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The Fraueninsel is 600 by 300 meters in size and has around 300 residents

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They didn't expect this: Scientists have discovered a cult site on Fraueninsel in Lake Chiemsee that may have been slumbering underground for 1,000 years.

During ground radar measurements, geophysicists came across previously unknown foundation walls of a Romanesque central building, the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD) announced on Wednesday.

The building is located at the highest point on the island and has a diameter of 19 meters.

It is unclear whether it could be the grave of Blessed Irmengard.

She worked as abbess of the Frauenwörth convent in the 9th century.

Bavaria's Art Minister Markus Blume (CSU) spoke of a sensational find.

“Such a floor plan for a Romanesque central building is absolutely rare north of the Alps,” said Blume.

It will be exciting to see how science classifies this find historically.

The general curator of the state office, Mathias Pfeil, also spoke of an “absolute rarity”.

The Frauenwörth Monastery has shaped the island for centuries.

Blessed Irmengard, the daughter of King Louis the German and the great-granddaughter of Charlemagne, was buried in the abbey church in 866, as the state office further explained.

Between 1001 and 1020 her grave was opened to remove relics.

Perhaps the additional memorial building was built in this context - based on the Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

According to the state office, the structural development of the monastery, which was founded in 782, is considered to have been well researched.

The central building, however, has not yet been recorded, neither in writings nor on historical maps.

It was known that the St. Martin Church, which was first recorded in 1393 and belonged to the monastery, used to exist in the area where the find was found.

It was demolished in 1803 as part of secularization.

“But the fact that there was an older predecessor building is a big surprise for us too,” says the mayor of the municipality of Chiemsee, Armin Krämmer.

The data should now be scientifically evaluated.