Bypass Repeated Content

the final resting place

Lorch Monastery

Luftaufnahme der Klosterkirche Lorch; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Achim Mende
Rulers, noblemen, and abbots

The burial places

in the monastery church

The House of Staufen founded Lorch Monastery as a burial place. However, not only members of the powerful royal family lie buried in the monastery church. Other noble families from the region also endowed tombs for their loved ones. Of course, the church was also the final resting place for the abbots of Lorch Monastery.

Plaque on the tomb of the House of Staufen with the House of Staufen coat of arms, Lorch Monastery. Image: Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg

The cover panel of the tomb.

The tomb of the House of Staufen in the central nave

The tomb of the House of Staufen stands out in the middle of the nave. The late Gothic sarcophagus, made by a sculptor from Göppingen, contains the monastery church's famous dead. Two of the four corner figures bear a model of the church. These are either the monastery's benefactors, Duke Friedrich and Agnes von Waiblingen, or their son, King Konrad III, and his wife Gertrud. The tomb slab displays the House of Staufen coat of arms with the famous three lions, which is now part of Baden-Württemberg's coat of arms.

Side view of the tomb of the House of Staufen at Lorch Monastery. Image: Ulrich Rund

An important monument of the monks.

In honor of a glorious past

It was Abbot Nikolaus Schenk von Arberg who had all of the graves opened in 1475, collected the remains of the buried members of the House of Staufen and had them interred in the tomb in the central nave. Each year on September 2, the monks celebrated a day of remembrance for the House of Staufen. The House of Staufen, the famous founding family, had long since died out. However, the monks were to remember Lorch Monastery's famous past, so as not to diminish their successful reforms; after many difficult years, the monastery enjoyed a new prosperity.

Grabmal des Abtes Sebastian Sitterich, Kloster Lorch; Foto: Ulrich Rund
Grabmal des Abtes Nikolaus Schenk von Arberg, Kloster Lorch; Foto: Ulrich RundGrabmal des Abtes Nikolaus Schenk von Arberg, Kloster Lorch; Foto: Ulrich Rund

Important abbots were commemorated with ornately decorated tomb slabs.

The abbots' tombs

Some of the many tomb slabs bear only a coat of arms and an inscription, while others are richly decorated with images of the deceased. Among these are the tomb slabs of the abbots of Lorch Monastery, depicted with miter and staff as symbols of their roles as abbot; impressive examples include the tomb of Abbot Nikolaus Schenk von Arberg or of Abbot Sebastian Sitterich. The local aristocratic von Schechingen family, which provided abbots for Lorch Monastery for many years, also used the southern transept as their burial place.

Tomb slabs in the monastery church at Lorch Monastery. Image: Ulrich Rund

Detailed tomb slabs.

The Mauritius chapel: Burial place of the Woellwarth family

The skull of Saint Mauritius was honored as a precious relic in the north transept. The von Woellwarth family, local nobility, had endowed the Mauritius altar since the 13th century. They were therefore allowed to establish their burial place nearby. Today, the tomb slabs restored in 2002 can be seen on the walls. The images depict knights in magnificent raiment and are shockingly drastic. Some of the figures are being eaten by worms; one image depicts the transience of all earthly life.

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