Station: [1] Welcome

Whew! Have you emerged from the roaring motorway traffic or the clatter of the regional rail service? Now take a moment. Do you hear that?

Birds, a few frogs, the odd screech-owl at night. Otherwise: silence!

Welcome to Heiligengrabe!

... a conventual complex that’s more than 700 years old. Built in the late 13th century as a Cistercian nunnery, it was reformed in the 16th century. After 1740, it was home to Protestant canonesses, mostly daughters of the Prussian nobility.

From 1847, a boarding school for girls was also housed in the rooms of the foundation. At peak times, up to 120 lively young girls filled the venerable convent with life. But in the final weeks of the Second World War, the history of the secondary school for girls came to an abrupt end... Even the continued existence of the foundation itself was briefly at risk.

But by 1946, deaconesses expelled from Silesia had arrived here and set up a care facility – initially for orphans, later for people with disabilities, for whom they provided a home.

But the Ladies’ Collegiate Foundation survived and is still here. The foundation, which is presided over by an abbess, is once again home to nine canonesses, who maintain the heritage of this historic institution with their activities, both spiritual and cultural. 

Our audio tour presents the story, past and present, of an institution that was once a nunnery and is now a chapter of canonesses. Let yourself be carried along, explore the abbey grounds and buildings at your own pace, and leave the chaotic hustle and bustle of everyday life behind.

You’re free to select the individual stops on our tour from the list, or from the map on your screen. If you’d like a brief introduction to the layout and history of the complex, please select number 9, either now or later.

We hope you enjoy your tour!

All depictions © Sarah Romeyke