Fulda is sometimes described as the most Catholic city in Germany. The city sprung up around a Benedictine monastery, which was founded by Saint Sturm in 744, and thousands of pilgrims visit the site of the monastery (now Fulda Cathedral) each year to pay tribute to St Boniface, the patron saint of Germany, whose remains are buried there. The Cathedral has been rebuilt and refurbished many times over the past 1,200 years, but it is still a breathtaking example of early Christian architecture and an indisputable must-see for any visitor to Fulda. Go into the church’s basement to see the grave of St Boniface, but prepare to queue if you happen to visit around his feast day, 5 June.
Location: The spiritual centre of Germany
Fulda is located in the region of Hesse in the heartland of Germany, around 100 km north-east of Frankfurt—regular trains from Frankfurt to Fulda take around 90 minutes. Despite its spiritual significance, it is a small city of around 65,000 people, and surrounded by mostly flat countryside. To fully appreciate the city centre and local scenery, it is best to simply walk around or hire a bicycle.
Business: Spiritual tourism and modern industry
Religious tourism plays a huge role in the city’s economy, as a steady stream of pilgrims visits from across Germany and further afield. The Hochschule Fulda specialises in applied science, and this is set to be an emerging industry in the future, bringing a touch of modernity to this old city.
Culture: Traditions of royalty and religion
Fulda had an important role to play in Germany’s history, and much of this is commemorated in the old buildings and ruins. The towers of the old city walls were once used as a prison, and the former city palace or Stadtschloss, was once the seat of Fulda’s prince abbots. The Baroque quarter is particularly well preserved and studded with little museums, restaurants, and bars. Spend some time walking around to get a sense of its rich history.
Activities: Life moves at a gentle pace in Fulda
Fulda is a quiet place in a relatively flat area, which makes it ideal for warm-weather hiking and city walks. Book a walking tour or follow your own map to take in as many of the sights as possible during your stay. Numerous half-timbered houses and historic churches and palaces make great photo motifs, too.