Here history meets an enchanting monastery complex
The former Cistercian monastery in Falkenhagen was founded in 1247. That year an existing monastery called Burchhagen was moved there. We know from book history that the entire monastery complex was under construction in 1254 and that outside help was needed. In 1407 the monastery was destroyed in the Everstein feud, and only a few nuns lived there and fled to neighboring monasteries. The monastery lay desolate for about 20 years until some monks from the order of the Wilhelmites from Witzenhausen were recruited for Falkenhagen von Paderborn, but they could not hold Falkenhagen for economic reasons and withdrew after about 5 years.
This is the beginning of the history of the 3rd order, which settled in Falkenhagen, the order has left behind the most important architectural and art-historical works. It was about the Order of the Knights of the Cross, founded around 1210/1215 in Huy (now Belgium).
The construction of the monastery complex began in 1443. But two setbacks made the convent very difficult: the Soest feud in 1447 and a fire in 1479.
Cloister courtyard and cloister garden
The most important prior in Falkenhagen was Heinrich von Bocholt, whose term of office lasted from 1457 to 1495. During his priory he brought the monastery to great economic and spiritual prosperity. At that time it was probably the largest monastery of the Knights of the Cross, almost 90 religious lived in the complex, the monastery owned 650 ha of land. Old, almost extinct villages in the area, such as Niese, Sabbenhausen, Köterberg, Hummersen and Wörderfeld, awoke to new life, and more than 20 farm buildings were grouped around the monastery.
In the years from 1596 to 1604 the monastic life in Falkenhagen was continued by a 4th order. The Paderborn prince-bishop Theodor von Fürstenberg built a residence for the Jesuits.
During the 30 Years War (1618–1648) the monastery was also damaged. In 1631 an important Jesuit stayed in the monastery: Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld, he is considered the most important Catholic hymn poet of the 17th century. In terms of history, Spee also became known for his educational work against the persecution of witches with his famous work "Cautio Criminalis" (legal concerns about the witch trials).
The monastery complex still consists of the actual monastery church with the cloister as well as the remter (building with the chapter house and dining room of the monks) and the former dormitory (priory). The latter building is considered to be the oldest dated half-timbered house in Lippe, dating from 1509.