of Württemberg Benedictine monastery, later Herrenstift. Mediatised by Württemberg 1587; secularised 1803. RA SC
Corvey Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia (Höxter) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda Benedictine monastery. RA; RF no later than 1582[5] RF
Disentis Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0[6] Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0early 8th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Hel. Three Leagues Benedictine monastery; secularised 1798; re-established 1803. RA SC
Echternach Abbey Luxembourg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Forêts Benedictine monastery. Mediatised by Austria sometime after 1521[7] RA
Einsiedeln Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Switz. Canton of Schwyz Benedictine monastery. Ceased to be part of the HRE in 1648; secularised 1798; re-established 1803. RA
Elchingen Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Ellwangen Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Duchy of Württemberg Benedictine monastery; Fürstpropstei ("Prince-Provostry"). Possibly founded as early as 732. RF RF
Essen Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 betw. 874 and 947 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Kingdom of Prussia Frauenstift. RA RC
Frauenchiemsee Abbey (aka Frauenwörth) Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine nunnery. RA SC
Fraumünster Abbey Switzerland (Zürich) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Canton of Zurich Benedictine nunnery. RA SC
Fürstenfeld Abbey Bavaria (Fürstenfeldbruck) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Uncertain Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Cistercian monastery. RA SC
Fulda Abbey Hesse Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda Benedictine monastery. RF[8] RF
Gandersheim Abbey Lower Saxony Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 (de facto 877) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frauenstift. The abbey asserted Imperial immediacy but owned no reichsunmittelbar estates, and was claimed until 1709 by Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. RA RC
Gengenbach Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–35 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 9th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Margraviate of Baden Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Gernrode Abbey Saxony-Anhalt Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Principality of Anhalt-Dessau Frauenstift. De facto sovereignty lost to Anhalt in 1570. RA RC
Göss Abbey Austria (Leoben) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Habsburg Monarchy Benedictine nunnery. RA SC
Gutenzell Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Toerring Cistercian nunnery. RA SC
Heggbach Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Maselheim) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Bassenheim Beguines; Cistercian nunnery from 1248.[9] RA SC
Helmarshausen Abbey Hesse (Bad Karlshafen) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Landgraviate of Hesse Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Herford Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Ravensberg Frauenstift. Lutheran from 1533. RA RC
Herrenalb Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0/48 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Duchy of Württemberg Cistercian monastery. RA SC
Hersfeld Abbey Hesse Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–42 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel Benedictine monastery. De facto mediatised to Hesse-Kassel from 1606. RA RC
Irsee Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Kaisheim Abbey (sometimes Kaisersheim Abbey) Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Cistercian monastery. Immediacy was not recognised by the Wittelsbachs, who were the Vögte; a legal agreement was reached with their successors in 1656, confirming Reichsfreiheit. RA SC and RC
Kaufungen Abbey Hesse (Kassel) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Hessian Knighthood Benedictine nunnery. Given to the Hessische Ritterschaft 1532; still extant as a private foundation. RA
Kempten Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine monastery; Fürststift from 1524. RA / RF RF
Klingenmünster Abbey Rhineland-Palatinate Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0? Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of the Palatinate Possibly founded in 636, definitely before 780. Benedictine abbey until 1490; then Herrenstift. RA / RP RC
Königsbronn Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Heidenheim) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 probably 15th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Duchy of Württemberg Cistercian monastery, taken over and made Protestant by Württemberg. It remained Protestant despite failed attempts to revert to Catholicism in 1630–32 and 1635–48; it was finally secularised in 1710. RA
Kornelimünster Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia (Aachen) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 by mid-9th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Roer Benedictine monastery. RA[10] RC
Kreuzlingen Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Switz. Canton of Thurgau Augustinian Canons. Dissolved by the cantonal government in 1848. RA
Lindau Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Principality of Bretzenstein Frauenstift, possibly later a Reichsfürstabtei; RA. SC
Lorsch Abbey Hesse (Darmstadt) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 (confirmed) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Archbishopric of Mainz Benedictine monastery until 1248; thereafter Premonstratensian until dissolution in 1556. RA SC
Malmedy Abbey Belgium Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0? Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Ourthe Benedictine monastery, forming a single principality with Stavelot. RA RF
