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The Power of Abbesses

Freiburg historians produce a historical anthology on all of Baden's abbeys in the medieval period

Freiburg, Jan 19, 2021

Those who lived in medieval abbeys enjoyed many privileges. They learned to read and write, compose manuscripts, and give themselves a voice. The University of Freiburg historian Prof. Dr. Jürgen Dendorfer and his team are reconstructing what life was like centuries ago in Baden's abbeys such as in St. Blasien, St. Peter, or in the abbey on the island of Reichenau. By the end of 2024, the team is aiming to present a book that for the first time covers the histories of all the nunneries and monasteries between the Black Forest, the Rhine, and Lake Constance. Dendorfer emphasizes the key role played of nunneries led by abbesses: "If you ask where women exercised power and control in medieval society, then women's abbeys are a very good example."