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Art was greatly influenced by Greek, Roman and Byzantine cultures. Noteworthy are the construction of palaces and churches. Illuminations (small books with many illustrations, with gold accents) and reliquaries (containers decorated to hold sacred relics) also marked this period.
Illumination of Charlemagne being crowned by Pope Leo III (year 800)
Weakening of the empire
Charlemagne died in 814. He was succeeded by his son Luis the Pious, who ruled until 840. The sons of Luis disputed for three years the succession of the empire. In 843, by the Treaty of Verdun, the Carolingian Empire was divided into three distinct kingdoms, with the western part being Charles the Bald; the eastern part to Luis the Germanic; and the central part to Lothair.
The break up of the Carolingian Empire ended the attempt to unify Western Europe under the command of a single Christian monarch.
The Carolingian Empire Today
The Carolingian Empire corresponds to the territories of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as well as the territories of northern and central Italy, part of Spain and the northern Balkan peninsula.