Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch (1991)
Germany

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The abbey, together with its monumental entrance, the famous 'Torhall', are rare architectural vestiges of the Carolingian era. The sculptures and paintings from this period are still in remarkably good condition. 

One of the most important relics of pre-Romanesque architecture in Germany is the world-famous Kingshall of Lorsch. Although its date of origin is not known nor what its funktion was, the magnificant decoration on its facade and in the upper storey are, so to speak, representative of the quality of the lost building substance of the greatest imperial monasteries of the Franconian Empire: Lorsch Abbey. 

Germany 1964. "Torhalle" in Lorsch (Hessen), Germany.

Germany 1966. Torhalle, Lorsch.

  • Germany 1964. "Torhalle" in Lorsch (Hessen), Germany. Scott # 9N217. 
    Scott Standard 2002 notes that # 9N215-N9218 + 9N221 (in the same series) were issued in sheets of 100 and in coils. Every fifth coil stamp has a black control number on the back, making it possible to decide whether a numbered stamp comes from a sheet or a coil. 

  • Germany 1966. Idem. Scott # 9N228. There is no particular note about this issue. 


Founded on a small island in the river Weschnitz around 760, moved to a nearby sand dune before 774, with privileges conferred on it by Charlemagne, Lorsch rapidly changed from the nobility's own small monastery to an important monastic centre east of the Thine possessing extensive lands between the North Sea and the Alps. As a cultural centre and as a factor of politics in the early and high Middle Ages the abbey developed its effectiveness for beyond the closer regional framework. 

The end of the Benedictine era in 1231 and increasing losses of monastic lands to the bobility heralded the slow demise of the abbey, which was dissolved in 1557 in the course of the Reformation. In 1621 the buildings were destroyed and pulled down except for a few remains. The gatehouse or Kingshall, the remains of a Romanesque Church, the rithe barn, the abbey walls are still standing as a reminder of the former size of the establishment. The visitor is given some idea of the former glorey from a informative sculpure collection, significant volumes from the former abbey library housed today in more than 50 places troughout the world and a depoartment of Lorsch mudeum centre dedicated to the early mediaeval monastic culture of Central Europe. 

The abbey site, looked after since 1967 by the Administration of the Castles and Gardens in the State of Hesse, fite in with the townscape of Lorsch which is characterized by numerous half-timbered buildings. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 13 jul 2007  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
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