Marchtal Abbey (also Marchthal) Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 before 776 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Thurn und Taxis Premonstratensian monastery. Refounded 1171. RA SC
Marmoutier Abbey; also Maursmünster[11] Alsace Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 659 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Bas-Rhin Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Maulbronn Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Kingdom of Württemberg Cistercian monastery. Seized by Württemberg in 1504, secularised in 1534, alternated between Cistercianism and Protestantism until settled to the latter by Peace of Westphalia in 1648. RA SC
Memleben Abbey Saxony-Anhalt Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 uncertain, poss. late 10th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Hersfeld Abbey Benedictine monastery. RA RC
Michaelsberg Abbey (also known as Siegburg Abbey) North Rhine-Westphalia (Siegburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Duchy of Berg Benedictine monastery. Secularised in 1803. RA RC
Mönchrot Abbey, also Mönchroth, Münchenroth, Rot or Rot an der Rot Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Rot an der Rot) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. County of Wartenberg Premonstratensian monastery. RA SC
Mondsee Abbey Austria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Habsburg Monarchy Benedictine monastery. Imperial immediacy lost to the Bishopric of Regensburg 831–1142. RA SC
Abbey of Münster im Gregoriental[12] Alsace Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Haut-Rhin Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Murbach Abbey (incl Lüders) Alsace Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 792 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Haut-Rhin Benedictine monastery. Effectively French since 1648, but anomalously remained legally part of the Empire; dissolved during the Revolution. RF RF
Muri Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Switz. Canton of Baden Benedictine monastery. The abbey was never immediate, but the abbot was created Reichsfürst in 1701. RA
Neresheim Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Thurn und Taxis Benedictine monastery. The abbey's status was the subject of litigation with the County of Oettingen until after 1760. RA SC
Niedermünster Bavaria (Regensburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Frauenstift. Refounded 788, 948–55. RA RC
Nordhausen chapter Thuringia Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 poss. mid-10th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Kingdom of Prussia Chapter of Nordhausen Cathedral. RA
Obermünster Bavaria (Regensburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 early 9th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Kingdom of Bavaria Benedictine nunnery, later Frauenstift. RA. RF from 1315 RC
Oberschönenfeld Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0? Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Beguines until c 1211, then Cistercian nunnery, formalised from 1248. RA
Ochsenhausen Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec County of Metternich-Winnenburg Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Odenheim Abbey (originally Wigoldsberg; later also Odenheim and Bruchsal) Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–03 Sec Margraviate of Baden Benedictine monastery; Herrenstift from 1496. RA RC
Ottobeuren Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0, regranted 1710[13] Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec Bishopric of Augsburg 1624–1710) Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Petershausen Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Konstanz) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 early 13th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec Margraviate of Baden Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Pfäfers Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Switz. Swiss condominium Benedictine monastery. Ceased to be part of HRE in 1648 (secularised 1798; re-established 1803). RA
Prüfening Abbey Bavaria (Regensburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Prüm Abbey Rhineland-Palatinate Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Archbishopric of Trier Benedictine monastery. Annexed by France 1794. RF RF
Quedlinburg Abbey Saxony-Anhalt Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Kingdom of Prussia Frauenstift; Lutheran from 1540. RA RC
Recklinghausen Abbey (also Rechenhausen) North Rhine-Westphalia Unknown Unknown Unknown Essen Abbey RA
Reichenau Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 or 1548 Bishopric of Constance Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Riddagshausen Abbey Brunswick Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0/46 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 Uncertain, early Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Cistercian monastery. Mediatised on Reformation to Lutheran seminary; secularised 1809. RA
Roggenburg Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–1485 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Premonstratensian monastery. RA SC
Rottenmünster Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Rottweil) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Duchy of Württemberg Cistercian nunnery. Reopened 1898. RA SC
Saalfeld Abbey Thuringia (Saalfeld) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Saxony Benedictine monastery. RA
St Bartholomäus cathedral chapter Hesse (Frankfurt am Main) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Imperial City of Frankfurt Chapter of the Kaiserdom in Frankfurt. RP RC
St. Blaise's in the Black Forest Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 Uncertain Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Grand Duchy of Baden Benedictine monastery. The Prince-Abbot of St. Blaise's had princely status (RF) not because of the abbey itself but because the abbey had acquired the County of Bonndorf, which carried princely status with it from 1609[14]
