Photographer's Note

Büraberg is a hill in the northern part of the state Hessen - overlooking the valley of Eder river nor far away from Fritzlar - and it is a very special hill...

In 723 AD the Anglo-Saxon missionary Winfrid – later called St.Boniface, apostle of the Germans – arrived in the area on his mission to convert the central and northern German tribes to Christianity. He made Büraburg, then a fortified Frankish settlement, his temporary base. Seeking to demonstrate the superiority of the Christian God over the Germanic gods, he and his followers here felled a sacred oak dedicated to Thor by the local tribe of the Chatti. When Thor failed to hurl a lightning bolt at Boniface and his companions, as the locals had expected, they agreed to be baptized. This event thus marked the beginning of the Christianisation of the Germans.

Using the wood of the oak, Boniface erected a small chapel at a settlement nearby. It soon became the important religious, intellectual and trade center of Fritzlar. Boniface in 742 elevated Büraburg to a bishopric, the first in Germany east of the Roman Limes, but after the death of the only bishop, Witta, in 748 the bishopric was incorporated by Lullus, Boniface's successor as archbishop of Mainz, into his own diocese. From 747 to 786 Büraburg was administered by an auxiliary bishop, Meginoz, but this post was not filled again after his death.

Excavations have unearthed extensive fortifications from the 7th and 8th century AD on the hilltop, remnants of a major settlement at this important site. During the Saxon wars of Charlemagne, it was an important fortified base of the Francs, but with the final submission of the Saxons in 804 it lost its military significance. Today, a small parish church, St. Brigid, stands at the site, containing elements (the wall between the two parts of the building) of the original church building - the oldest Christian church east of the Roman Limes.

In workshop you can see the church from another angle and rests of the ancient castle - of its south-east gate.

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Additional Photos by Frank Kaiser (Buin) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4253 W: 48 N: 10771] (42580)
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