The Codex Manesse or Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift was compiled at the beginning of the fourteenth century. It is the most important and comprehensive manuscript collection of German songs. Containing Middle High German vernacular songs and epigrammatic poetry, it is decorated with 138 Gothic miniatures which illustrate the texts and portray the Minnesänger (poets who composed in the courtly love tradition). Medieval lyric poetry has been preserved mainly in collections of secular songs, which are among the most famous books from this time. The books were intended for a high-ranking audience, not for use by the Minnesänger themselves.