Fulda Local Customs

  • Bridge on the Autobahn A7
    Bridge on the Autobahn A7
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  • The Rhoenbahn still runs today...
    The Rhoenbahn still runs today...
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  • Fulda around 1550, Woodcut by H. R. Manuel
    Fulda around 1550, Woodcut by H. R....
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Best Rated Local Customs in Fulda

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    Catholic City

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    Dominican Monks

    For centuries, Fulda was a bastion of Catholic Religion. Fulda was a country of it's own within Germany, and under the authority of the Archbishop of Fulda, who answered to none other that the Pope, himself.
    Fulda was an episcopate state, a church-state if you will. It was only loyal to Holy Roman Emperor, so long he was in good-standing (that is, not ex-communicated at the time). Fulda was organized like a beehive, with hundreds of small abbeys and monasteries littering the countryside, who worked their fingers to the bone, tirelessly increasing the blessings (wealth) of the Bishop, who more often than not used to occupy himself with worldly interests instead of godly interests.
    This is why the Episcopate of Fulda was often feared in medieval times. Besides brandishing the fear of the threat of ex-communication, heresy, and witchcraft, they could and did impose a military threat to their neighbors by welding a sizeable army. Not that a Bishop could actually command an army, being a servant of Christ. He usually got around it, by employing a Vogt – a Bishop’s Captain of the Guard, or a Zentgraf – a church tax collector, or a Schultheiß – magistrate and judge for church subjects.
    Even today, the Bishop of Fulda’s opinion is still highly respected today when it comes to modern-day religious and social issues. One thing that will become very apparent when you visit Fulda – it’s not unusual to see monks and nuns walking around in their traditional order dress.

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    History Timeline Part I

    by Weissdorn Updated Sep 20, 2002

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    How the Cathedral used to look

    744
    Sturmius, a follower of Boniface (Wynfreth), founded a Benedictine Monastery on March 12th, and became the first Abbot. It was built on the site where the Fulda Cathedral stands today.

    748
    The Fulda Monastery School was recorded in history for the first time.

    751
    The first monastery church was built, and the alter was dedicatd to St. Boniface In the same year, Boniface was able to get the monastery exempt from the Bishop’s authority, and be only directly responsible to the Pope in Rome.

    754
    Boniface was murdered on June 6th near Dokkum in Friesia (the Netherlands) and was buried in his favorite monastery in Fulda on July 9th, which was visited by many pilgrims. Thanks to the many donations, this monastery was destined to become one of the most powerful in the German-speaking countries.

    774
    The Fulda Monastery was put under the worldly authority of Charlemange, and only responsible to the Holy Roman Emperor.

    777
    Charlemagne donated the City of Hammelburg to the Fulda Monastery. The donation certificate is the oldest royal edict in Germany today, and very famous.

    779
    The first Fulda Abbot, Sturmius, died on December 17th. At this time 336 monks were living in the monastery, which wasn’t only growing itself – new satellite monasteries were springing up all over the countryside.

    782
    Charlemagne visited the Fulda Monastery.

    791
    The Abbot Ratgar began to build a Basilica for the monastery.

    819
    The Basilica was completed and consecrated by the Arch Bishop Haistulf of Mainz. It was the largest church north of the Alps.

    819 - 822
    A small church was built in the monastery cemetery, which became famous later – St. Michael’s. The crypt is one of the oldest church buildings in Germany today.

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    History Timeline Part II

    by Weissdorn Updated Sep 20, 2002

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    Abbot Rabanus Maurus

    822
    The first golden age of Fulda dawned. Rabanus Maurus became the Abbot of Fulda. Under the direction of the "Teacher of Germany" the monastery library gained fame. During this period, it possessed 2000 scrolls, which were mostly produced in the scribe workshops in the monastery, and transcribed works from antique authors, including the one of oldest written work in the Germanic language, the Hildebrandslied.
    The monastery school became one of the intellectual centers of Europe. Their most famous student was Einhard, the advisor and biographer of Charlemagne.

    842
    Rabanus Maurus renounced his office for political reasons. Five years later, he became Archbishop of Mainz. He died on February 4, 856 in Winkel in the Rheingau.

