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Fulda is a city in Hesse, Germany; it is located on the Fulda River and is the administrative seat of the Fulda district.


Early Middle Ages

The Benedictine monastery of Fulda (in what is now Hesse, Germany), was founded in 744 by Saint Sturm, a disciple of Saint Boniface as one of Boniface's outposts in the reorganization of the church in Germany.

The initial grant for the abbey was signed by Carloman, the son of Charles Martel. The support of the Mayors of the Palace and later, the early Pippinid and Carolingian rulers, was important to Boniface's success. Fulda also received support from many of the leading families of the Carolingian world. Sturm, whose tenure as abbot lasted from 747 until 779, was most likely related to the Agilofing dukes of Bavaria. Fulda also received large and constant donations from the Etichonids, a leading family in Alsace, and the Conradines, predecessors of the Salian Holy Roman Emperors. Under Sturm, the donations Fulda received from these and other important families helped in the establishment of daughter houses such as Johannesberg and Petersberg both near of Fulda

After his martyrdom by the Frisians, the relics of Saint Boniface were brought back to Fulda. So the donations to Fulda increased, and Fulda could establish daughter houses further away, for example in Hameln. Meanwhile Saint Lullus, successor of Boniface as archbishop of Mainz, tried to absorb the abbey in his archbishopric, but failed. This was one reason that he founded the abbey of Hersfeld, to limit the attempts of the enlargement of Fulda.

Between 790 and 819 the community rebuilt the main monastery church to more fittingly house the relics. They based their new basilica on the basilica (since demolished) of Saint Peter's in Rome, using the transept and crypt plan of that great pilgrimage church to frame their own saint as the "Apostle to the Germans". The crypt of the original abbey church still holds those relics, but the church itself has been subsumed into a Baroque renovation. A small, ninth century chapel remains standing within walking distance of the church, as do the foundations of a later women's abbey.

The great scholar Rabanus Maurus was abbot from 822 to 842.

"Fulda also lends its name to the "Fulda Gap", a geopolitical feature that was presumed to be the flashpoint of any conventional war between NATO and Soviet forces. The strategic importance of this region (along the old West/East German border) led to a long established US military presence (the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment) until 1994."


Last updated: 08-01-2005 01:02:39
Last updated: 08-26-2005 14:06:01