The Abbey of
St. Hildegard through the Ages

Our monastery, the Abbey of St Hildegard, is situated above Rüdesheim and the Rhine river. Some think it is a Romanesque building, but it was only built at the beginning of the 20th century. However, we think of our house as a foundation of St Hildegard, going back to the old convent of Eibingen.

In the year 1150 Hildegard of Bingen built her first monastic house at Rupertsberg at the mouth of the river Nahe near Bingen. When the number of vocations steadily increased and more and more young women gathered around her, Hildegard bought the former Augustinian double monastery of Eibingen near Rüdesheim. She took on the leadership of the new foundation at Eibingen as well and crossed the Rhine twice a week until her death to visit the daughter house. After St Hildegard’s death on September 17th, 1179 both houses at Rupertsberg and Eibingen moved along with the course of history, seeing times of monastic life flourish and decline.

During the turmoil of the Thirty Year War, Rupertsberg was destroyed by the Swedes in 1632. The nuns had to flee, but returned in 1636. The monastic buildings were, however, in such a bad state of repair that rebuilding was out of the question. So the nuns of Rupertsberg sought refuge at the convent of Eibingen. In 1642 the last Rupertsberg Abbess, Anna Lerch von Dürmstein, resigned from her office. The subsequent 150 years were shaped by many afflictions. Famine, the plague, wars and destruction overtook Eibingen. In 1803 the convent was dissolved in the course of the secularization and the estate was lost. With this, monastic life in Eibingen came to an end. The convent church was taken over by the parish. It is for this reason that the relics of St Hildegard are venerated at the Eibingen church to this day. In 2002 one of our own nuns of the Abbey of St Hildegard took on pastoral care of pilgrims coming to Eibingen. In this way, the old and the new convent of Eibingen have a definite bond again.

Plans for a New Foundation

We owe the plan to found a new convent, which would revive the old religious house at Eibingen and also be a link to the one destroyed by the Swedes at Rupertsberg in 1632, to Bishop Peter Josef Blum of Limburg (1842-1883). Through his efforts and those of Ludwig Schneider, who was parish priest at […]

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New Beginnings of Monastic Life

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The Abbey of St Hildegard in the Second World War

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The Development of the Abbey after 1945

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