Chapter house in Bebenhausen Monastery

A mysterious tomb slabThe tomb slabof the count palatine

In violation of the rules of the Cistercian order, Count Palatine Rudolf I von Tübingen was buried in the chapter house of Bebenhausen Monastery in 1219. His tomb slab has neither a coat of arms nor an inscription that would indicate that this is the former benefactor of the abbey.

Tomb slab with the coat of arms of the counts palatine of Tübingen in Bebenhausen Monastery

The coat of arms of the counts palatine on another undated tomb slab.

A burial against the rules

The grave of Rudolf I lies in the northeast corner of the chapter house, directly in front of the entrance to the Chapel of St. John. The sandstone slab of the crypt measures 174 x 72 centimeters. It has no decoration at all and lies flush with the floor. It is possible that this was done to disguise the violation of the rules of the order. It is documented that the crypt was opened several times over the centuries. When it was shut again, however, its slab seems to have been accidentally flipped over, meaning that its underside is now on top.

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