St. Emmeram's Abbey Bavaria (Regensburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Principality of Regensburg Benedictine monastery. RA RC
St. Gall Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. (1648 Switz.) Canton of Säntis Benedictine monastery; later Fürstabtei. Swiss associate from 1451; secularised temporarily 1527–32. RA / RF SC
St George's at Isny in the Allgäu Baden-Württemberg (Isny im Allgäu) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Princely County of Quadt-Wykradt Benedictine monastery. RA SC
St. George's Abbey, Stein am Rhein Switzerland (Stein am Rhein) Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 9th century Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 15th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–26 Sec. Canton of Zurich Founded 9th century on the Hohentwiel; moved to Stein am Rhein c. 1007. RA
St. Giles' Abbey, Nuremberg (Schottenkloster Sankt Ägidien) Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Imperial City of Nuremberg "Schottenkloster"; Benedictine monastery from 1418. Absorbed by Nuremberg in 1525 (possibly 1567) as unable to document immediacy. RA
St. Ludger's Abbey Lower Saxony (Helmstedt) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Benedictine monastery. RA RC
St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier Rhineland-Palatinate Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 4th century Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 before early 12th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Archbishopric of Trier Benedictine monastery. Mediatised to the Electorate of the Palatinate in the 16th century, but status not finalised until immediacy definitively surrendered to Trier in 1669. RA RC
St. Peter's Abbey in the Black Forest Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 1093 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Grand Duchy of Baden Benedictine monastery. RA
St. Ulrich's and St. Afra's Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 c. 10th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 de jure
1643 de facto
Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Benedictine monastery from 1006–12; probably refounded from a 5th- or 6th-century predecessor. The abbey was made immediate in 1577, but its status was challenged by the Bishop of Augsburg in litigation until 1643/44. RA RC
Salem Abbey aka Salmansweiler Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–52 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Margraviate of Baden Cistercian monastery. RA SC
Schaffhausen Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Canton of Schaffhausen Benedictine monastery. RA
Schänis Abbey Switzerland Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 9th century Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Swiss condominium Frauenstift. Frederick IV, King of Germany confirmed the abbatial rights in 1442, but the link with the Empire was broken; the abbess continued to bear the title of Princess of the Holy Roman Empire until secularisation to the canton of St. Gallen under the Act of Mediation in 1803. Suspended during the Protestant Reformation 1529–31. RA SC
Schussenried Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. County of Sternberg-Manderscheid Premonstratensian monastery. RA SC
Schuttern Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Duchy of Modena Benedictine monastery. Not to be confused with Schottern Abbey in Austria, secularised in the 15th century. RA SC
Selz Abbey Baden, later Alsace Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Electorate of the Palatinate Benedictine monastery / nunnery. Secularised in 1803. RA
Söflingen Abbey (sometimes Söfflingen) Baden-Württemberg (Ulm) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Poor Clares. RA SC
Stablo or Stavelot Abbey (also Stablingen) Belgium Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0? Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Ourthe Benedictine monastery. Formed a single principality with Malmedy. RF. RF
Thorn Abbey The Netherlands (Limburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Meuse-Inférieure Frauenstift. RA. RF from 1793. RC
Ursberg Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–28 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Premonstratensian monastery. Not to be confused with Urspring Abbey. RA SC
Waldsassen Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0–32 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Electorate of the Palatinate Cistercian monastery. Secularised to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803; reopened as Cistercian nunnery 1863. RA SC
Walkenried Abbey Lower Saxony Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Cistercian monastery. RA RC
Weingarten Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda Benedictine monastery. RA SC
Weissenau Abbey Baden-Württemberg (Ravensburg) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 County of Sternberg-Manderscheid Premonstratensian monastery. RA SC
Weissenburg Abbey Alsace Template:Number table sorting/Qyes/0 7th century Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Med. Imperial City of Weissenburg Reichspropstei. Raised to Imperial city 1306, joined Décapole 1354, annexed by France 1697. RP / RF (status later assumed by Bishop of Speyer). RF
Werden Abbey North Rhine-Westphalia (Essen) Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Kingdom of Prussia Benedictine monastery. RA RC
Wettenhausen Abbey Bavaria Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Unknown Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Electorate of Bavaria Augustinian Canons. Founded on the site of an earlier foundation, dated 982. RA SC
Zwiefalten Abbey Baden-Württemberg Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Template:Number table sorting/Qno/Fno/Sno/0 Sec. Duchy of Württemberg Benedictine monastery. RA SC
CoA Religious house Location Founded Imm. Lost imm. To... Description and status College

