Söflingen Abbey was a nunnery of the Order of Poor Ladies, also known as the Poor Clares, the Poor Clare Sisters, the Clarisse, the Minoresses, or the Second Order of St. Francis. It was situated in the village of Söflingen, now part of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Being the oldest nunnery of this order in Germany, it was also its most important and most affluent.
Söflingen Abbey originated from a pre-Franciscan congregation of women that had acquired the rights over three farmsteads close to the river Danube near Ulm. It was for the first time mentioned in 1237. Soon the original location became inadequate being too small to house a growing number of nuns. Its exposed position close to the river Danube also meant that it was vulnerable during the political upheaval in the reign of Emperor Frederick II and before 1253 a decision was made to move the congregation to Söflingen. In 1254 and in 1259 Hailwigis was mentioned as being the first abbess. At the same time, in 1252, nuns from Söflingen and Ulm were sent out to found a new convent at Pfullingen . The relocation to Söflingen was actively assisted by Countess Willibirgis of Helfenstein, a member of the noble family of Dillingen by birth, and finally confirmed when, on 13 January 1258, Hartmann IV, Count of Dillingen, signed a charter donating lands at Sevelingen, previously owned by the counts of Dillingen, to the nuns in order to found a monastery there.
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