The Imperial Abbey of Corvey (German: Stift Corvey or German: Fürstabtei Corvey) was a Benedictine monastery on the River Weser, 2 km northeast of Höxter, now in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In 2014 the abbey was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was first founded in 815 among the recently converted Saxons on a site called Hethi by Charlemagne's cousins Wala and Adelard, with monks from Corbie Abbey in Picardy, under the joint patronage of the Emperor Louis the Pious and the abbot of the older foundation, whence the new one derived its name In 822, the monastery was reconstructed on the present site near the banks of the river Weser. It became "one of the most privileged Carolingian monastic sanctuaries in the ninth-century Duchy of Saxony". A mint was authorized as early as 833 though surviving coins date from the early eleventh century. The site of the abbey, where the east-west route called the Hellweg crossed the Weser, accounted for some strategic importance and assured its economic and cultural importance. The abbey's historian H. H. Kaminsky estimates that the royal entourage visited Corvey at least 110 times before 1073, occasions for the issuance of charters.A diploma granted by Otto I in 940, the first of its kind, established the abbot, Folcmar, on a new kind of setting. The abbot was granted bannus—powers of enforcement—over the population of peasants that were to seek refuge in the fortress built in the monastery's lands; in return they were expected to maintain its structure, under the abbot's supervision. The workforce under monastic protection was drawn from three pagi, under the jurisdiction of four counts, who, however, were to have no rights to demand castlework from them "Here then a profitable sanction, which cut across the ordinary competence of counts, was entrusted to the monastery", Karl Leyser notes.Under the guidance of abbots drawn from the Imperial family, Corvey was granted the first rights of minting coins east of the Rhine (with the exception of Frisia). It soon became famous for its school, which produced many celebrated scholars, among them the tenth-century Saxon historian Widukind of Corvey. In its library were preserved the first five books of the Annales of Tacitus. From its cloisters went forth a stream of missionaries who evangelised Northern Europe, chief amongst them being Saint Ansgar, the "Apostle of Scandinavia". The Annales Corbenjenses, which issued from the same scriptorium, is a major source of medieval history—spuriously supplemented by the forged Chronicon Corbejense which appeared in the nineteenth century. Unsuspected, in the library lurked books I to V of Tacitus' Annales. Ninth-century wall-paintings remain on the west end inner wall.The Carolingian west end of the abbey, with its landmark matching towers (built 873–885) survives, the earliest standing medieval structure in Westphalia, but the abbey church is now Baroque. Corvey is the start of one of the German Camino's to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.