Niedermünster (Alsace), Convent of

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Former abbey of nuns in the Diocese of Strasbourg; founded before 710 by St. odilia, at the foot of the hill topped by her convent of mont sainte-odile. Gundelinde, niece of the foundress, was its first abbess. A famous relic of the true Cross was venerated at Niedermünster from Carolingian times until the 17th century, when it was transferred to the Jesuits at Molsheim. Niedermünster enjoyed its most brilliant era in the 13th century, but declined in the 14th. The abbey suffered partial destruction during the Peasants' Revolt (1525); it died out completely after a fire in 1542. Important ruins of the church, which had been consecrated in 1180, still remain.

Bibliography: m. barth, Die heilige Odilia, Schutzherrin des Elsass, 2 v. (Strasbourg 1938); Handbuch der elsässischen Kirchen im Mittelalter, 3 v. (Archives de l'Église d'Alsace NS 1113; Strasbourg 196063).

[j. choux]