Lorsch Abbey and Lauresham
Of the past and the future – the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lorsch Abbey, with its adjoining open-air laboratory, is a living centre for research on the early Middle Ages. Here, a clear historical picture of the intertwining of knowledge and everyday life vividly comes to life.
At a glance
Nibelungenstraße 35 Museumszentrum Lorsch
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lorsch Abbey – halfway between Darmstadt and Worms – is a place of concentrated cultural history. Traces lead back from this site to a chequered past that shaped Benedictines, Cistercians, Premonstratensians, and after the dissolution of the monastery, many more. Its high point was undoubtedly in the early Middle Ages around 800, when Lorsch became associated with the Frankish king and emperor Charlemagne († 814) and his successors from the Carolingian dynasty. In 774, the ruler of an expanding great empire that laid the political and cultural foundations of Europe was even there in the flesh. Charles made Lorsch, blessed with the relics of Saint Nazarius, an imperial monastery, thus an agent of his politics, of a church reform and of educational programmes. It became rich and powerful.
Lauresham Experimental Archaeological Open-Air Laboratory
Another visitor magnet is the Lauresham Experimental Archaeological Open-Air Laboratory, newly created in 2014. It is an ideal model of a Carolingian manor house with residential and farm buildings as well as gardens, meadows, pastures and fields. There you can vividly see what everyday life was like for people around 1,200 years ago.
Science Needs Field Experiments
At the same time, it is a place of work for scientists in a special field: They use experiments to question the past and (re)construct it. Some of the answers they find, for example about early medieval agriculture and animal husbandry, even extend towards a better ecological future.
With a breeding project started at Lauresham that brings cattle as close as possible to the extinct aurochs, Lauresham also promotes biodiversity through extensive grazing with these animals. In this way, the open-air laboratory makes an active contribution to nature conservation.
In the vicinity
Auerbach CastleEventsGuided toursMeetings & celebrations possibleGastronomy on site
Fürstenlager State ParkMuseum on siteEventsGuided toursMeetings & celebrations possibleGastronomy on siteBarrier-free facilities
Lichtenberg CastleMuseum on siteMeetings & celebrations possible