What it lacks in size, the mysterious Torhalle at the former Benedictine abbey of Lorsch – another UNESCO World Heritage Site – more than makes up for in beauty and historical significance. The royal abbey was built between 767 and 880 AD, and the Torhalle dates from the latter part of this period. With its well-preserved, festive red-and-white stone facade rising above three very Roman-looking arches, it certainly looks like a gatehouse, hence its popular name, but it’s actually not at all certain what the original function of the little building was. Archeological investigation suggests, however, that it stood within the main gate of the abbey, whose precincts covered a much greater area than that which you now see. The hall upstairs is a palimpsest of wall paintings, from two layers of Carolingian origin to traces of Romanesque and more substantial, Later Gothic work.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

Of all Europe’s capitals, Berlin carries the biggest buzz. In the two decades or so since it was reunified, the city has developed into a heady meld of grit a…

04 Apr 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month