100 years of monastery building

100 Jahre Klostergebäude

(Extract from the speech by the head of the foundation administration, Klaas-Peter Krabbenhöft, on 14/08/2004)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I first welcome you most warmly on behalf of the St John's Convent Foundation and its chairman, Herr Senator W Halbedel. In particular I would like to greet all the ladies of the convent living here and their relatives, friends and of course all guests. This day this year is something special for the foundation; the building behind you is celebrating its 100th anniversary. We would like to use this as an opportunity to spend a few entertaining hours together with you. Let me just say a few words about the history of the JJK Foundation; very few know that the JJK Foundation is one of the oldest foundations in Germany. The monastery was founded in 1173, therefore shortly after the foundation of Lübeck, by Bishop Henry I and manned by Benedictine monks from Braunschweig. The monastery itself lay in the area of the current-day Johanneum with gardens and lands as far as Wakenitz. As a so-called "double monastery" (dual monastery and convent), in addition to monks nuns were later accepted, which however turned out to be extremely reprehensible for monastic discipline and order. The pope soon made an end to these double standards under roof.... .

Over the course of the centuries the religious and spiritual centre of the city then became a civic institution where unmarried daughters of the leading echelons of society were educated. At the same time the council of Lübeck and the citizenry gained more and more influence. This was accompanied by an increase in the ownership of land. The foundation acquired a multitude of villages around Lübeck. In the year 1903 a new construction was begun on the present site which was adapted to the needs of the citizens' daughters living here. The building has survived the last century almost unmarked despite war and post-war turmoil. In postwar times with their corresponding shortage of housing even more than 40 convent ladies found their home in the convent. Today 20 of our female citizens live in the home for elderly ladies in apartments which have in the meantime been developed and modernised. Ladies living alone who have reached the age of 50 and do not belong to the millionaires of our city are taken in. Assisting this group of people is the purpose of the foundation. The foundation's property consists on the one hand of the convent building, on the other hand still of land in the form of forests, e.g. in Waldhusen, Beidendorf and Wulfsdorf; beyond Lübeck's convent forests in Schwinkenrade, Böbs and between Utecht and Schattin.... Thus far an outline of the history of the convent.

Now to the other order of the day: I have special pleasure in introducing the Big Band of the OzD under the direction of the music teacher Herr Hantke. They are going to entertain us for an hour, including the break. Also available for your physical well-being are a few small items which were kindly prepared partly by our ladies and are being offered by the staff of the foundation administration. For this I would like to thank everyone and wish everyone a lot of fun.

Go back