Religious sites in Germany

St. Egidien Church

St. Egidien is considered a significant contribution to the baroque church architecture of Middle Franconia. The first church building was probably built in the years 1120/1130 on the site of the second, northern Nuremberg royal court. The royal courts administered royal possessions, agriculture and forestry. Thus, it had the status of a royal church. Around the year 1140 Emperor Conrad III and his wife Gertrud raised t ...
Founded: 1711 | Location: Nuremberg, Germany

Neresheim Abbey

Neresheim Abbey was founded in 1095 as a house of (secular) Augustinian Canons, and converted to a Benedictine monastery in 1106. In the 13th century, the abbey owned seven villages and it had an income from a further 71 places in the area. Ten parish churches were incorporated. During wars and conflicts the monastery was destroyed several times for example during the Thirty Years" War and during Napoleonic Wars of t ...
Founded: 1095 | Location: Neresheim, Germany

St. Pantaleon's Church

The Church of St. Pantaleon is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne. The church dates back to the 10th century. The former monastery church is consecrated to Saint Pantaleon and the Saints Cosmas and Damian and is the oldest church of the cult of Saint Pantaleon west of Byzantium. The empress Theophanu and the archbishop Bruno the Great are buried in the church, which also contains shrines of sain ...
Founded: 966 AD | Location: Cologne, Germany

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church is the oldest of three town churches found in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, in northern Germany. It was built in the middle of the 14th century. The first reference to a church on this site is in 1252, which is thought to be the predecessor of the current building. The triple-nave basilica is in Brick Gothic, a building style typical of the Hanseatic port cities of northern Germany. The pre-existing c ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Rostock, Germany

St. Mary's Church

The Gothic spires of St. Mary's Church reach upwards and towards the heavens, towering impressively in the background of the town hall. First mentioned in archival records dating to 1283, the church was later rebuilt as a three-aisled hall church, and is today considered to have one of the most impressive Brick Gothic interiors thanks to its vaults. Amongst the most impressive features in the church is a choir screen dati ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stendal, Germany

Kempten Abbey

The Imperial Abbey of Kempten was an ecclesiastical state of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries until it was annexed to the Electorate of Bavaria in the course of the German mediatization in 1803. Located within the former Duchy of Swabia, the Princely Abbey was the second largest ecclesiastical Imperial State of the Swabian Circle by area, after the Prince-Bishopric of Augsburg. According to the 11th-century chronicles ...
Founded: 752 AD | Location: Kempten (Allgäu), Germany

St. Michael Abbey Ruins

The Monastery of St. Michael on the Heiligenberg (Saints" Mountain), was a branch of the nearby Lorsch Abbey. The ruined complex that can be seen today was built beginning in 1023. Within the nave are traces of the Roman temple of Mercury. The monastery was abandoned in the 16th century. The first mention of the monastery is in the Lorsch codex, from the 12th century, which dates the founding of the monastery to 870. No ...
Founded: 1023 | Location: Heidelberg, Germany

St. Paulinus' Church

Saint Paulinus" is one of the most important Baroque churches in Rhineland-Palatinate. Constructed between 1734 and 1753, the interior was designed by Johann Balthasar Neumann. The ceiling of the nave features a painting by the artist Christoph Thomas Scheffler. The tomb of the saint after whom the church is named, Paulinus of Trier, is located in the church"s crypt. Based in Germany"s oldest city with a s ...
Founded: 1734-1753 | Location: Trier, Germany

Bergen auf Rügen Abbey

Bergen auf Rügen Abbey was a monastery for Cistercian nuns. It lasted from the end of the 12th century to the early 16th century as a Roman-Catholic monastery and then, until 1945, as an Evangelical aristocratic nunnery. The Principality of Rügen belonged to the Bishopric of Roskilde since its conquest by the Danes in 1168, Bishop Absalon of Lund being responsible for introducing the territory to Christianity. ...
Founded: 1193 | Location: Bergen auf Rügen, Germany

