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city, Hessen Land (state), central Germany. It lies on the Fulda River between the Rhon and Vogelsberg mountains. It developed around a Benedictine abbey founded in 744 by Sturmi, a disciple of St. Boniface. The abbey became a missionary centre, and its school was one of Europe's important seats of learning during the early Middle Ages, after Rabanus Maurus became its director in 803. It employed 12 manuscript copyists, and its great library survived until the 17th century. Fulda was chartered in 1157 and became a prince-abbacy; it was converted to a prince-bishopric when its abbot acquired the rank of bishop in 1752. It was the seat of a university during 1734-1803. The principality was secularized in 1802, passed to Hesse-Kassel in 1815, and annexed by Prussia in 1866.