In the year 1221 the Teutonic Order took over the hospital of Münzenberg firstly documented in 1193. This is when the history of the Order in Frankfurt began. Although at the same time six monasteries of other Orders were established in Frankfurt, the reputation of the Teutonic Order increased steadily. It enjoyed great popularity and trust in the population. It consequently received generous donations. The brothers of the order took great efforts for the beauty of the mass, cared for the ill and the poor as well as for foreigners and pilgrims. Part of these endeavours was also the erection of the St. Elisabeth’s chapel south of the Kommende in 1269/70, the furnishing of which – altar, goblet – was donated by pious believers. In 1309 the Order builds a “grand Church“.
The Kommende was rather significant for the Order at quite an early stage, since already in the 13th century at least 3 general chapters (highest executive committee of the Order) have taken place inside its walls. In 1324 nine Brothers Knights and four Brothers Priests lived here, in the 15th century there were in average eight to ten brothers; in 1513, under the supervision of the Komtur (commander) Walter von Cronberg – the later Grand Master – eight Brothers Knights and six Brothers Priests lived in the convent. In the ups and downs of the eventful history of the order and the town the convent was fixedly integrated in the economic and religious life of the town.
In the commotions of the reformation and the uproar in 1525 the Kommende was verbally threatened, however, it was spared any attacks. In the year 1530 there was again new turmoil in the town against the so-called Old Believers. From April 1533 until the Interim of Augsburg in 1548 no Catholic masses and other divine services were allowed, not even in the “Teutonic House”. Thereafter, the Kommende was a “Catholic island” in the Protestant-Lutheran surroundings of Frankfurt, since the brothers continued to provide their services. South of the river Main the Kommende was the only place where Catholics could co-celebrate church services and receive the sacraments.
In the years thereafter, the Kommende was repeatedly affected by wars. During the siege of Sachsenhausen in 1552, for instance, the church served as storeroom. During the Thirty Years’ War the Kommende was profaned (desecrated). After the loss of Prussia, Mergentheim became the new central office of the Order, and Sachsenhausen was increasingly subject to the times of fall. The Convent was most probably dissolved in the course of the 16th century, since after 1589 no priests of the Order were available anymore.
In 1709 the old house of the Order was torn down and newly erected in a baroque style in order to meet the requirements of the Knights of the upper nobility for a princely representation. This façade still coins the outer picture of the Kommende.
The Grand Master Clemens August of Bavaria, Elector of Cologne, redesigned the old, Gothic church in a baroque style around 1750. In 1803 the Grand Master Archduke Karl Ludwig rented out large parts of the Kommende to Prince Frederick August of Nassau-Usingen, as the city of Frankfurt failed to immediately comply with the demand of Napoleon to collect the property of the Teutonic Order. With the abolishment of the Teutonic Order by Napoleon on 24 April 1809 the history of the Order in the Kommende Frankfurt came to a temporary end. After the Congress of Vienna it was the only house in the countries of the Confederation of the Rhine that was given back to the Order.
On 16 March 1881 the Kommende passed to the ownership of the Catholic communities of Frankfurt. In World War II the building was heavily damaged already in the first major offensive. On 4 October 1943 the roof of the Order’s house burnt out, later further explosive bombs and firebombs fell on the debris field and left behind a ruin. Only after the reacquisition of the Kommende by the Teutonic Order was it rebuilt. The historical outer walls were refurbished; inside these walls the Deutschherrenbund erected a new complex of buildings. The new/old Kommende was consecrated on 16 May 1965 by the then Grand Master, Dr. Marian Tumler.