Schuttern Abbey was a Benedictine monastery which was, according to tradition, founded in 603 by the wandering Irish monk Offo. After some initial difficulties the monastery and the settlement round it, at that time known as Offoniscella ('cell of Offo'), gradually flourished. In the 8th century Saint Pirmin introduced the Rule of St. Benedict and revived the fortunes of the abbey, as demonstrated by the rush of new postulants from the nobility at this period. Schuttern and some others, next only to Bamberg, were reckoned among the most significant Imperial abbeys in the country.
In 817 a Gospel Book, commissioned by the then Abbot Bertrich and written by the deacon Luithar witnesses among other works to the existence of a writing school of high quality in the abbey.
In 1016 the Emperor Henry II stopped at the abbey while returning to Frankfurt and visited the tomb of the founder Offo. The grave was covered by a precious mosaic showing Cain murdering Abel, which survives and can be claimed to be the oldest of its kind in Germany. The mosaic, although no longer entire, can now be seen in the church crypt.
Wars, lootings and arson were a frequent occurrence, and the abbey went up in flames on several occasions (938, 1153, 1166, 1169, 1240, 1334, 1520) but was always rebuilt.
On 6 May 1770 the abbey accommodated for a night the Archduchess Maria Antonia, the future Marie Antoinette, daughter of the Empress Maria Theresia, and her numerous retinue, on her way from Schloss Schönbrunn to Kehl, where on 7 May she was to be received by her future court before marrying the future Louis XVI of France.
Secularisation in 1803 meant the end of the abbey, which was dissolved in 1806. The majority of the buildings were torn down or removed: the stones were used by the local population as a cheap building material.
Between 1972 and 1975 the archaeologist Karl List carried out investigations in the basement of the church. The remains of various predecessor buildings were preserved in a part of the church basement after the excavations were concluded and are open to the public.References:
The Temple of Portunus or Temple of Fortuna Virilis ('manly fortune') is one of the best preserved of all Roman temples. Its dedication remains unclear, as ancient sources mention several temples in this area of Rome, without saying enough to make it clear which this is.
The temple was originally built in the third or fourth century BC but was rebuilt between 120-80 BC, the rectangular building consists of a tetrastyle portico and cella, raised on a high podium reached by a flight of steps, which it retains.
The temple owes its state of preservation to its being converted for use as a church in 872 and rededicated to Santa Maria Egyziaca (Saint Mary of Egypt). Its Ionic order has been much admired, drawn and engraved and copied since the 16th century. The original coating of stucco over its tufa and travertine construction has been lost.