Herford Abbey was the oldest women's religious house in the Duchy of Saxony. It was founded as a house of secular canonesses in 789, initially in Müdehorst by a nobleman called Waltger, who moved it in about 800 onto the lands of his estate Herivurth which stood at the crossing of a number of important roads and fords over the Aa and the Werre. The present city of Herford grew up on this site around the abbey.
The abbey was dedicated in 832 and was elevated to the status of a Reichsabtei under Emperor Louis the Pious . In ecclesiastical matters it was answerable directly to the Pope and was endowed with a third of the estates originally intended for Corvey Abbey.
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