Monasteries in Germany

Frauenzell Abbey

Frauenzell Abbey was a house of the Benedictine Order located at Brennberg. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery was founded in 1321 by Reinmar of Brennberg. At first a cell or priory of Oberalteich Abbey, it was granted the status of an abbey in its own right in 1424. It was dissolved in 1803 in the secularisation of the period. Some of the buildings were used for the accommodation of the school and the minister&q ...
Founded: 1321 | Location: Brennberg, Germany

Michelfeld Abbey

Michelfeld Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Auerbach in der Oberpfalz. The monastery, dedicated to Saint Michael and Saint John the Evangelist, was founded in 1119 by Bishop Otto I of Bamberg. It was dissolved in the Reformation, in 1556. Re-opened temporarily in 1661 and permanently in 1684, it was put under the administration of the Electors of Bavaria on 13 March 1802 and finally dissolved in 1803 in the secularisa ...
Founded: 1119 | Location: Auerbach in der Oberpfalz, Germany

Reichenbach Abbey

Reichenbach Abbey, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin,was founded in 1118 by Markgraf Diepold III of Vohburg and his mother Luitgard. During the Reformation it was looted, and secularised from 1553 to 1669, when it was re-established. It was dissolved again in 1803 during the secularisation of Bavaria. The abbey's property was confiscated by the state and eventually auctioned off in 1820. After a couple of ...
Founded: 1118 | Location: Reichenbach, Germany

Wechterswinkel Abbey

Wechterswinkel Abbey, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and Saint Margaret, was founded in 1134 or 1135 by Embricho of House of Leiningen, bishop of Würzburg, and King Conrad III of Germany. It was so severely damaged in the wars of the 16th century that it was unable to continue, and was dissolved in 1592 by Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn, the then bishop of Würzburg. The assets realised were invested to endow pari ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Wechterswinkel, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.