Herford Abbey was the oldest women's religious house in the Duchy of Saxony. It was founded as a house of secular canonesses in 789, but moved later to the present site. The city of Herford grew up on this site around the abbey. The abbey was dedicated in 832 and was elevated to the status of a Reichsabtei ('Imperial abbey') under Emperor Louis the Pious (d. 840).
Between 919 and 924 Herford was destroyed by Hungarians but was rebuilt by 927. In 1147 the abbey, which by this time had almost 850 estates and farms, was granted Imperial immediacy. This made it an independent territory within the Holy Roman Empire which lasted until 1803.
In 1533, during the Reformation, Herford Abbey became Lutheran, under the Electors of Brandenburg. From 1649 for over a century the abbesses were all Calvinist but that did not alter the Lutheran character of the principality.
In 1802 the abbey was dissolved in the course of secularisation. In 1804 it was turned into a collegiate foundation for men, and in 1810 finally suppressed. The former abbey church remains in use as Herford Minster (Herforder Münster). The church is a late Romanesque hall church, built about 1220-1250. It is one of the earliest hall churches in Germany.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.