Religious sites in Germany

Michaelsberg Abbey

Michaelsberg Abbey is situated on the Michaelsberg ('St. Michael's Mount'), about 40 metres above the town of Siegburg. The hill was first inhabited about 800 by the Counts of Auelgau, who built a castle there. In 1064 the Archbishop of Cologne, Anno II of Cologne, founded a monastery there, dedicated to the Archangel Michael, from whom both the mountain and the abbey henceforward took their names. He appointed the ...
Founded: 1064 | Location: Siegburg, Germany

St. Martin Garrison Church

The St. Martin garrison church of Dresden was the garrison church of Albertstadt, which had been created as a military town for much of the Saxon army. The church, built between 1893 and 1900, is divided into two separate church halls for the Protestant and Catholic denominations, of which since 1945 only the Catholic part is used in a sacred way.
Founded: 1893-1900 | Location: Dresden, Germany

Irsee Abbey

The Imperial Abbey of Irsee is a former Benedictine abbey, now a conference and training centre for Bavarian Swabia. According to tradition, the monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was founded in 1182 by Margrave Heinrich von Ursin-Ronsberg, to house a community that had grown up around a local hermit. The monastery was first established at the long-abandoned Burg Ursin, the margrave's ancestral castle, where St. St ...
Founded: 1182 | Location: Irsee, Germany

Wechselburg Priory

Wechselburg Benedictine Priory was dissolved in the 16th century and re-founded in 1993. Dedo V of Wettin founded the monastery, dedicated in 1168. Henry the Illustrious, Margrave of Meissen made a gift of it in 1278 to the Teutonic Order. In 1543 the abbey with all its possessions came into the hands of the territorial prince, Maurice, Elector of Saxony. It was eventually dissolved in 1570. After the Thirty Years ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Wechselburg, Germany

Eibingen Abbey

Eibingen Abbey (in German Abtei St. Hildegard) is Benedictine nunnery, originally founded in 1165 by Hildegard von Bingen. It was dissolved at the beginning of the 19th century during the secularization of this part of Germany. The present community was established by Charles, 6th Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg in 1904 and re-settled from St. Gabriel's Abbey, Bertholdstein. The nunnery belongs to the Beuronese C ...
Founded: 1900-1904 | Location: Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Altenkirchen Parish Church

The Protestant parish church at Altenkirchen is one of the oldest church buildings on the island of Rügen. The predecessor of the current church could have been a Slavic burial mound. Soon after the Christianization Danish builders erected a three-nave Romanesque church in 1168. The apse and choir were completed in 1200 and the baptismal font in 1240. There is also a triumphal cross from the 14th century. The freesta ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Altenkirchen, Germany

Limburg Abbey Ruins

In the 9th century, the Salian Dukes from Worms built a fortress on the Linthberg as their family seat. In the early 11th century, the fortress was converted into a Limburg monastery with a basilica. It existed until the mid-16th century, today impressive ruins remains.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bad Dürkheim, Germany

Backnang Abbey Church

The Abbey of Saint Pancras of Backnang was founded before 1116 by Herman I, Margrave of Baden, and his wife, Countess Judith of Backnang-Sulichgau. Pope Paschal I confirmed the foundation in 1116. As early as 1123, though, the monastery had to be revived by their son, Margrave Herman II, with the help of canons from Marbach Abbey in Alsace. Between 1123 and 1243 the abbey was the burial place of the Zähringen Margra ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Backnang, Germany

Seeon Abbey

Seeon Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 994 by Pfalzgraf Aribo I of Bavaria and settled by Benedictine monks from St. Emmeram"s Abbey, Regensburg. The monastery is on an island in the lake Seeoner See. The abbey soon developed a significant scriptorium, producing manuscripts not only for the abbey"s own use but also for other monasteries and churches. Their most important client was Emperor Henry II, ...
Founded: 994 AD | Location: Seeon-Seebruck, Germany

Petershausen Abbey

Petershausen Abbey was founded as an exempt abbey named after Saint Peter in 983 by Bishop Gebhard of Constance, located on the northern shore of the Rhine river opposite to the episcopal residence at Constance with its cathedral. Gebhard dedicated the monastery church to Pope Gregory the Great and settled the abbey with monks descending from Einsiedeln. Under Bishop Gebhard III of Zähringen and Abbot Theodoric (108 ...
Founded: 983 AD | Location: Konstanz, Germany

