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Fulda

 

The city of Fulda on the river of the same name is the regional center of the East Hesse region and the ninth largest city in Hesse. It is the district town of the Fulda district and one of seven special status towns in Hesse. Fulda is the largest city in the East Hesse region and its political and cultural center. The city belongs to the Rhine-Main area, one of the eleven European metropolitan regions in Germany.

Fulda was the seat of the Fulda Monastery and is a university, baroque and episcopal city with the episcopal seat of the diocese of the same name. The city's landmark is St. Salvator's Cathedral.

 

History

The origin of the name Fulda is unclear. The following names are documented: from the year 750 Uulta and Uulthaha, from 751 Fulda, from 752 Uuldaha, before the year 769 Fulde, and in the 16th century Fuld, Fult and Fuldt.

The most likely origin is a so-called hydronymy (naming of waters) from Old Saxon folda "earth, soil" and the basic word -aha, which is related to the Latin aqua "water" and occurs in many German river names (cf. Ache, -a); the underlying reconstructed Germanic words are * fuldō "Earth, earth; Field; World ”and * ahwō“ river ”.

Due to the fact that there are a large number of words in Indo-European with the root * pel- / pol-, there is also the possibility that Fulda would be a variant of Indo-European polota. For the name Fulda, certain kinship relationships can be found in Eastern Central Europe: In Latvian there is palts, palte "puddle, pool", but also the river Pelta or Peltew.

Fulda area until the city was founded
After the eventful geological history of the Fulda area, Stone Age evidence can also be found here. The first settlements are around 5000 BC. Demonstrable (see timeline). Cultures developed, the migration of peoples brought new settlers to the region. A Celtic city was built on the Milseburg. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Frankish Empire developed into the center of power in Central Europe. The Frankish king Clovis I secured the support of Rome with his baptism, and a wide-ranging Christianization began. Boniface was commissioned by the Pope to proselytize the Germanic tribes in this area and to subordinate them to the Roman Catholic Church.

The development of the place began in 744 through Sturmius. In 754 Boniface was buried in this monastery. Charlemagne gave the monastery immunity in 774 and thus became an imperial monastery. The Ratgar basilica (named after the abbot Ratgar) was built between 791 and 819, at that time the largest church building north of the Alps. At the same time, the first farmers and craftsmen settled around the monastery.

Abbot, citizen and peasant (11th - 16th centuries)
The abbey and the settlement received coinage, market and customs rights in 1019 through Heinrich II. In 1020 Pope Benedict VIII visited Fulda: an indication of the importance of the monastery. 1114 Fulda was first mentioned as a city (civitas). Under Abbot Markward I (1150–1165) the city experienced a boom, many estranged goods were restituted. The abbot was helped by one of the most famous forgers of the Middle Ages, the Fulda monk Eberhard. Abbot Markward had to drive out robber barons, he built castles and fortified the city in 1162 with a city wall, around twelve towers and five city gates (Heertor, Peterstor, Florentor, Kohlhäusertor and Frauentörlein).

The abbots of the monastery were raised to the rank of imperial prince by King Friedrich II. Prince Abbot Heinrich von Weilnau had an abbey castle built between 1294 and 1312, in which he resided outside the monastery. This castle was converted into a Renaissance palace in the 17th century by Prince Abbot Johann Friedrich von Schwalbach.

Uprising of the citizens
In 1208 Fulda was raised to the rank of town and guarded its rights against the claims of the abbots, who already owned a castle next to the monastery. As Prince Abbot Heinrich VI. von Hohenberg built a second castle within the city in 1319/20, the citizens, with the help of the monastery bailiff, Count Johann I von Ziegenhain, stormed both of the abbot's castles and destroyed the new castle, including the tower and curtain walls. At the complaint of the refugee abbot to the emperor, the imperial ban was imposed on the city and the count.

In 1326 Heinrich von Hohenberg used his strengthened power as city lord to increase the city's annual tax from 100 to 800 pounds Heller for seven years. When he wanted to raise taxes again in 1330, renewed resistance formed in the city. When he then imprisoned some wealthy citizens and demanded bail of 9,500 pounds Heller for their release, the citizens rose against him in 1331. They again allied themselves with Count Johann von Ziegenhain, stormed the Abtsburg, the monastery, the Frauenberg and the Petersberg. Again the city was punished with imperial ban. The abbot's ministerials put down the uprising. Archbishop Balduin von Trier brokered an atonement, according to which the citizens had to restore the tower and the curtain walls of the new castle and had to pay significant compensation. The city of Fulda received a council and mayor under the supervision of a princely mayor.

