Count Rudolf of Altenbourg founded an Abbey on his estate at Ottmarsheim which was destined for the Benedictines and consecrated in 1049 by the Alsatian Pope Leo IX. much has been written about this edifice and many studies were dedicated to it during the Renaissance period because of the octagonal shape, like a pagan temple, inspired directly from the Palatine Chapel of Aix-la-Chapelle. Many authors were nonplussed by the Abbey and some even thought that it was a temple to the god Mars. A number of fires have marked the history of the Abbey Church, the first being in 1272. Restoration work has revealed the magnificent frescoes of the 11th and 15th centuries. However, a serious fire in 1991 caused considerable damage. It was only in 1999 that the building once more revealed its splendour following extensive work. Ottmarsheim Abbey Church is classified as a historical monument and forms part of the Romanesque Route. Guided tours are organised all year round in French and German.
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