The baroque building complex of the Noble Misses' Convent was built between 1733 and 1741 and was founded by the Swedish Queen Ulrike Eleonore.
The Adlige Fräuleinstift was founded in 1733 under the self-designation "Bahrtisches Closter"; another contemporary designation is "Adliges Jungfrauenkloster". However, it was not a convent, but a foundation for the care of unmarried daughters mainly from noble families of the region.
Comparable institutions existed in Bergen auf Rügen, Stralsund (former convent of St. Annen and Brigitten), Ribnitz (former convent of the Poor Clares, today the Amber Museum) as well as in numerous other places. They emerged from convents that were dissolved in the course of the Reformation. In many cases, the nuns living here came from families who destined their unmarried daughters for the clerical state, as their remaining in the family was not possible for economic reasons. With the introduction of the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries, this possibility of provision ceased to exist. One way was the transformation of the monasteries into secular foundations.
While entry into the monasteries was connected with the taking of vows as a lifelong decision, the collegiate ladies did not take vows. They could leave the convent without special permission in case of marriage or other personal reasons. Although life in the convent was subject to strict rules, it was possible to leave the premises during the day, there was leave of absence and the possibility to be absent for a maximum of three months each year upon request. A prioress watched over the observance of the monastery rules; the first head of the monastery was Philipina Luise von Wackenitz with the rank of abbess.
In Barth there was no predecessor institution, because according to the regulation of 1255 no monasteries were founded in the town (Town foundation and early town history of Barth). The way to the foundation of the noble Barth monastery was cleared in 1726, after the Swedish King Frederick, with the direct participation of Queen Ulrika Eleonora, donated the land and the existing remains of the Barth castle to the knighthood, as well as granted permission to cut timber in the Kgl. forest on the Darß. Thus, the monastery was located on the area that had been the site of the city quarters of the Princes of Rügen, later the Dukes of Pomerania (Jaromar II, Barnim XIII) since around 1255.
On August 3, 1733 the first conventuals moved into the buildings. Each conventual lady, unmarried and thus unprovided for women, had an apartment with 4 rooms with adjoining rooms and a garden plot at her disposal. To ensure the maintenance there were fixed salaries. As a rule, the right to later entry into the monastery was purchased at birth, but by far not all of those entitled ever made use of this.
After World War II, the nuns found themselves in a difficult situation. Refugees had to be accommodated in the buildings and with the land reform they lost the estates from which the monastery acquired part of its income. The ladies of the convent had to leave their homes temporarily, but were soon able to return. In May 1948 the convent was abolished and fell to the church. In 1974 the buildings were handed over to the city, and in 1978 the last convent lady, Anna-Louise von Stumpfeld, left the premises. The last prioress, Katharina von Hagenow (1882-1952) was buried in the Barth cemetery; the Barth Gymnasium (Uhlenflucht 5) is named after her.
The building complex of the monastery presents itself as a three-winged complex made of plastered bricks. The elongated main building consists of a raised central part, with a wide central risalit with triangular gable and bell tower. On both sides, ten-axis building parts with high mansard roofs adjoin. In addition, there are two nine-axis wings enclosing the courtyard on three sides. The entire building complex is surrounded by an unplastered brick wall, within which is a round-arched gateway with a crowning Swedish royal coat of arms, and next to it is the reconstructed gatekeeper's house.
From 1985 to 1994 there was a kindergarten in some parts of the building. Since 2001, the complex, which has been renovated in accordance with the preservation order, has housed apartments suitable for the elderly as well as rooms for exhibitions and cultural events.
The two-winged baroque complex is the only Swedish foundation on German soil.