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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków
VOIVODESHIP: zachodniopomorskie
DISTRICT: Kamień Pomorski
DIOCESE: szczecińsko-kamieńska
FOUNDATION: ok.1288 r.

History of the abbey

The convent of the Cistercian nuns in Wolin was founded by Prince of Szczecin, Bogusław IV. The nuns were brought here from the convent in Szczecin. Soon, daughters of the nearby knight families, and later on from well-known middle-class families from Kamieniec and Wolin were joining the convent.
In February 1288 the bishop of Kamieniec, Herman approved the patronage over Wolin's parish in order to found a new cloister. The foundation document was written out on 20th February 1288 in Űckermiinde.
At first, the area of the future convent was marked out outside the city walls near the harbour.
The first endowment consisted of the patronage over the St. Nicholas in Wolin (the grant was confirmed in 1297 by the Bishop of Kamieniec, Piotr), the church of St. George and St. Michael near the town. The founder also gave them the right to fish in Dziwnów and Zalew Szczeciński. The village of Płocin and the lands where the cloister was situated were also in the hand of the convent.
In the foundation document there was a clause that forbade settling down other cloisters in Wolin without convent's approval. Beside the princes there was no one who had the right to build altars, curacies, chapels, churches or hospitals. Apart from that the nuns could have their own craftspeople, weavers, shoemakers and gravediggers. In 1299 they gained judiciary and economic exemptions.
In 1306 the location of the cloister was changed so that it was now situated within the town in the immediate neighbourhood of prince's castle.
With time the convent of Wolin systematically enlarged its properties by taking grants, exchanges and purchases. The grants were meager, but dowries were quite significant especially if the nuns were from prince's and magnate's families. In the end they were in the possession of 11 villages. In 1288 they got the right to fish in Dziwnów, and between Wolin and Darzowice and Laski.
In 1386 the Cistercian nuns were exempted from fare for fishing in the Szczecińska Bay. In 1429 they had the right to fish with small nets by peasants from Kopie and Świętowice.
Prince Bogusław IV in May 1302 granted Bukowo lands and the patronage over the church in Krummin to his daughter, Judyta, and other nuns from Wolin on condition that the convent of Wolin would found a new branch. Thus the year of 1302 is the date when the cloister in Krummin was founded. As his daughter's endowment, Prince Bogusław IV exempted the nuns from paying liabilities, confirmed the right of patronage, granted judiciary, and exempted the citizens from services but the defense of the country.
In 1338 Pope Benedict XII confirmed the patronage over the churches in Sibin, Koniewo, Mierzęcin, Unin, Laski and the churches of St. George and St. Nicolas, and St. Michael in Wolin.
In 1477 Princess Maria, the later abbess of the cloister, was sent to the convent. She was probably the youngest sister of Prince Bogusław X who united the principality of West-Pomerania. Thanks to this the convent received villages of Jarzębowo and Kodrąb.
The Cistercian nuns from the convent of Wolin, similarly to other convents, embroidered and made liturgical vestments, as well as, they were rewriting and illuminating books and manuscripts and were educating noblewomen. They also run hospital-shelters which after the cloister was suppressed were also liquidated.
As the Reformation's influence grew the properties of the nuns were depleted mainly by the nobility. After the Sejm of Trzebiatowo in 1534/35 the cloister was secularized. Wolin's convent was suppressed and the properties were taken over by the Treasury. The buildings were joined with the buildings of the prince's castle and in some of them a shelter and educational institution were set up. The nuns had board and longings provided for the rest of their lives.
During the Brandenburgian siege of 1675 the fire destroyed the castle, cloister and the church, and in 1750 it was decided that these building would be pulled down and only the basement would be left.
On the basement of one of the castle's wings a mansion was built and on the former post-cloistral area a neo-gothic town hall was erected in 1880 and it is a place of residence of the town's authorities.

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey

Post-Cistercian objects have not survived until these days. Only a Gothic Church of St. Nicolas -a chapel over which the Cistercian nuns had a patronage.
It was built from the end of the 13th century to the 15th century, burnt down in 1945, and finally restored. There is a tombstone of the Cistercian nuns.

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