    852
    One a monastery document, the name "villa fuldensis" (Village of Fulda) appeared for the first time. Although this was probably a settlement of serfs, living northwest and southeast of the monastery, free craftsmen and merchants also settled in this area.

    937
    The basilica and the monastery were nearly completely destroyed by fire.

    948
    The rebuilt church was consecrated in the presence of King Otto I.

    1019
    Fulda was granted the privileges to mint coins, hold a market, and collect customs and duties by Emperor Henry II.

    1020
    Pope Benedict VIII and Emperor Henry II visited the Fulda Monastery, which the Emperor donated to the Pope.

    1103
    Portions of Fulda and the old city pastorial church were consumed by fire.

    1114
    For the first time, the expression "civitas fuldensis" (Town of Fulda) was seen appearing on coins.

    1123
    Bands of robbers attacked Fulda.

    1134
    Fulda was designated for the first time as "urbanus fuldensis” (City of Fulda). Officially Fulda was never granted the privilege to call itself a city.

    1145
    A fire raged through Fulda. It caused uncontrollable inflation and starvation. Robber raids were also the order of the day. The monastery started to decay morally and economically.

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    History Timeline Part III

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    Frederick II

    1150
    With Abbot Marquard I (1150 - 1165), things started looking up for the monastery and the city. He reformed the monastery economy, improved water distribution and vanquished the marauding bands of robbers. In order to prevent future raids, he equipped the city with a surrounding wall and a set of watch towers.

    1157
    In Fulda a Reichstag (Imperial Parliament Session) took place with Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In his presence the east section of the basilica was consecrated on Palm Sunday, which had collapsed in 1120 when a damaged bell tower had fallen on it.

    1220
    Abbott Kuno received, along with other Imperial Abbots, the sovereign authority for the Abbey lands from King Frederick II, and thus became an Imperial Prince. From this day on, Fulda was governed by “Prince Abbots”.

    1261
    After Prince Abbot Henry IV of Erthal (1249 - 1261) had attacked the robber barons, Prince Abbot Bertho II of Leibolz topped him: he destroyed 15 castles – among them Blankenwald, Ebersberg, Eisenbach and Frankenstein.

    1271
    Through the conspiracy of the robber baron who was battling him, Prince Henry IV was murdered in the chapel of the old Abbey Castle during mass. Although the murderers were caught and executed, the Fulda Abbot Princes had to continuously engage in battle against the robber barons.

    1331/32
    A peasant uprising took place in Fulda, which was crushed.

    1348
    The plague came to Fulda; not only in this year, but in 1350 and 1364.

    1398
    The Radgar Basilica was partially destroyed by a lightning bold. It took more than 30 years to rebuild it.

    1427
    On the Münster Field near Fulda, a battle took place. It was the result of an on-going feud between the Archbishop of Mainz and the Hessian Landgraves and the City of Fulda.

    1493
    The "Reformer of Hesse", Adam Kraft, was born in Fulda, who taught Luther’s Preachings in the City Pastorial Church in 1523.

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    History Timeline Part IV

    by Weissdorn Updated Sep 20, 2002

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    Fulda around 1550, Woodcut by H. R. Manuel

    1525
    During the Farmers’ Revolt, the Michaelsberg, Frauenberg, Neuenberg and Petersberg monasteries were destroyed. With the help of the Hessian Landgraves, the revolt was crushed.

    1531
    The old City Hall was expanded.

    1542
    Prince Abbot Philipp Schenk to Schweinsberg (1541 - 1550) issued an edict, inspired by the theologist Georg Witzel, who is a defender for non-denominationship, for a Reformation Order, which ignored the edict issued by the Second Vatican Council. The progressive ideas were neither popular or continued.

    1552
    An army commanded by Duke Christoph of Oldenburg plundered Fulda.

    1571
    With the arrival of the Jesuits in Fulda, who took over the Fransician Church and Monastery, the Counter-Reformation began.

    1572
    Fulda’s oldest club was founded – the Fulda Shooting Society.

    1578
    The plague returned to Fulda.

    1603
    More than 100 men and women were accused of practicing witchcraft, subsequently tortured and burned during the next three years by the Fulda Zentgraf (Church Sheriff), Balthasar Nuß. In 1606 Nuß was charged with crimes against outstanding citizens, and was hanged in 1618.

