The founding legend tells of the former nunneries’ origin to a Brother called Johannes. He claimed divine guidance in his quest to build a new Cisterian convent.
Together with four nuns, Johannes founded the community in 1228 in Rostorf am Höhbeck.
Several relocations of the convent followed until its final settlement near the old village of Zellensen, today’s Medingen. The new church here was consecrated on the 24th of August, 1336. Most of the nuns were members of the leading families (Patrizier) of the nearby Hanseatic city of Lüneburg and numerous donations normally followed the acceptance of a woman to the convent.
In 1494 the former prioress Margarethe Puffen became the first Abbess. She was also the first head of the convent to use the still existing and still used crozier, made by Hermen Worm.
The Reformation, with an attempt to be introduced in Medingen, was met with great resistance by the convent. After long years of struggle, finally the Abbey was transformed in 1555 into a Protestant “Damenstift”.
Most of the convent buildings were destroyed in a fire in January 1781. The ruins demolished in 1782 were replaced by a modern architectonical interpretation in neo- classical style. Completed in 1788 the new buildings were consecrated on the 24th of August of that year.