Fulda Monastery, Germany
Established in 743/44, Fulda was a Benedictine monastery in Hesse-Nassau
that grew rich from pilgrimages to the grave of St. Boniface and gained
renown as an intellectual center as its library grew. Sts. Boniface and
Sturmius founded the house as a training school and base for missionaries
whom Charlemagne sent to the Saxons. Soon after the death of Boniface,
Fulda became an important destination for pilgrims, and about a century
after its founding, the abbot Rabamus Maurus increased the intellectual
riches of the monastery through its school, scriptorium, and library,
which, at its peak, held approximately 2,000 manuscripts. It preserved
works such as Tacitus' Annales, and the monastery is
considered the cradle of Old High German literature.
The abbots of Fulda became in the X Century the abbot general of the
Benedictines in Germany and Gaul. In the XII Century, they became imperial
chancellors and in the XIII Century, princes of the empire. Fulda was the
center of monastic reform during the reign of Henry II.
The prestige of Fulda declined in succeeding centuries, although it had a
brief revival in the late XVII Century. The monastery was secularized in
1802 after the Treaty of Paris but became an episcopal see in 1829.
Karen Rae Keck
Return to St Pachomius Library.