Imperial Abbey of Selz
Reichskloster Selz (de)
Abbaye impériale de Seltz (fr)
Imperial Abbey of the Holy Roman Empire
Coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg (lesser)
992–1481 Palatinate Arms
Capital Selz Abbey
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Founded by Adelheid 991
 -  Granted immunity
    by Otto III
 -  Mediatised to
    Electoral Palatinate
 - Abbey secularised 1803

Selz Abbey or Seltz Abbey is a former monastery and Imperial abbey in Seltz, formerly Selz,[1] in Alsace, France.

The Benedictine monastery, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was founded in about 991 by Adelheid, the second wife of Otto I and dowager empress, who was buried there on 16 December 999.[2]. In January 992 it was granted royal tuitio and immunity (the equivalent of the later Reichsunmittelbarkeit) by Otto III.[3]

The abbey suffered from severe floods in 1307. A new abbey was build between 1307 and 1315. A abbey's daughter house at Mirmelberg[4]. The relics of Saint Adelheid, which apparently survived the floods, were translated to the church of Saint Stephen in Seltz.

The abbey was eventually secularized in 1481 and the monks formed a college of canons operating as the chapter of Saint Stephen's (a mile away the abbey), retaining some of the privileges of the former foundation, although not all the possessions.

The chapter became Protestant in 1575 and was mediatised by the Electoral Palatinate[5]. Buildings of the abbey became a quarry at the beginning of the 17th century. The remaining building of the abbey became a reformed academy for young nobles in 1575. The academy was closed in 1577 because the new elector was Lutheran. The Protestant chapter reverted to a canonry in 1684 after Seltz was annexated by France (in 1680) and local population was converted to Roman Catholicism. It was dissolved by the bishop of Strasbourg (approved by the king of France) in 1692.

The Seltz parish was dissolved during the rule of the National Convention (1792–95) and the Saint Stephen church was burned by Austrians after the battle of Seltz, 23 October 1793. But the Saint Stephen church survived and the parish reborn during the French Consulate in 1801. The church was extensively rebuilt by the German Empire (which had annexated Alsace in 1870) for the occasion of the anniversary of the death of the Empress Adelaide in 1899.

The church was almost destroyed during World War II; restoration was completed in 1958.


  1. Selz is the German spelling, Seltz the French
  2. see Odilo of Cluny's Epitaph of Adelheid, chapter 20, in Sean Gilsdorf, Queenship and Sanctity: The Lives of Mathilda and the Epitaph of Adelheid (Catholic University of America Press, 2004)
  3. Monumenta Germaniae Historica DD Otto III, no. 79.
  4. was founded in 1197, and itself washed away by floods in 1469
  5. Übersicht über die Reichsstände


Coordinates: 48°53′42″N 8°6′28″E / 48.895°N 8.10778°E / 48.895; 8.10778