List B: Reichsmatrikel 1521

The Matrikel of 1521 included a number of religious houses which have not been identified:

Religious house Location Dates Description and Imperial status
Beckenried Abbey[15] Switzerland ceased to be part of the HRE in 1648 RA
Blankenburg Abbey nk[16] nk nk
Brunnen Abbey Landstrass, Carinthia (Austria) nk nk
Hynoltshusen Abbey nk[17] nk monastery
Kitzingen Abbey nk nk monastery
Rockenhausen nk[18] nk RA
St. Johann (St. John's Abbey) nk nk nk

Inclusion in the 1521 Reichsmatrikel is not by itself conclusive evidence that a particular religious house was in fact an Imperial abbey, and the status of the following abbey listed in the Matrikel is questionable in the absence of further confirmation from other sources:

Religious house Location Dates Description and Imperial status
St. John's Abbey in the Thurtal (Sant Johans im Turital) Switzerland (Alt St. Johann, later Nesslau) fdd. before 1152; RU nk (if at all); subordinated to St. Gall's Abbey 1555; ceased to be part of the HRE 1648 (dissolved 1805) Benedictine monastery. Imperial status unknown

List C: Imperial abbeys not named in the Matrikel

For a variety of reasons a quantity of religious houses that possessed, or claimed, the status of Imperial immediacy either did not attend the Imperial Diet, or were not listed in the surviving Matrikel. The following list is very far from complete, and possibly some of those listed may not in fact have been immediate (reichsunmittelbar).

Religious house Location Dates Description and Imperial status
Amorbach Abbey Bavaria
Edelstetten Abbey Bavaria fdd. 1126; more a charitable institution for daughters of the lower Swabian nobility than a monastery. Except for the abbesses, the women were free to leave after some time and get married. Imperial abbey status in 1783 only. Secularized in 1803 and given as a principality to Charles-Joseph, prince de Ligne. One year later, he sold his principality to Nikolaus II, Prince Esterházy.[19] Augustinian monastery. RA
Munsterbilzen Abbey Belgium
Nienburg Abbey Saxony-Anhalt fdd 975; RU temp. Otto II; mediatised 1166 by the Archbishop of Magdeburg; secularised 1563 by the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau Benedictine monastery. RA RC
Nivelles Abbey Belgium
Schöntal Abbey[20] Baden-Württemberg fdd. 1157; RU from 1418 to 1495; secularised 1803 Cistercian; RA
Tegernsee Abbey Bavaria
Wiblingen Abbey Baden-Württemberg, Ulm fdd. 1037; RU from 1701; secularised 1806 Benedictine; RA

References and notes

Bibliography

In German:

  • Matthäi, George, 1877: Die Klosterpolitik Kaiser Heinrichs II. Ein Beitrag zur *Geschichte der Reichsabteien. Grünberg i.Schl.
  • Brennich, Max, 1908: Die Besetzung der Reichsabteien in den Jahren 1138–1209. Greifswald.
  • Polzin, Johannes: Die Abtswahlen in den Reichsabteien von 1024–1056.
  • Riese, Heinrich, 1911: Die Besetzung der Reichsabteien in den Jahren 1056–1137.
  • Feierabend, Hans, 1913, repr. 1971: Die politische Stellung der deutschen Reichsabteien während des Investiturstreites. Breslau 1913; Aalen 1971
  • Wehlt, Hans-Peter, 1970: Reichsabtei und König
  • Vogtherr, Thomas, 2000: Die Reichsabteien der Benediktiner und das Königtum im hohen Mittelalter (900–1125) (Mittelalter-Forschungen, vol. 5)

External links

  • Reichstag participants 1521, c. 1755 and 1792, on Heraldica website (German)
  • 1521 Reichsmatrikel (German)
  • Sarah Hadry: Reichsstifte [Imperial Abbeys]. In: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns. Onlineversion
  • Sarah Hadry: Reichsprälatenkollegium [Council of Imperial Abbeys]. In: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns. Onlineversion
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