    1607
    From this year until 1612, the Abbot Castle was rebuilt in Renaissance Style.

    1618
    The second oldest newspaper in Germany , the "Fuldaische Postreuther" was published. It appeared until 1630.

    1622
    The 30 Year War raged. In the following den two decades Fulda would be repeatedly plundered and burnt. Unfortunately most of the famous monastery library fell victim to this violence. The population sank from 6210 inhabitants in the year 1600 to 2780 inhabitants in 1648, when the Westphalia Peace Treaty was finally signed.

    1678
    Prince Abbot Placidus of Droste (1678 - 1700) was a thrifty man, and was able to scrupulously save money, to save the ecclesiastical kingdom. He made it possible to save enough money for the monastery to erect a number of wonderful Baroque buildings in the 18th century.

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    History Timeline Part V

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    Old Drawing of the Cathedral

    1700
    The economic boom made it possible to replace the decaying Ratgar Basilica with a new building. Prince Abbot Adalbert of Schleiffras (1700 - 1714) contracted the Architect Johannes Dientzenhofer from Bamberg.

    1704
    After most of the old basilica was torn down, they started building the new cathedral. The work went on until 1712.

    1706
    The Residence Palace, today the City Palace was rebuilt in 1714. Just like the cathedral, it was planned by Dientzenhofer.

    1719
    The Mainz Building Superintendent, Maximilian von Welsch was contracted to build the orangerie and the palace gardens.

    1720
    Andreas Gallasini from Lugano became the royal building inspector and the designer of Baroque Fulda.

    1722
    The orangerie was built by the year 1725.

    1734
    The university opens. It was there until 1805.

    1739
    Prince Bishop Amand von Buseck (1737 - 1756) had a pheasant garden built in the summer palace (Adolphseck) near Eichenzell.

    1752
    Pope Benedict XIV promotes the Carity Abbey Fulda to a Princely Episcopate.

    1756
    In the Seven Year Warm destruction descended upon Fulda in 1763 once again.

    1759
    On the Münsterfeld a battle was fought between Prussian and Wuertemberian Troops.

    1764
    The Fulda Porcellain Company was established. "White Gold" was produced in Fulda until 1789.

    1770
    The work for the present-day munciple Catholic church began. It's Fulda's last Baroque building and was completed in 1792.

    1790
    The author Heinrich König (1790 - 1868) was born in Fulda.

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    History Timeline Part VI

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    Battle of Jena and Auerstedt

    1802
    The Princely Episcopate of Fulda was secularised and given to Prince William V of Orange-Nassau, who bequethed it to his son Wilhelm Frederick of Orange-Nassau, who later became King William I of the Netherlands.

    1806
    Because the House of Orange fought on the Prussian side in the Battle of Jena, and lost to Napoleon, he was de-throned in Fulda. At this point, French Regency began in Fulda.

    1807
    Napoleon occupied Fulda after the Peace Treaty of Tilsit.

    1810
    Fulda was given to the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, and put under rule of the Prime Prince of the Rhine Federation, Carl Theodore of Dalberg.

    1813
    The rest of Napoleon's Troops retreated through Fulda, after the battle lost near Leipzig, which indirectly caused a typhoid empidemic. The dead French soldier were buried in a mass grave in front of the city walls.
    As a result of Battle of Leipzig, Fulda falls into Austria's hands.

    1815
    During the Vienna Congress the providence of Fulda was dissolved. The major portion of it fell into the hands of the Prussians.

    1816
    Prussia gave Fulda to the Electorate Principality of Hesse.

    1819
    Under Elector Prince William I the present-day City Palace was re-designed in classical style.

    1821
    Fulda become capitol of one of four Hessian Electorate Principality provinces, which each had it's own government, court of law and state agencies.

    1835
    The first "Oberbürgermeister" (Lord Mayor of Fulda was Daniel Mackenrodt (1835 - 1859).

    1866
    Fuldaer became Prussian once again, when the Prussians occupied Hesse. Fulda became a county seat.
    This year brought more developments with it: Fulda was joined in the railway system. The line from Bebra-Fulda went all the way to Frankfurt. This ensured economic survival.

