A medieval festival venue
This former Benedictine monastery was founded over 1,200 years ago and elevated to the status of imperial abbey by Charlemagne. The church that can be seen today was built later. The Bad Hersfeld Festival takes place here each summer, inside the walls of one of the largest church ruins from the Romanesque period,
The abbey was used for Christian missionary work at the behest of the Irish missionary, Bonifatius. The simple building from Charlemagne’s time was followed by four church buildings on the same site. The monastery experienced its greatest heyday in the 12th and 13th centuries; the high walls, constructed in the form of the Christian cross, bear witness to this. Later, disputes between the prince abbots and the landgraves of Hessen led to the loss of the monastery’s independence. The devastating fire of 1761 during the Seven Years' War left the building in ruins. Since 1951, those ruins have provided an impressive backdrop for the festival.