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Markt Heidenheim
  General information



Markt Heidenheim
     Wunibald and Walburga
In the year 752 Saint Wunibald founded a Benedictine monastery in Heidenheim. Wunibald came from the English royal house. His brother Willibald is to be considered as the first bishop of Eichstaett. The two brothers belonged to the Anglo-Saxon missionaries. The most famous of theses missionaries was Bonifatius who founded the dioceses of Eichstaett and Wuerzburg.
Until his death in the year 761 Wunibald held the office of the abbot of Heidenheim monastery. He found his final resting-place in the crypt of the monastery church.
The crypt was destroyed several centuries later, but the corpse of Wunibald was already transferred into a memorial in the church (1363) which can be looked at.

Successor of Wunibald was his sister Walburga. She founded a convent in addition to her brother’s monastery. So Heidenheim monastery was the only double monastery for monks and nuns outside of England at that time.
Many miracles are ascribed to Walburga. She turned out to be one of the most worshiped saints of the Christian Occident.

Local History of Heidenheim
In the middle of the 12th century the monastery returned to the rules of the Benedictine Order ("Heidenheim reform”).

Today's minster, the third monastery church, is a combination of Romanesque and Gothic elements. Especially the memorial slabs of Wunibald and Walburga are very impressive.

Willibald, Wunibald and Walburga who were next relatives to Bonifatius layed the foundation for an early Christianization of Franconia 1250 years ago. The monastery of Heidenheim is a cultural heir for both – Catholics and Protestants.