The Cistercian monastery was founded in 1153 in Neusass and moved in between 1157 and 1163 to the present location in Schöntal on the Jagst. The land for the new site was provided by the von Berlichingen family.
It was plundered several times and suffered severe damage during the German Peasants’ War in 1525. The monastery was besieged during the Thirty Years’ War and the monks were eventually forced to flee in 1631, abandoning what remained of the buildings to looting and plunder. In 1648 the premises were several times used as soldiers’ billets.
The abbey finally experienced a revival under abbot Benedikt Knittel (in office from 1683 to 1732). Under his leadership was built the Baroque abbey church, designed by Leonhard Dientzenhofer, in which Götz von Berlichingen is buried. The abbey was secularised in 1802, when it was taken over by the Kingdom of Württemberg. The furnishings and contents were removed to Stuttgart, and the buildings used initially for the accommodation of local government administration. Today the buildings are used by the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart as a centre for conferences, retreats and training.