Peasant wars in the Fulda region

The situation of the townspeople and the farmers in the surrounding area was very deplorable due to the high taxes and compulsory labor. The monastery plundered the rural people and built ever more magnificent buildings. So the farmers in the Fuldaer Land rose up against the authorities together with the citizens of the city and took part in the German Peasants' War in the spring of 1525.

In the peasant wars in Fulda and in the Fuldaer Land the Pfaff of Dipperz Hans Dahlhopf was important, who gathered 10,000 farmers around him. Landgrave Philipp von Hessen came to the aid of the monastery with a strong army and put down the uprising in the battle of Frauenberg.

Witch hunt in Fulda
In 1603, during the time of the witch hunts, Balthasar Nuss was appointed to Fulda as a cengrave. Balthasar von Dernbach also entrusted him with carrying out the witch trials in the entire Hochstift. In three years, Balthasar Nuss had around 300 alleged witches and warlocks tortured and then executed. He confiscated the property of the victims for himself. Ms. Merga Bien was a particularly well-known victim of the witch persecution in 1603. (For more information on the witch trials, see Balthasar von Dernbach).

Fulda as a baroque city
During the Thirty Years' War, the city was hard pressed on June 20, 1640 by Swedish patrol corps.

During his tenure (1678–1700) as abbot, Prince Abbot Placidus von Droste fundamentally restructured the finances of Fulda Abbey. His successor, Prince Abbot Adalbert von Schleifras, was able to appoint Johann Dientzenhofer as master builder in Fulda in 1700 and commission him to build today's Fulda Cathedral and a city palace in the Baroque style on the site of the Romanesque Ratgar basilica.

In 1752 the prince abbots were raised to the status of prince-bishops. During the Seven Years' War, Fulda was taken by a Hanoverian corps under Luckner in 1762.

The road between Frankfurt and Fulda was developed into a road in 1764 by order of the Fulda prince-bishop Heinrich von Bibra as one of the first roads in Hesse.

During the tenure of Prince Abbot Adolf von Dalberg, Fulda became a university town. The Catholic University of Fulda existed from 1734 to 1805. The institution had four faculties: theology, philosophy, medicine and law. The baroque building of the court architect Andreas Gallasini was built between 1731 and 1734. Today it houses the Adolf von Dalberg elementary school.

19th century
The secularization of 1802 disempowered the prince-bishops. The Fulda possessions went as the "Principality of Nassau-Oranien-Fulda" to Friedrich Wilhelm von Oranien-Nassau until Napoleon annexed the province of Fulda in 1806. The furnishings in the castles and numerous baroque town houses were looted or confiscated and auctioned off. In 1810 Fulda became part of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt and the capital of the Fulda department. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the province was dissolved and, after a year of Prussian administration, handed over to the Electorate of Hesse. After the German War of 1866, Fulda and Kurhessen became part of the Kingdom of Prussia.

On November 2, 1850, Fulda was occupied by Prussian troops, but after the clash of their outposts with Austrians near Bronnzell, it was evacuated on November 9 and then briefly occupied by the Bavarians. In the war of 1866, the Prussians occupied it again on July 6th.

During the Kulturkampf, the city of Fulda was a major bulwark of ultramontanism in the German Empire. The number of inhabitants was in 1885 with the garrison (a mounted division of field artillery No. 11) 12,226 (including in 1880: 3347 Evangelicals and 602 Jews). Fulda was the seat of a bishop, a cathedral chapter, a district court and a tax office.

Fulda emigrants founded a. a. the Fulda health support association.

Weimar Republic and National Socialism
In 1927 Fulda became an independent city.

In Fulda, the NSDAP could not win more than a quarter of the votes in the Reichstag election in March 1933, and it also played a subordinate role in the city council. In the course of the Gleichschaltung, the Fuldaer Actiendruckerei was destroyed in 1933, and the historic Jewish cemetery and synagogue in the former Judengasse were destroyed during the Reichspogromnacht on 9 November 1938. The former mayor of Fulda, Karl Ehser, later said that the Gau propaganda administration in Kassel had asked him to ensure that there were also attacks in Fulda. He had received orders to have the synagogue destroyed. In 1940 the Franciscans were expelled from the Frauenberg monastery.

