History in brief

1229 Foundation of the convent in the grounds of Mansfeld castle;
1258 The convent is moved to the village of Helfta near Eisleben in Thuringia;
1342 Destruction of the buildings and devastation of the grounds by Duke Albrecht
Albrecht of Brunswick;
1343 The convent (New-Helfta) is rebuilt within the town wall of Eisleben;
(1483 - 1546) Martin Luther, rebell and reformer was born and died in Eisleben.

1525 During the peasant uprising and the course of Reformation New Helfta again falls victim to destruction. A few nuns try to re-establish monastic life among the ruins of the original convent buildings at Helfta until
1542 Helfta is secularised and the land is administered by local landlords; it falls into disrepair;
1712 all farmland passes into the hands of the Prussian government and is turned into a State farm;
1950 The land is returned to the people of the GDR and becomes a communally administered fruit farm. The ruined convent-buildings and the remains of the church are being used as stables and garages;
1994 all buildings and about 30 acres are bought by the re-established diocese of Magdeburg, the sale was financed entirely by donations from Western and Eastern German catholics collected by »Friends of Helfta«;
1998 Restoration work, archeological excavations and rebuilding of the convent of Helfta begin;
1999 Cistercian Nuns from Seligenthal, Bavaria move into the new convent.

St. Marien zu Helfta (St. Mary’s of Helfta) is the famous 13th century Cistercian convent in Helfta which was known as »The Crown of German Convents«. Three women founded the fame of Helfta. All three living as Religious in the convent: Mechtild of Magdeburg, Mechtild of Hakeborn, Gertrud (the Great) of Helfta.