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Lorsch and Altenmünster - The Search for the Lost Abbey, Germany

The Lorsch Imperial Abbey was founded in 764 under the name of Altenmünster. Over the centuries, subsidized with gifts from Charlemagne and his successors, the Benedictine monks raised their imperial abbey to fame and glory. What remains of the Lorsch Abbey today is hardly adequate to convey and impression of its onetime greatness or importance. At most, the two-storey gatehouse, known as the King’s Hall, gives some hint of its past splendor. With architecture typical of the Carolingian Era, it is of exceptional art-historical significance. The facades are generously faceted, the ornamentation of red and white sandstone reflects an elegance and harmony; its mosaic structure is indicative of Mediterranean origins.