The few remaining structures from the former monastery also include large sections of the surrounding wall. Sections of the southern wall still survive and in the north, diggings and plans verify the course of the former wall and perimeter of the monastery.
This wall primarily served to demarcate and provide rudimentary protection for the monastery and had no marked fortification function. This wall is the largest remaining structure from the monastery, measuring 3 to 4 metres in height and almost 500 metres in length.
References to the Lorsch monastery wall only appear in the margins or in relation to other buildings and structures. Friedrich Behn devoted an entire chapter to the wall and its gates but focused primarily on the latter. More recent archaeological research has taken place primarily in the vicinity of the latrine, the infirmary and the gates. When the monastery wall was examined in more detail in the northern area by the infirmary, findings included denarii from the time of Louis the Pious.
This research has determined that a section of stone wall stood at this point as early as the first half of the 9th century; excavations also discovered similar wall structures north of the east gate. Analysis of written sources has not produced a precise date for when the wall was first built on its current location. An entry in the Lorsch Codex ascribes the construction of an early monastery wall to Abbot Richbod in AD 804. The 12th century chronicler mentioned that the enclosure located to the south was surrounded by a wall, which was still visible in his lifetime. There is disagreement as to whether this refers to a wall surrounding the entire complex or one surrounding only the inner monastery precinct. The Lorsch Necrolog-Anniversar lists Richbod’s contribution as only a claustrum surrounded by walls. The second mention of the monastery wall in the Lorsch Codex appears several centuries later during the rule of Abbot Heinrich, who is credited with completely restoring the ruined monastery wall after 1151. The chronicler emphasises in his entry that the course of Richbod’s wall can still be seen at this time. It is, therefore, possible that a section of the old wall was integrated under Heinrich but that its course was changed or extended.
The wall outlasted the entire lifespan of the monastery and would, therefore, have undergone multiple restoration and maintenance over the centuries. The wall was even improved after the dissolution of the monastery. Today, it consists of various smaller sections from different eras; this is clearly apparent in only a few places thanks to a plaster spread over the stones. The wall in the eastern area, between the modern south gate and Nibelungenstraße (marked red on diagram above), was architecturally examined in 2011 when the joints were opened during cleaning operations. Observations of the mortar and plaster were made that were, or are, not possible before and after these operations.
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