Würzburg - St. Anne's Monaster

St. Anne's Monastery in Wurzburg founded in 1714, plans for the construction of the new building by Johann Dietzenhofear from 1720-1721 have been preserved, new buildings built in 147-1751 by Balthasar Neumann

The Noble Convent of St. Anne in Würzburg was founded in 1714 by Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, thanks to a bequest from Countess Anna Maria von Dernbach. Between 1720 and 1721 Johann Dietzenhofer prepared plans for a convent for the nobility, which are preserved in the University Library in Würzburg, but which were not implemented.

A new collegiate building was not built until 1747-1751 by Balthasar Neumann in Graben, now Theaterstraße 16.

The monastery was secularized in 1803 and destroyed in an air raid in 1945.

Detailed information


The foundation was established by the will of Countess Anna Maria von Dernbach, née Freiin Voit von Rieneck, reigning Countess and Lady of Wiesentheid, in 1683. The goods and property of the foundation were established by a treaty in 1701. These included houses in Bamberg and 90,000 guilders in cash.

The Adeliges Damenstift St. Anna was then founded in 1714 by Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau, Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. The purpose of the foundation was to worship God, to educate the benefactors in spiritual and noble virtues and to care for the memory of the founder. The foundation admitted Catholic girls aged 12 to 16 who came from knightly families with no direct connection to the Empire, preferably from the ranks of the Frankish nobility.

The number of prebendes, collegiate ladies, was set at six from families without means. The prerequisites for admission were the Catholic faith, an age between 12 and 16, and proof of noble descent based on eight ancestors. Prebendes were not nuns, they could subsequently marry. In 1756, a gift from Canon von Ostein made it possible to increase the number to eight.

In 1720-1721 Johann Dietzenhofer prepared plans for a convent of noblewomen, which are preserved in the University Library in Würzburg. The tall double-columned columns are connected to fine window sashes with gently curved gables. In the plan for the chapel, Johann Dientzenhofer had the rounded dome extended into the adjacent rooms. The project was not realised.

The first collegiate building with a chapel was located in Würzburg at Domerpfarrgasse 12. The monastery flourished between 1735 and 1792 under the abbess Eva Theresia von Schönborn (1707-1794), niece of the Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn.

Between 1747 and 1751 a new collegiate building was built by Balthasar Neumann in Graben, today Theaterstraße 16.

On 4 June 1803 the monastery was dissolved and on 4 July the building was auctioned off. The former members of the convent were given a pension by the new Bavarian monarch and had to leave the convent.

After the purchase, the buyer, Count Friedrich Julius Heinrich von Soden auf Sassanfahrt, built the Churfürstlich priviligierte fränkische Nationalbühne theatre in the buildings on 28 September with the permission of the government, which later became the Stadttheater Würzburg. The construction work was carried out under the direction of the court building director and engineer-captain Johann Andreas Gärtner. The opening performance took place on 3. August 1804.

The abbey building was transferred to the Munich Order of St. Anne on 12 July 1803 and was intended for the care of twelve canonesses. After several changes of ownership, it passed to the Sisters of the Redeemer. Since 2008 it has been the home for the elderly Caritas.

After the formation of the Grand Duchy of Würzburg in 1806, the monastery regained full independence thanks to a state treaty with Bavaria. Grand Duke Ferdinand III. Tuscany of Würzburg renewed the "Großherzogliche Fräuleinstift zur heiligen Anna" on 22 January 1811 with new statutes, the main features of which correspond to the statutes of the foundation that still exist today. The number of nuns was increased to 21 (later to 48). In addition to the seven collegiate ladies from noble families, daughters of non-noble civil servants were now also admitted as second-class prebends.

The Damenstift ceased to exist with the dissolution of the Grand Duchy of Würzburg in 1814 and the Fräuleinstift once again fell to the Kingdom of Bavaria. The abbess held the administration of the foundation until 1873, when it passed to a foundation administrator appointed by the government of Lower Franconia.

During World War II, the municipal theatre building at the old station was destroyed in an air raid on 16 March 1945, as were the old collegiate buildings. Of the original convent, only the wall facing the street above the ground floor survives.

In 1954, the renewed statutes of the foundation stipulated that the foundation could house up to six unmarried daughters of Bavarian civil servants or members of the civil service from the area of the former Grand Duchy of Würzburg.


After changing hands several times, it came into the ownership of the Ruland family. In accordance with the provisions of the Ruland Family Scholarship Foundation, founded in 1892, the house became the property of the Redeemer Sisters and was given the name "Haus zur heiligen Anna". The "Annastift" was cared for by the Sisters of the Redeemer until 2008, after which it had to be closed due to building defects.

After extensive renovation and modernisation between 2007 and 2011 with financial support from the Diocese of Würzburg, the building was made wheelchair accessible. Now the Caritas senior facility has 11 wheelchair-accessible senior apartments ranging from 69 to 100 m2 with a lift, a roof pavilion as a communal space, a garden area, parking spaces, conservatories, balconies and loggias.

Only the wall facing the street to the ground floor level has been preserved from the original monastery.

Owners / users

Caritas-Einrichtungen GmbH
Tel.: 0931 38668900
E-mail: info[ZAVINÁČ]caritas-einrichtungen[TEČKA]de
23. July 2023

Map of the place and surroundings Open on mapy.cz

GPS: 49.7954861N, 9.9350450E
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