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The Lorsch Abbey

The Lorsch Abbey near Worm was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 due to its great historical and cultural value as one of the first establishments of the Carolingian art.

The Lorsch Abbey visitors can be attracted by two things:

  • although the Abbey was not saved the remained ruins – the King’s Hall and the tithe barn - have perfectly preserved the original Carolingian architecture;
  • the Lorsch Abbey library of the early medieval times has become famous all over the world after presenting the Lorsch Gospels;

From the historical viewpoint the Lorsch Abbey is very interesting place of investigation and exploration as it is the site of the ancient legends about Nibelungs, Emperor Charlemagne’s life and the beginning of the Germany history.

The King’s Hall ruins have remained the original walls with the primary paintings which were covered by the eight others during later centuries. The scientists have recently discovered the first deepest layer of painting and are now renewing them to present to its visitors. Next, the two original early medieval coffins remained although a little damaged. One of the coffins is supposed to belong to the Charlemagne’s heir, Luis the German, while another coffin is suggested to be the burial place of the legendary Siegfried, the Nibelung.

It is without a doubt that the Lorsch Abbey became the symbol of Carolingian art and the world-famous site after the Lorsch Gospels presentation resulting the scholars’ investigation of the Vatican library books. The Lorsch Gospels date back to the forth century and their wealthy golden and silver incrustations with ivory covers were possible due to the Charlemagne’s special attention to this Abbey – in 774 the Emperor Charlemagne gave it the special royal protection. Although the Gospels were separated and bought by different persons during the centuries in 1964 the whole Lorsch Gospels were presented at Aachen exhibition.

Another significant historical document known as an Annal of the Lorsch Abbey and kept by the Abbey monks dates back to the 8 th century and contains the original history of the Merovingian era.

Such significant manuscripts created at the Lorsch Abbey and the original architecture of the Carolingian art could not help attracting the world society great attention including world organizations such as UNESCO.

Related links:

The Lorsch Abbey website

© 2005