While I was thinking about resuming our little virtual tour of Lutheran monasteries, it occurred to me that all of the places we have visited so far have had monks, not nuns. So, with that mind, our next stop is Isenhagen Abbey, a convent for Lutheran women.
Located in the Lower Saxony region of Germany, the convent dates back to the year 1243, when it was founded as a friary for Cistercian monks. The friary burned down only 16 years later, and when it was rebuilt in 1262, it changed to a convent. The convent moved to its current location in Hankensbuttel in 1329. At the time of the Reformation in Germany, the convent became a home for Lutheran nuns.
The Gothic buildings of the Abbey are the home of a collection of medieval furniture and works of art. The interior contains carved and painted altars, sculptures, as well as paintings for private devotions. A slideshow of the beautiful interior of the Abbey can be found at this link on their website: http://www.kloster-isenhagen.de/fotos.html
Women who enter the Abbey are typically in their 60s, and have retired from their previous occupations. When an interested woman desires to enter the convent, she must first go to the Abbess. If the aspirant fits into the community, she lives in the monastery for trial periods of time, such as weekends and weeklong stretches. Eventually, the aspirant has a final meeting with the Abbess, and it is decided whether or not she will be included in the community.
In case of positive decision, she will then move to one of the simple rooms in the Abbey for a probationary period. In the event of a successful completion of the probationary period, the nun is welcomed via a solemn introduction into the community. The Church's blessing is given by the parish priest and the Abbess, in the presence of guests from her family, as well as the public.
From their website, it was unclear to me whether they follow a specific monastic rule, such as the Rule of St. Benedict, but the site does mention that the nuns come together each day for prayer and devotions. The primary duties of the nuns revolve around taking care of the grounds, and offering guided tours of the Abbey to visitors.
For more information and pictures of the Abbey, their website (which is in German - hopefully Google's translator did not lead me too far astray) is located here: