Cathedrals in Germany

Meissen Cathedral

The Meissen Cathedral is situated on the castle hill of Meissen, adjacent to the Albrechtsburg castle. It was the episcopal see of the Bishopric of Meissen established by Emperor Otto I in 968. It replaced an older Romanesque church. The present-day hall church was built between 1260 and 1410, the interior features Gothic sculptures of founder Emperor Otto and his wife Adelaide of Italy as well as paintings f ...
Founded: 1260-1410 | Location: Meißen, Germany

Xanten Cathedral

Xanten Cathedral (Xantener Dom) is considered the biggest cathedral between Cologne and the North sea. The cathedral owes its name to Victor of Xanten, a member of the Theban Legion who was supposedly executed in the 4th century in the amphitheater of Castra Vetera for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This Roman camp is near today"s town of Birten. According to legend, Helena of Constantinople re ...
Founded: 1263 | Location: Xanten, Germany

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style ...
Founded: 1173 | Location: Lübeck, Germany

Limburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Limburg is one of the best preserved late Romanesque style buildings. It is unknown When the first church was built above the Lahn river. Archaeological discoveries have revealed traces of a 9th-century church building in the area of the current chapel. It was probably built in Merovingian times as a castle and the chapel added in the early 9th century. In 910 AD, Count Konrad Kurzbold (cousin of the fut ...
Founded: 1180-1235 | Location: Limburg an der Lahn, Germany

Paderborn Cathedral

Paderborn Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary, Saint Kilian and Saint Liborius. Today"s cathedral is located in a position that has been occupied by churches for hundreds of years. Charlemagne had a Kaiserpfalz built near the sources of the Pader river. As early as 777 this palace had an attached church. This church, located north of today"s cathedral, served as chapel to the court as well as a basis for missio ...
Founded: 1100-1145 | Location: Paderborn, Germany

Schwerin Cathedral

Schwerin Cathedral was formerly a Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint John. It was built in Schwerin following the move here of the seat of the Bishopric of the Abodrites, established by Henry the Lion, from the old city of Mecklenburg in the late 12th century. The first cathedral was built of timber. The foundation stone of the stone cathedral of the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin was laid in 1 ...
Founded: 1172-1248 | Location: Schwerin, Germany

Eichstätt Cathedral

Together with the cloister and the mortuary, the two-aisled Eichstätt cathedral is regarded as one of the most important medieval monuments in Bavaria. The first Roman Catholic cathedral of Our Lady and Sts. Willibald and Salvator was built in the 8th century. It was destroyed during the Hungarian invasions but the church preserved. Parts of this church have been preserved in the masonry. The current cathedral has parts ...
Founded: 1022 | Location: Eichstätt, Germany

Bautzen Cathedral

St. Peter"s Cathedral is an interdenominational church in Bautzen. It is among the oldest and largest simultaneum churches in Germany. The first church was built around the 1000 AD. Near the beginning of the 13th century, a cathedral was built under the supervision of Bishop Bruno II. Between 1456 and 1463, the cathedral that now stands was constructed and named after St. Peter. A fourth nave was added to the ...
Founded: 1456-1463 | Location: Bautzen, Germany

Essen Minster

Essen Minster was formerly the collegiate church of Essen Abbey, founded in about 845 by Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim. The present building, which was reconstructed after its destruction in World War II, is a Gothic hall church, built after 1275 in light-coloured sandstone. The octagonal westwork and the crypt are survivors of the Ottonian pre-Romanesque building that once stood here. The separate Church of St. Johann Ba ...
Founded: 1275-1316 | Location: Essen, Germany

Hildesheim Cathedral

Hildesheim Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1985, together with the nearby St. Michael's Church. The cathedral church was built between 1010 and 1020 in the Romanesque style. It follows a symmetrical plan with two apses, that is characteristic of Ottonian Romanesque architecture in Old Saxony. The cathedral's treasures include world-famous artworks, bronzeworks from the time of Bishop Be ...
Founded: 1010-1020 | Location: Hildesheim, Germany

Osnabrück Cathedral

St. Peter"s Cathedral in Osnabrück is a late Romanesque building and dominates the city"s skyline. The first version of St. Peter"s Cathedral was built in the year 785, 15 years after the diocese was founded by Charlemagne. The Normans destroyed the church 100 years later, and the present version of the church developed only gradually after a fire around 1100. The oldest parts of the present-day churc ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Osnabrück, Germany

Augsburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Augsburg is perhaps located on the site of a pre-existing 4th-century building, not necessarily a church, whose foundations have been excavated beneath the current level; the site is included within the ancient Roman walls of Augusta Vindelicorum. The first known church in the place is documented from 822, but dating to the late 8th century reigns of bishops Wikterp and Simpert. The edifice was damaged b ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Augsburg, Germany

Fulda Cathedral

Influenced by Roman Baroque architecture, the Fulda cathedral was built between 1704 and 1712 by the renowned architect Johann Dietzenhofer. The cathedral is not only Fulda’s famous landmark, but also the most significant baroque religious building in the State of Hesse. During construction many parts of the previous church, the 9th century Ratgar Basilika, were integrated in the new cathedral. Since 1752 it has bee ...
Founded: 1704-1712 | Location: Fulda, Germany

Hamburg Cathedral

St. Mary"s Cathedral stands in Danziger Straße and was built between 1890 and 1893 to the designs of Arnold Güldenpfennig. The church was erected in Romanesque revival style at the instigation of Bishop Bernhard Höting of Osnabrück, then simultaneously officiating as Vicar Apostolic of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Nordic Missions of Germany, then competent for Hamburg"s Catholics. It was t ...
Founded: 1890-1893 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Naumburg Cathedral

Naumburg Cathedral is a renowned landmark of the German late Romanesque and has been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. The west choir with the famous donor portrait statues of the twelve cathedral founders (Stifterfiguren) and the Lettner, works of the Naumburg Master, is one of the most significant early Gothic monuments. The history of the town of Naumburg begins at the turn of the 9th and ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Naumburg (Saale), Germany

Schleswig Cathedral

Schleswig Cathedral is the main church of Schleswig and was the cathedral of the Bishop of Schleswig until the diocese was dissolved in 1624. After the founding of Schleswig diocese in 947, the first cathedral in Schleswig was built. Today, neither the size nor the location of this cathedral is known. In 1134, construction of a new Romanesque basilica began. The work was only completed around 1200, because an additional n ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Schleswig, Germany

Minden Cathedral

Minden Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Gorgonius and Peter, is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Minden. From the year 803 AD, when the area was conquered by Charlemagne, it was the center of a diocese and subsequently became the center of a small sovereign state, a prince-bishopric of Minden, until the time of the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when Minden was secularized as the Principality of Minden (which l ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Minden, Germany

Freising Cathedral

Freising Cathedral, also called Saint Mary and Corbinian Cathedral, is a romanesque basilica. An early church was present on the site by AD 715, consecrated as episcopal church by Boniface in 739. A triple nave was constructed in 860 and rebuilt after a fire in 903. The church was completely destroyed by fire on Palm Sunday, 5 April 1159. Construction of the current romanesque building started in 1159 and completed in 120 ...
Founded: 1159-1205 | Location: Freising, Germany

Ratzeburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Ratzeburg, one of the oldest brick churches of Northern Germany, is a basilica with three naves. Its arches are supported by pillars and it is built in the form of a cross with a choir quadrangle and a halfround apse. The last restoration (completed in 1966) returned the cathedral to its late Romanesque conception, so you can discover most of the unity and integrity of its original design. The cathedral ...
Founded: 1154 | Location: Ratzeburg, Germany

Rottenburg Cathedral

St. Martin"s Cathedral has been the cathedral of Rottenburg since 1821. Its tower, dating from 1486, is its most prominent feature. It was reconstructed in 1644-1655 after a fire in Baroque style.
Founded: 1486 | Location: Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.