The Benedictine monastery of Fulda (in what is now Hesse, Germany), was founded in 744 by Saint Sturm, a disciple of Saint Boniface, as one of Boniface's outposts in the reorganization of the church in Germany, and a base from which missionaries accompanied Charlemagnes armies in their political and military campaign to destroy Heathen Saxony.
Between 790 and 819 the community rebuilt the main monastery church to more fittingly house the relics. They based their new basilica on the basilica (since demolished) of Saint Peter's in Rome, using the transept and crypt plan of that great pilgrimage church to frame their own saint as the "Apostle to the Germans". The crypt of the original abbey church still holds those relics, but the church itself has been subsumed into a Baroque renovation. A small, 9th century chapel remains standing within walking distance of the church, as do the foundations of a later women's abbey.
The great scholar Rabanus Maurus was abbot from 822 to 842.
From its foundation on the abbey Fulda and its territory was based on an Imperial grant and therefore a sovereign principality subject only to the German emperor. The prince abbots ruled Fulda and the sorrounding villages until both the abbey as well as the principality were forcibly dissolved by Napoleon's minions in 1802.