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Honourable patronage:

Bogdan Zdrojewski
Minister Kultury
i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Międzynarodowa Rada
Ochrony Zabytków

Fot. Andrzej M. Wyrwa
VOIVODESHIP: zachodniopomorskie
DISTRICT: choszczeński
COMMUNE: Pełczyce
DIOCESE: szczecińsko-kamieńska
DECANATE: Choszczno
FOUNDATION: ok.1290 r.

History of the abbey
      The first Cistercian nuns appeared in Pełczyce in 1282, and they came from the convent in Szczecin. They settled here probably thanks to Princess Matylda, Prince of Szczecin's widow.
      After they came, the nuns started to build a church on the bank of Panienińkie Lake. The church was finished in 1290 at the time when a document stating that it is a place of pilgrimages was written. Each person who visited this church or gave them donations was given 40 days of indulgence.
      In March 1290, margrave Albrecht III offered the nuns some properties of the Behr family with their castle on Panieńskie Lake where the convent had already been living, with a lake and people who lived there, nearby meadows, streams and farmland. Moreover, he gave them a cloistral church with its income. The bishop of Kamieniec, Jaromir additionally gave them the patronage over the church in Pełczyce.
      A year after the first grant of margrave Albrecht, the family of Wedel from Korytów were the next donators and in April 1291 they gave the nuns 6 fiefs in the village of Brzezina. The next grants were made once again by margrave Albrecht in 1293-these were lands in the village of Cossekkendorp, and in 1295 mills on the River Polka near Pełczyce and in the villages of Rakoniew, Cossekkendorp and Kukadło. Apart from that they were given a village of Żydowo and the land along the River Polka where they were allowed to build weirs. All these properties were confirmed in 1317 by Prince of Szczecin, Otto I.
      The 14th century was also full of various grants. For example, the nuns received villages of Niepołocko, Płonno, Nadarzyn, Równo and some lands in Brzeziny and Pełczyce. Mainly, these grants were from the brandenburgian margraves, Szczecin's princes, knights and king's clerks.
      Despite all those generous grants in the middle of the 14th century there was a crisis in cloister's economy. In 1359 the economic situation was so tragic that in order to save the convent, Jan, the Bishop of Kamieniec ordered to collect money in the parishes belonging to his diocese. Dowries from the girls' families were also of great help. The situation changed at the end of the 14th century due to the next grants made by the princes of Pomerania in 1376.
      The city council of Pełczyce also donated for the convent. At this time the convent held the monopoly in milling industry.
      Numerous grants which the convent received at the beginning of the 16th century constituted of about 10 villages, 8 lakes, 5 mills, meadows, woods and farmland. These properties made up a pithy complex which was easy to maintain and develop.
      The nuns in the convent of Pełczyce were enrolled from knights and bourgeois families. Daughters of peasants, who were in the convent, had to perform the hardest works. It was their work that improved the economic situation of the convent by cultivating lands, breeding sheep and goats, and milling crops. The nuns also made liturgical vestments and embroidered, they were rewriting and illuminating manuscripts.
      At the beginning of the 14th century they established a hospital-shelter. The money was mostly from inmates-lonely women who paid for care and help. Those who were not able to pay lived off the convent.
      After the introduction of the Reformation the convent was liquidated by the Margrave Jan of Kosztrzyn. It was probably in 1539. The nuns that lived there could live their as long as they wanted. The properties were handed over to the Family of Waldów and the post-cloistral objects were converted into a mansion after the death of the last nun.
      Before 1896 the church, eastern wing of the cloister and some other buildings were probably pulled down.    

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The Abbey today

Today of the abbey

          The building of the western wing of the cloister with beautiful vaults of the refectory has survived. Now it is the property of the Agricultural Market Agency. They made some efforts to renovate the cloistral object. It is going to become a recreational-culture producing centre in the Cistercian Route.

              The church has not survived until our times. It was pulled down. Unfortunately, the reasons why and when are not known. The same situation was with the eastern wing and farm building.

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