Before becoming a museum, from the Middle Ages up to the French Revolution, Unterlinden was a convent.
In around 1230, two noblewomen, Agnes of Mittelnheim and Agnes of Hergheim, decided to found a monastery in a district to the north-west of the city of Colmar, known as Sub tilia (“under the linden trees”, in German “unter (den) linden”). The convent of the Dominican sisters of Unterlinden was a major centre of Rhineland mysticism. It was marked by intense artistic, spiritual and economic development in the 13th and 14th centuries. Reformed in the 15th century, it continued its rise, thanks in particular to the links it forged with the region’s prominent families.