The monastery was funded by Przemysł 1st duke of Great Poland about 1250. It gained its final form about 1700 with the efforts of abbess Katarzyna Mielżyńska. The alterations were done by designs of Jan Catenazzi, possibly with use of XIII century walls. After the monastery partially burned on great Friday 1720 the alterations were finished by Pompeo Ferrari. After another fire in 1773 the Monastery was rebuilt again and expanded with additional wings. A second floor was added in the years 1875-77. After 1773 additional wings were added to the west and south but those were demolished around 1890. The monastery is built as a square with an internal garden area in the middle. The garden is surrounded by a cloister with cross-barrel vaults. The north-western corner of the old refectory is covered by a through vault with stucco ornaments. The main facade of the building, despite the XIX century modifications still bears some marks of the original designs of Jan Catenazzi and Pompeo Ferrari from the beginning of XVIII century.
In 1838 the monastery was turned into a Prussian psychiatric hospital (referred to as “old” after opening the new one as Kolejowa street). After WWII the building housed a home for blind children, which in 1978 was turned into a Special Purpose School. On 18.10.1996 a plaque was unveiled on the monastery wall next to the entrance, commemorating all the psychiatric hospital patients murdered by the Nazis.
Next to the monastery square, opposite the entrance to the church there stands an old baroque home for the clergy, built by Jan Catenazzi and finished by Pompeo Ferrari. The house contained the presbytery until about 1821 then became the office of the psychiatric hospital. In the years 1835-38 it was connected to the monastery by a roofed pathway.
To the north of the church there stands the so called director’s home, built for to the head of the psychiatric hospital. It was designed in late neoclassical style in the years 1835-38, by the architect Steudender.
Currently the monastery buildings are occupied by a Special Purpose School for Vision-Impaired Children in Owińska. Little remains of its Cistercian heritage, however anyone who wants to see it with their own eyes can do it. All it takes is organizing a group and contacting the current head of the facility – Maria Tomaszewska at 61 812 04 86 or 61 812 67 37.