Wiblingen Abbey

Wiblingen Abbey was a former Benedictine abbey which was later used as barracks. Today its buildings house several departments of the medical faculty of the University of Ulm and is part of the Upper Swabian Baroque Route. Wiblingen Abbey was founded in 1093 by the counts Hartmann and Otto von Kirchberg. The counts offered monks of St. Blaise's Abbey in the Black Forest lands near the river Iller, which the monks used to ...
Founded: 1093 | Location: Ulm, Germany

Herrenalb Abbey

Herrenalb Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery founded probably in 1147 or 1148 by Count Berthold of Eberstein. The new monastery was settled by monks from Neubourg Abbey in Alsace. The abbey owned scattered estates and communities in the Alb valley in the northern Black Forest. The abbey was however never able to concentrate its lands so as to maximise their economic potential, and never became particularly wealthy. T ...
Founded: c. 1147 | Location: Bad Herrenalb, Germany

Steingaden Abbey

Dedicated to John the Baptist, the Steingaden abbey was founded in 1147 as a Premonstratensian house by Welf VI, third son of Henry the Black, Duke of Bavaria, and brother of Duke Henry the Proud. The first monks and their abbot came from the Premonstratensian Rot an der Rot Abbey. The Romanesque abbey church was dedicated in 1176. Between 1470 and 1491 the abbey buildings were refurbished under Abbot Caspar Suiter in the ...
Founded: 1147/1663 | Location: Steingaden, Germany

Lorch Church

The Gothic parish church in Lorch was first built in the 13th century and it is dedicated to St. Martin. The tower dates from 1576. The wooden altar (1483) is worth of seeing. There is also an early Gothic cruficix from the 13th century and font from 1464.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lorch, Germany

Heisterbach Abbey Ruins

Heisterbach Abbey was a Cistercian monastery in the Siebengebirge near Oberdollendorf. The tradition of its origin is that a knight named Walther lived as a hermit on the Stromberg, also known as the Petersberg, one of the mountains forming the Siebengebirge. When numerous disciples began to settle near his cell, he built a monastery in 1134, where the community lived according to the Rule of St. Augustine. After t ...
Founded: 1189 | Location: Oberdollendorf, Germany

St. Paul's Church

St. Paul"s Chapter Church was built by Bishop Burchard (who also built the first Worms Cathedral) in 1002. It was originally a three-naved buttress basilica. A Dominican monastery was added in 1226. Also in the 13th century, the stone dome-shaped tower roofs were added in the Byzantine style of Jerusalem"s churches. These make the church a visible monument to the Crusades. The Pauluskirche was desconsecrated a ...
Founded: 1002 | Location: Worms, Germany

Burgkirche

The Burgkirche ('castle church') is one of the largest and most imposing fortified churches in western Germany. The church is surrounded by a cemetery, which is surrounded by walls. The Romanesque tower of the church with Gothic battlements and turrets is the oldest part of the church, which was built in several phases in the late Gothic period. The restored stained glass windows and paintings in vaults - both from the 15 ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

Heilsbronn Abbey Church

Heilsbronn Abbey was a Cistercian monastery at Heilsbronn founded in 1132–33 by Saint Otto of Bamberg. It was settled by monks from Ebrach Abbey, under the first abbot Rapotho. It was one of the wealthiest monasteries of Germany, with possessions around Franconia as far as Regensburg and in Württemberg. These rich endowments were mostly made by the dukes of Abenberg and their heirs, the Hohenzollern Burgraves of Nuremb ...
Founded: 1132 | Location: Heilsbronn, Germany

St. Maria zur Höhe Church

St. Maria zur Höhe Church was founded around 1180 and remodelled later. It has an beautiful interior containing Byzantine influenced frescoes (the influence was brought to Westphalia by crusaders) and a strange wooden cross from 1200.
Founded: c.1180 | Location: Soest, Germany

St. Matthias' Abbey

St. Matthias' Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Trier. The abbey church, a Romanesque basilica, is a renowned place of pilgrimage because of the tomb of Saint Matthias the Apostle, after whom the abbey is named, located here since the 12th century, and the only burial of an apostle in Germany and north of the Alps. The abbey was originally named after Saint Eucharius, first Bishop of Trier, whose tomb is in the crypt. T ...
Founded: 977 AD | Location: Trier, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.

The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.