Burtscheid Abbey

Burtscheid abbey was founded in 997 under Emperor Otto III. The first abbot, Gregor, who came to Burtscheid from Calabria, is sometimes said to have been the brother of Theophanu, Byzantine mother of the Emperor. He was buried beneath the altar after his death in 999, and his date of death, 4 November, was kept as a feast day until the dissolution of the abbey. In 1018 the Emperor Henry II endowed it with the ...
Founded: 997 AD | Location: Burtscheid, Germany

St. Jacob's Church

St. Jacob's church was built in the 11th and 12th centuries outside the fortifications around Cathedral Hill, and was used by numerous Jacob pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Initially, the church was modelled around Heinrich's cathedral and was constructed as a column basilica. In 1771 the baroque facade was added, behind which numerous components from the romanesque period can still be discovered. Inside ...
Founded: 1073-1109 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Weingarten Abbey

Weingarten Abbey was founded in 1056 by Welf I, Duke of Bavaria. The name Weingarten (vineyard) is documented from about 1123. He settled it with monks from Altomünster Abbey. In 1126, Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, withdrew here after his abdication; he died the same year and was buried in the abbey church. The monks worked, among other things, at manuscript illumination. Their most famous work is the Berthold Sacramentary ...
Founded: 1056 | Location: Weingarten, Germany

St. Maria zur Wiese Church

St. Maria zur Wiese is a Late Gothic hall church founded in 1313. It is made of Soest"s distinctive green sandstone. The stained glass windows are worth of seeing.
Founded: 1313 | Location: Soest, 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

St. Mary's Church

The largest church in Bielefeld is the Neustädter Marienkirche, a Gothic hall church dating back to 1293, completed 1512. Historically speaking, this building is considered to be the most precious possession of the town. It was the starting point of the Protestant Reformation in Bielefeld in 1553. A valuable wing-altar with 13 pictures, known as the Marienaltar is also kept inside. The baroque spires were destro ...
Founded: 1293 | Location: Bielefeld, Germany

Mariahilf Monastery

The diocesan town of Passau has long been a centre of religious life in Bavaria and Austria. In 1611, Prince-Bishop Archduke Leopold of Austria brought to Passau, his town of residence, a painting of the Mother of God tenderly embraced by the Child Jesus. The painting was the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder, a leading German painter, and was probably produced after 1537. This outstanding painting was greatly admired by t ...
Founded: 1624 | Location: Passau, Germany

Mosbach Abbey Church

Mosbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery, later a monastery of Augustinian Canons. As part of the systematic Carolingian Christianisation of this part of Germany, a number of monasteries were set up, covering between them the whole region of the Odenwald: Amorbach, Lorsch and Fulda, all founded in the 8th century, and Mosbach, the southernmost and least documented. It is first mentioned in a reference in the records of R ...
Founded: 1308 | Location: Mosbach, Germany

Ochsenhausen Abbey

Ochsenhausen Abbey was a Benedictine monastery was founded according a legend in the 9th century when there was a nunnery here called 'Hohenhusen', which was abandoned at the time of the Hungarian invasions in the early 10th century. A ploughing ox later turned up a chest of valuables buried by the nuns before their flight, and the monastery of Ochsenhausen was founded on that spot. The first Abbey Church of Ochsenhausen ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ochsenhausen, Germany

St. Martin's Church

Accordin the legend St. Martin was once imprisoned in a dungeon underneath this church in Worms, which was built in the 12th century. It was the chapter church of the Martinsstift, which no longer survives. Until the 15th century, the Martinskirche was a burial place for the Kämmerer family, named von Dahlberg, whose courts lay nearby in the Kämmererstrasse. The church is a Romanesque church, with red sandstone walls w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Worms, Germany

Steinfeld Abbey

Steinfeld Abbey is a former Premonstratensian monastery, now a Salvatorian convent. The origins of the site go back to about 920. The first monastic settlement at Steinfeld took place in about 1070, and the Premonstratensians settled here in 1130. It became an important monastery in the German Empire, and established a number of daughter houses across Europe, including Strahov Abbey in Prague. It was raised to th ...
Founded: 1070 | Location: Kall, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.