Land der Hildegard - Hildegard von Bingen

Historisches Museum am Strom Hildegard von Bingen

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Moving Plans

Her Life › Years of study in the hermitage › Moving Plans

Navigationsbaum: Her Life › Years of study in the hermitage › Moving Plans

Around the time that Hildegard’s visionary works were presented to the Pope (1147/1148), she changed her familiar life at the Disibodenberg. A look into her Vita discloses more: Hildegard was ill again, because she did not reveal a vision,

„that I must move together with my nuns from the place where I had been offered to God, to another place.“

This place was

„where the Nahe flows into the Rhine, a hill dedicated in days of old to the name of St. Rupert the Confessor.“

The place that is referred to here is the Rupertsberg near Bingen, the town Hildegard owes her epithet to.

There a probably several reasons why Hildegard made a move appear sensible. On the one hand, it became more crowded at the Disibodenberg. The Vita reports that Hildegard’s reputation made „numerous noble young ladies“ stream to her, and when the shelter „was no longer big enough for everyone“, an enlargement was already discussed. On the other hand, there would have been Hildegard’s increasing desire to be more independent. According to her religious understanding, it played an important role to be moderate, also with the regulation of the Benedictine rules. This is what fundamentally distinguished her from the strict asceticism of her former teacher Jutta. This new orientation, according to the assumptions of the historian Alfred Haverkamp, would have caused disputes between Hildegard and some members of the monk’s convent. Another motivation in leaving the Disibodenberg was its secluded location. As a prophet, Hildegard saw herself as the successor of the prophets of the Old and New Testament. These accomplished their mission without geographical limitations and interacted with numerous people in order to be able to fulfil their tasks. Only at a central place, which was located at the important communication and trade routes, did Hildegard see the opportunity to do the same. For her this location was Bingen. Located on the waterways Nahe and Rhine, connected by land with Mainz and Cologne, Trier, Koblenz, Metz and Worms, Bingen was a traffic junction of local and long distance transport. The town was comprised of a market and the archbishop’s palace in Bingen. The close distance to the Imperial Palace at Ingelheim as well as to the local powerful ministeriales promised a connection to the most significant power and communication bases of that time.