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Solnhofen

Solnhofen is a municipality in the district of Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen in the region of Franconia in the Land of Bavaria in Germany. It lies within the Altmühl Valley.The local area is renowned in geology for Solnhofen limestone. This is a very fine-grained limestone from the Jurassic period which is renowned for its role as a Lagerstätte that preserves detailed fossil specimens. Alois Senefelder used specially prepared blocks of the fine Solnhofen limestone for the process of lithography which he invented in 1798. The quarrying of this lithographic limestone subsequently yielded spectacular finds, including Archaeopteryx, commemorated in the bird's full name Archaeopteryx lithographica. All 10 known specimens have come from the Solnhofen area.SightsThe Sola Basilica dating from the Carolingian period is one of the finest architectural monuments in Germany.As well as celebrating its role as the "hometown" of Archaeopteryx, Solnhofen also commemorates the work of Alois Senefelder with a statue of the inventor, that was created by Hippolyte Maindron.
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