Station: [15] Remodelling by Friedrich August Stüler

The building with the pointed gable, which now forms the abbey’s north wing, is quite unlike the older structures. It was built in the mid-19th century, during a period of extensive construction work.

None other than the "king's architect" Friedrich August Stüler, who built the New Museum in Berlin, was personally commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm IV. to add a new architectural element to the abbey complex. The collegiate foundation was to have a school, where the daughters of the Prussian nobility could receive an education befitting their rank. Classrooms and dormitories had to be built for the purpose. The abbess, who lived a little apart in a small house at the time, was to move back into the abbey, conduct her affairs from here and no doubt keep a watchful eye on the young girls!

So Stüler built a suitable apartment for her on the first floor. It included a balcony, a conservatory, and private access to the chapter house on the ground floor. That was where the canonesses and the abbess regularly met in a small group to discuss the fortunes of the abbey and the school.

And Abbess Luise von Schierstedt certainly had a lot to discuss! She reorganised the Ladies’ Collegiate Foundation from the ground up, and not only oversaw the establishment of the girls' school, but also the founding of an infirmary and other charitable institutions.

The romanticised scene on your screen now conveys a clear sense of the new spirit that arose in Heiligengrabe in the mid-19th century. In 1847, the year of its launch, the school was attended by just seven or eight girls, but by the turn of the century, that number had risen to around 120.

Incidentally, some of the girls' dormitories were right next to the abbess's apartment, while others were housed in the attic immediately above it. One wonders whether Luise von Schierstedt regretted her move to the abbey at some point. If so, she apparently kept it to herself.

Depiction 1 © Giesbert Rode
Depiction 2 © Klosterstift zum Heiligengrabe
Depiction 3 © Klosterstift zum Heiligengrabe