Schönau Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 from Eberbach Abbey. The present settlement of Schönau grew up round the monastery. By the end of the 12th century Schönau was already in use as a burial place of the Staufen family: in 1195 Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Count Palatine of the Rhine, was buried here, as were his son of the same name, probably in 1186, and both his wives. Adolf, Count Palatine of the Rhine (d. 1327), Rupert II, Elector Palatine (d. 1398) and other members of the family were also buried here. Conrad II, Bishop of Hildesheim, died here and was presumably also buried here. In the 14th century Schönau was also the burial place of the Counts of Erbach.

During the Reformation the abbey was dissolved, in 1558. The empty buildings were occupied in 1562 by Huguenot refugees from Wallonia, to whom Schönau gave rights of residence.

Physical remains of the abbey include the abbey church of c. 1230, and also the abbey gateway (c. 1200), the former refectory, and the 'Walloon forge' (the former abbey forge, renovated by the Huguenot refugees from Wallonia after 1558).

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Founded: 1142
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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