Fulda Abbey, or the Princely Abbey of Fulda, or the Imperial Abbey of Fulda was a Benedictine abbey as well as an ecclesiastical principality centered on Fulda, in the present-day German state of Hesse. It was founded in 744 by Saint Sturm, a disciple of Saint Boniface. Through the 8th and 9th centuries, Fulda Abbey became a prominent center of learning and culture in Germany, and a site of religious significance and pilgrimage following the burial of Boniface. The growth in population around Fulda would result in its elevation to a prince-bishopric in the second half of the 18th century.
In the mid-8th century, Saint Boniface commissioned Saint Sturmi to establish a larger church than any other founded by Boniface. In January 744, Saint Sturmi selected an unpopulated plot along the Fulda River, and shortly after obtained rights to the land. The foundation of the monastery dates to March 12, 744. Sturmi travelled to notable monasteries of Italy, such as that of Monte Cassino, for inspiration in creating a monastery of such grand size and splendor. Boniface was proud of Fulda, and he would obtain autonomy for the monastery from the bishops of the area by appealing to Pope Zachary for placement directly under the Holy See in 751. Boniface would be entombed at Fulda following his martyrdom in 754 in Frisia, as per his request, creating a destination for pilgrimage in Germany and increasing its holy significance. Saint Sturmi would be named the first abbot of the newly established monastery, and would lead Fulda through a period of rapid growth.
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