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The History of Seligenstadt

Seligenstadt im Winter
Foto: Karlheinz Koch 

Narrow streets, picturesque corners, colourful half-timbered buildings and impressive monuments reflect the different cultural epochs of the one thousand and nine hundred-year-old history of Seligenstadt.
 
The beginning was a fortress built by the Romans in about one hundred AD where some 500 soldiers were stationed. With the fall of the Limes two hundred and sixty AD attacked by Germanic tribes, the Roman fort was destroyed and no traces are left today.
 
The mediaeval history of Seligenstadt begins with the life and work of Einhard, the confidant and biographer of Charlemagne.
“Obermühlheim”, as Seligenstadt was called in the Carolingian period, was donated to him in eight hundred and fifteen as a reward for his services. Around eight hundred and thirty Einhard had the Basilica built, still today a famous landmark of Seligenstadt. Later he founded a Benedictine monastery which became a centre of culture, with Benedictine monks spreading learning and wisdom. The abbey was revived in the Baroque period when most of the impressive monastery buildings  were erected. Just recently the complex was completely restored to its original splendour and can be visited. In eighteen hundred and three with the secularisation the abbey was closed down and fell to the Grand Duke of Hessen-Darmstadt.
 
In eleven hundred and seventy five Seligenstadt received the city rights from emperor
Frederick I. and had until thirteen hundred and nine the same rights as much larger free imperial cities in Germany. After the fall of the Staufer empire the “Blessed City” fell to the Electorate of Mainz whose long reign is still visible in our coat of arms.
 
Today we see a lovely historic old town with numerous, carefully restored half-timbered houses and impressive architectural monuments which give the place its very special character.
 
Take your time to follow the traces of Seligenstadt’s eventful history, breathe the atmosphere of the City of “Saligunstat”, the city of luck and welfare and experience history coming to life again. 
 
Here you find some more informations about Seligenstadt.