    1867
    The first German Bishops' Conference took place in Fulda.

    1871
    Now the City of Giessen also has been connected to the railway system.

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    History Timeline Part VII

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    The Rhoenbahn still runs today...

    1873
    The Fulda Action Publisher was founded. On January 1, 1874, the "Fuldaer Zeitung", Fulda's Newspaper appeared for the first time, which has been the property of the Parzeller Publishing House to this date.

    1881
    The Fulda Felt Factory was founded.

    1888
    The Rhön Railroad, which connected Fulda with Gersfeld, was commissioned.

    1893
    The city fathers purchased the Residential Palace from Landgrave Alexander of Hesse, which has been used as muncipal administration offices since 1900.

    1900
    The rubber factory "Fulda" was founded.

    1905
    A fire, caused by the fireworks celebration commemorating the 1150th martyr date of St. Boniface, badly burnt the right cathedral tower.

    1909
    The scientist Prof. Dr. Ferdinand von Braun (1850 - 1918), who was born in Fulda received the Nobel Prize for physics.

    1918
    438 sons of Fulda fell in the First World War.

    1927
    Fulda became a non-incorporated city, and remained so until 1974.

    1933
    The period of the Nazi Dictatorship began. But the Nazis only received 25% of the vote in Fulda.
    1029 Jews were living in Fulda. Most of the immigrated, but 243 of them were deported and murdered.

    1944/45
    1200 years after it's foundation, Fulda was heavily damaged by Allied Forces bomb attacks. 1586 people died. In addition to this, 1208 soldiers were killed in action, and 900 were missing in action. During Easter in 1945 American Troops occupied the city.

    1946
    Because of the increasing wave of displaced persons (10000), the number of inhabitants swelled to 45000 in the following years.

    1949
    The train station was rebuilt by 1954.

    1951
    In opposition to the "Fulda Peoples' Newspaper (Fuldaer Volkszeitung), which had been published since1945,the regular "Fuldaer Zeitung" now makes a come-back.

    1954
    The 76th German Catholic Convention took place in Fulda.

    1960/64
    Fulda became partner cities with Como in Italy (1960) and Arles in France (1964).

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    History Timeline Part VIII

    by Weissdorn Written Sep 20, 2002

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    Bridge on the Autobahn A7

    1968
    The Autobahn A7 from Bad Hersfeld through Fulda to Wurzburg was completed.
    In the same year, the old Rathaus was refurbished, according to medieval plans.

    1970
    The begin of period of office for the still-current mayor, Dr. Wolfgang Hamberger.

    1972
    Due to muncipal re-organisation, 24 communities join the City of Fulda.

    1974
    The city loses it's non-corporation priviledges, and becomes an incorporated county seat.
    The Fulda College was founded in the same year.

    1976-78
    The new Palace Theater was built.

    1980
    Pope John Paul II visited Fulda on November 17th and 18th.

    1983
    Begin of his period of office for the present Archbishop Dr. Johannes Dyba.

    1990
    Fulda and Weimar became partner cities.

    1991
    Fulda was connected in the ICE Train Station System for the run from Hannover-Wurzburg. At the same time, the newly styled trainstation was commissioned.
    In the same year Fulda became partner cities with Sergiev Posad in Russia.

    1994
    The first Hessian Garden Fair took place in Fulda.

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    Christmas Market

    by IceBear7 Written Nov 15, 2004

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    The Christmas market in Fulda is one of the nicest I have ever seen. It's a wonderful atmosphere with the old buildings, the churches, lots of food and drinks, often there is snwo, people selling presents and you always meet a lot of friends. They have 70 booths this year and they are open November 26 to December 22, 2004.

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    Strong Catholic heritage

    by fairy_dust Written Aug 30, 2006

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    St. Boniface, the patron saint of Germany, is buried in Fulda so the Fulda area is one of the most devout Catholic regions in Germany. During the Days in the Diocese portion of World Youth Day 2005 (which was held in Germany that year), apparently the Diocese of Fulda hosted more pilgrims than any other diocese in Germany.

    You'll find a rich Catholic heritage in Fulda, especially with the beautiful churches. Also, there is a statue of St. Boniface in a town square close to the cathedral.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
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