Station:  Conrad Frick, Sandstone Coat of Arms
This stone, carved with Abbot Conrad Frick’s coat of arms, was originally mounted on one of the abbey buildings and dates from the 16th century...
... specifically, from 1524. You can see the date bottom right: One – five – a back-to-front number two, and half an eight... in other words, a four: 1524.
Beneath the crosier and the bishop's mitre, there’s that bearded king again, kneeling and offering a miniature church to Mary and the Child. The three lions immediately below may be unexpected. They’ve been part of the royal arms of England since Richard the Lionheart. By referencing the English king, Abbot Conrad Frick was evoking the abbey’s founding myth. The legendary founder, Offo, is of course said to have been king of England.
The political message from the 16th century could be read roughly like this: the monastery was striving to free itself from subjugation by the Geroldseck family and become self-governing under the empire. Did Conrad Frick perhaps believe he could achieve that aim by referring to a king as the abbey’s founder?
In fact, tradition portrays Frick as a power-conscious individual who was a canny operator.
"Between Schuttern and Friesenheim lay a large meadow, half of which belonged to the monastery and half to the parish of Friesenheim. Now, the monastery wanted to have the whole field to itself. But the residents of Friesenheim weren’t willing to give up their claim. So the abbot came up with a ruse: he put soil from the monastery garden into his shoes and a ladle under his hat. Note here that the local word for ladle in German is the same as the word for Creator. Then he organised a large procession and invited the people of Friesenheim to take part. When they reached Friesenheim’s half of the meadow, the abbot halted and swore the following oath: 'As truly as this soil beneath me is monastery soil and the Creator is above me, this meadow is the property of Schuttern monastery’."
No doubt that was one of the reasons why farmers from Friesenheim and Lahr raided the monastery during the Peasants' War of 1525.
Anekdote zitiert nach Klemm, Geheimnisvolles Schuttern, S. 123.
All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim