The Kirchberg convent is considered to be one of the most historically important religious buildings in Baden-Wuerttemberg. It also ranks as one of the oldest, having been built in the early 13th century, and one of the first female church houses in central Europe.
The Kirchberg monastery was a convent built in 1237, on the site of a former castle. In 1245 the monastery was recognised by Pope Innocent IV. Over roughly the same period, the number of nuns entering the convent went from around ten to sixty. This rise in the population of the convent can be credited in part to the apparent surge of 'religious awareness', with more women (of every class) wanting to live the life of a nun or at least one of piety in order to ensure that they remained spiritually healthy. The convent continued its religious work for the next 500 years, despite the many changes that occurred in the area. However, after a secularisation that occurred in 1806, the monastery was virtually condemned to disuse: the nuns that were there were allowed to remain for the rest of their lives, but no more were allowed to join. The last nun left the monastery in 1865.
Today, the monastery is used as any normal church house. It is the centre of the societies of the Berneuchen Movement.References:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.