 

During the Second World War, Fulda was repeatedly targeted by air raids. The first major attack, in which the cathedral was also damaged, took place on July 20, 1944 and claimed 80 deaths. On August 5, Fulda was hit by 30 incendiary bombs in a minor attack. On September 11th and 12th, and especially on December 27th, 1944, the highest number of victims occurred. During the air raid on December 27, 1944, around 1,000 people sought refuge in a canalised underpass under the railroad tracks and the marshalling yard, which had been provisionally converted into an aerial warfare tunnel, the Krätzbach bunker. When both tunnel entrances were buried, more than 700 people, including 451 Mehler employees, lost their lives. The Allied forces aimed to destroy the still intact train station as a traffic junction in the Third Reich and a supply route for the Ardennes offensive. A memorial stone inaugurated in 1981 on Mehlerstrasse commemorates the victims, as does a manhole cover in the sidewalk on Heidelsteinstrasse.

A total of 1595 war deaths were counted in Fulda; there were also a number of wounded and missing persons. About a third of the city was destroyed, and transportation and industry were badly hit. The historic buildings in the old town, especially around the vegetable market and in the baroque quarter, were also damaged.

Post-war and present
After the Second World War, Fulda belonged to the American zone of occupation and was thus part of the later federal state of Hesse, but no longer located in the center of Germany, but geographically and economically on the edge of the FRG. The inner-German border with the GDR ran only about 35 km from the city center. As a result, Fulda was cut off from its eastern hinterland until 1989, as the traditional transport and economic relations with Thuringia in particular were interrupted. During the German division, Fulda was part of the so-called border area.

During the Cold War, Fulda had a special strategic importance, which is illustrated by the term Fulda Gap. The term coined by NATO came from the idea that in the event of an attack by the Warsaw Pact, it would attempt to penetrate through the Fulda valley via Frankfurt am Main, about 100 km away, into southwest Germany. In this scenario, Fulda would probably have become one of the first theaters of war in a possible third world war. In Fulda there was therefore also a large US garrison in the Downs Barracks with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which was reflagged in 1972 to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment ("Blackhorse Regiment"). In 1994 the stationing of US forces in Fulda ended. Various authorities and companies settled on the site of the former barracks and the new Fulda-Galerie and exhibition grounds were built on the area of ​​the airfield belonging to this unit in the Sickels district.

Fulda developed into a modern industrial location after 1945 despite its peripheral location. In 1972, as part of the regional reform in Hesse, on August 1, state law incorporated 24 municipalities around the city. In addition to the core city, they now form the 24 districts of Fulda. In 1974 the city lost the district freedom it had had since 1927, but a functional special status has been in effect since 1980, with which various tasks of the district level are connected.

On November 17 and 18, 1980, Pope John Paul II was greeted with enthusiasm by more than 100,000 believers in the city center and at an open-air service on Cathedral Square.

On September 29, 1984 there was a peaceful demonstration in Fulda. Around 30,000 supporters of the peace movement demonstrated against military policy in East and West. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the inner-German border on November 9, 1989, several thousand citizens of the GDR visited the baroque city every day.

In 1990 the 30th Hessentag was held in Fulda. In 1994 the city celebrated its 1250th anniversary and hosted the first Hessian horticultural show. In 2002 the anniversary "250 years of the Diocese of Fulda" was celebrated.

In 2004 the 1250th anniversary of the death of the Holy Bishop Boniface was commemorated. On this occasion, the Bonifatius musical was premiered in the Fulda Castle Theater. In February 2019 Fulda was awarded the title “City of Stars” by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Fulda's 1275 anniversary

There were four anniversaries to celebrate in 2019: On March 12, 744, Sturmius and seven companions founded the Fulda Monastery and thus laid the nucleus for 1275 years of settlement in the entire East Hesse region. The construction of the Ratgar basilica, built 1200 years ago, and the consecration of the Ratgar basilica on November 1, 819 by Archbishop Haistulf of Mainz, the burial of King Conrad I in Fulda Cathedral 1100 years ago and the granting of market and coinage rights by Emperor Heinrich II 1000 years ago on July 1, 1019 were further milestones in the history of the city of Fulda, which had to be celebrated in 2019. During the city's anniversary, seven gigantic new productions of the “Bonifatius” musical took place on the huge stage in front of the cathedral as a backdrop. In a summery, Mediterranean atmosphere, 35,000 people visited the play and the accompanying offers.