© Gerhard Weber

In 9 days

500 years of the nuns' flight: Family festival at the Nimbschen monastery ruins

At a glance

500 years ago, times were turbulent behind the thick monastery walls. It can be assumed that Martin Luther's writings did not pass by the Marienthron monastery near Grimma without leaving a trace. But it remains forever hidden what exactly had prompted Katharina to flee at Easter 1523. She knew that she was facing a severe punishment. Katharina von Bora was born in 1499. At a young age she came as a novice to the Cistercian convent "Marienthron" in Nimbschen. Her stay in Grimma is the first documented evidence. She received lessons, learned for life. A privilege. Religious life in the large monastery provided theoretical and practical knowledge in herbalism and medicine as well as in agriculture and home economics. At the age of 16, she took her vows as a nun. At the age of 24 she fled. In Wittenberg she married Martin Luther.
On the night of Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday 1523, Leonhard Koppe, a merchant from Torgau, drove up to Nimbschen with two younger relatives and took the young women with him on his covered wagon. Numerous legends entwine around the escape of peculiar cunning and herring barrels as a hiding place.

The 500th anniversary after the spectacular escape will be celebrated by the town of Grimma on Holy Saturday, 8 April, with a family festival including a new interpretation of Philipp Hallbauer's dramatic theatre performance from 1894. The festival, which will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., is framed by medieval market hustle and bustle. Artists and craftsmen will present old handicrafts. Guided tours about the history of the Marienthron Monastery are offered. A small exhibition about Katharina von Bora will be on display in the chapel at the monastery ruins. On display are objects, pictures and souvenirs connected with Katharina von Bora.

On Easter Sunday, 9 April, the traditional Easter concert of the Grimma Youth Orchestra will take place at the ruins at 2.30 pm.

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Klosterruine Nimbschen
Nimbschener Landstraße 1
04668 Grimma

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