The first church on this spot was constructed around 698, when Abbess Irmina of Oeren (Trier) made a gift of her properties in Echternach to Archbishop Willibrord, the founder of the monastery, Upon his death in 739, Willibrord was buried in the chancel of the sanctuary. A new more spacious building was raised around 800, of which the crypt survives. The reconstruction from 1016 to 1031 created the Abbey Church much as it exists today. The addition of Gothic vaulting in the 13th century profoundly transformed the original Romanesque interior. In the 17th century, several side chapels were added. After its desecration by French Revolutionary troops, the church was re-consecrated in 1868. The destruction of 1944 required lengthy reconstruction work that was only completed in 1953.