Einhard’s Basilica Michelstadt-Steinbach

The small church building in the Michelstadt district of Steinbach exudes a very special dignity and grandeur. Built almost 1200 years ago in the middle of the solitude of the Odenwald, Einhard’s Basilica is today one of the best-preserved examples of Carolingian architecture in Germany.

At a glance

Schlossstraße 17
64720 Michelstadt, Steinbach

Opening Hours

Next event

08/03, 11:00–12:00 – Führung in der Einhardsbasilika

A map of Hessen HESSEN


The basilica is named after its founder, Einhard. He was one of Charlemagne‘s most important confidants and author of his biography, the “Vita Karoli Magni”. Charlemagne’s successor Louis the Pious gave Einhard both the area around today’s Seligenstadt and the Mark Michelinstadt in the Odenwald, today’s Michelstadt.

Here, between 815 and 827, Einhard had a magnificent church built, as he himself wrote, “of a not inglorious kind, suitable for holding divine service”, in which he later also wanted to be buried with his wife Imma.

Einhard's Basilica, church interior

View through the nave to the west portal, the entrance to the basilica.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020
Einhard's Basilica, roof truss

View into the nave towards the apse. The open roof truss was built of oak beams in 1168, making it one of the oldest roof structures still in existence in Germany.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020
Einhards Basilica, drone shot

The light-coloured plaster on the north wall, around the windows of the central nave, on the so-called clerestory, was applied around the year 827 and is still original today.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020
Einhard's Basilika, passage

The round arch adjoins the basilica and connects it with the sacristy.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020

The Einhard Exhibition

The small permanent exhibition in the former sacristy of the basilica in Michelstadt-Steinbach tells the story of the transfer of the relics of Saints Marcellinus and Peter from Rome via Steinbach to Seligenstadt am Main.

Einhard's Basilica, grave slabs

On the north wall of the nave, five funerary monuments commemorate mainly deceased Benedictine sisters who lived in the convent in the 13th century.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020
Einhard's Basilica, passage to the sacristy

This Gothic doorway leads to the sacristy and the winter choir.

Foto: Michael Leukel, 2020

Einhard's Basilica, exhibition

A small exhibition provides information about the life and work of Einhard, who left behind a unique document of his time in the Vita Caroli Magni, the biography of Emperor Charlemagne.

Foto: Manfred Giebenhain, 2015