Lorsch Abbey (Kloster Lorsch) has had an enormous influence on European history since it was founded in 764. It gained particular significance in the Carolingian age when donations multiplied the Abbey's holdings until they occupied all of the Rhine Valley from today's Switzerland to the Netherlands. The scriptorium of the Benedictine Abbey is responsible for extraordinary manuscripts of cultural and historical significance such as the Lorsch Gospels and the Lorsch Codex. The rapid decline and deterioration of the town during and after the Reformation led to the destruction of the Abbey's building and reuse of its stones in later times. The Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1991 and are also protected under the Haag Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property. The Lorsch Pharmacopoeia, dating back to the Eighth Century, was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World German Register in 2013.
Creating a digital model of Lorsch Abbey would be a boon to research. A model in this context means a tool which, using the example of Lorsch Abbey, integrates all of the existing sources, shows their relationship to one another, and in this way supports interdisciplinary research. The goal of the Discourse is therefore not the concrete actualization of the project in the sense of programming such a tool, but an interdisciplinary exchange on the possibilities it offers. Special emphasis will be laid on what is required of such a tool so that it can be utilized not only for Lorsch Abbey but for academic research on other historical buildings as well. The discussion will be lead by Professor Susanne Kromker of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing. The Director of the Lorsch Abbey Unesco World Heritage Site, Dr. Hermann Schefers, will be present to lend his expertise to the discussion.
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