Boitzenburg
Community ID
 
2763
 
Alternate Names
 
conventus sancta Marie in boycenborg, monasterium sanctimonialium in Boicenborch ordis Cisterciensis
 
Town
 
Boitzenburg
 
Medieval Location
 
Boitzenburg
 
Modern Location
 
between Prenzlau and Templin
 
Dedication
 
saint Mary
 
Date Founded
 
circa 1271
 
Date Terminated
 
1536
 
Religious Order
 
Cistercian
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

This female Cistercian house was founded by Johann II, Otto IV, and Konrad, margraves of Brandenburg, according to a donation charter of 1271. Already prior to 1281 the convent was united with the female Benedictine house of Marienpforte near Stegelitz.

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

The convent had close contacts with other houses in Brandenburg, particularly the male houses of Chorin, Himmelpfort, Lindow, Seehausen, and Zepernik.

 
Social Characteristics
 

Daughters of the landed nobility as well as daughters of the urban patriciate joined this community and are attested to as nuns, cantrix, porteresses, sacristans, prioresses and abbesses.

 
Relative Wealth
 

The convent was quite wealthy in the thirteenth century due to donations. In 1281 the convent purchased land for 200 Talents. After 1350 the convent suffered economically and was forced to sell portions of its land. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the convent recovered a bit economically, but it no longer acquired large amounts of land.

 
Assets/Property
 

The convent owned land, mills, villages, and had patronage rights in various churches. During the fourteenth century the convent's land holdings streached towards the west in the direction of F├╝rstenberg. When Hans von Arnim purchased all the convent's holdings in 1539, he purchased all the villages, fiefs, rents, tithes, outbuildings, fisheries, ponds, mills, water, woods, fields, and hunting rights as well as income from legal fees that the community had in its possession.

 
Income
 

The convent holdings encompassed a wide, round region in the northern Uckermark, with income from 27 villages and properties and from income in the cities of Wittstock, F├╝rstenberg, Templin, and Prenzlau.

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

In 1936 an extensive archaeological survey of the monastery was undertaken under Heinrich Jerchel. The survey revealed that the convent church was a single nave construction with flying butresses on the north wall and choir. The western portion was divided into an upper and lower church. In the northern part of the church were traces of a round window and a niche. The western portion of the church probably had a flat roof. Under a portion of the church existed a crypt, from which two windows in the north wall and one in the south wall remain. The cloister buttressed the church on the south wall. No east wing of the complex appears to have existed. Instead, the foundations of a long building were found on the east side. The west wing of the cloister ran in a north-south direction to the convent buildings and housed the nuns' dormitory. The south and western wing of the cloister had two stories. The convent church was a brick building with a choir that had large Gothic windows. The nave was divided into an upper and lower story, presumably a nuns' choir existed on the upper level and the conversae used the lower church. The entrance door for this lower level was located in the west wall. In the north of the choir under the windows were niches for the altar and baptismal. There was presumably a two-storied cloister that connected the nuns' dormitory with their choir. Perhaps more convent buildings were located to the south-east of the cloister. The refectory was located on the ground level of the west range, which also had Gothic windows on its southern side. The refectory was heated by means of an underground heating chamber or oven room. The chimney lay in the northern part of the refectory. The entrance to the cloister was located in the northern range of the convent ruins. This held an entrance hall with a porter's room, which was connected on the east with the cloister.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The medieval monastic complex only exists in ruins. After the dissolution of the convent in 1538, the buildings were given to secular owners for use as living and out-buildings. Today one can see the west wall and south gable of the convent as well as the north wall with part of the polygon that comprised the choir of the church.

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

The convent had the offices of abbess, prioress, sacristan, cantrix, and porteress. A provost administered the community. The convent's location on a territorial border put it in the way of many damages due to warfare. The secularization of this community occurred relatively early. In 1536 the electoral prince, Joachim II, allowed Hans von Arnim to inventory the convent's holdings and conveyed these to him in 1538. A year later, he purchased the convent and all its appurtenances (land, rights, buildings, and herds) from the prince. The only restriction was that he had to provide for the abbess and those nuns who had remained within the convent after the Reformation until their death. Katherina von Arendsdorf was the last nun of Boitzenburg.

 
Contributors
 
June Mecham