Religious sites in Germany

Kastl Abbey

Kastl Abbey, dedicated to Saint Peter, was founded in 1103 or shortly before by Count Berengar II of Sulzbach together with Frederick and Otto, Counts of Kastl-Habsberg. It was dissolved in 1563 in the course of the Reformation, but re-established as a Catholic monastery in 1625. From 1636 the building was used by the Jesuits, from 1773 by the Knights Hospitallers. Dissolved again in 1803, it was the seat of the Provinci ...
Founded: 1103 | Location: Kastl, Germany

St. Gallus and Ulrich Church

The Parish Church of St. Gallus and Ulrich was built in 1734-1738 by Johann Georg Fischer through the conversion of a Gothic church predecessor. It was extensively renovated between 1974 and 1980. The church contains a Madonna of 1623 (attributed to Hans Zürn the Elder), a baroque pulpit of divination Johann Wilhelm (1745) and numerous tombs of the 16th and 17th century. The church also has a valuable treasure of sil ...
Founded: 1734-1738 | Location: Kißlegg, Germany

Scheyern Abbey

Scheyern Abbey was established in 1119 as the final site of the community originally founded in around 1077 at Bayrischzell by Countess Haziga of Aragon, wife of Otto II, Count of Scheyern, the ancestors of the Wittelsbachs. The first monks were from Hirsau Abbey, of which the new monastery was a priory, founded as it was against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. The original site prove ...
Founded: 1119 | Location: Scheyern, Germany

Beuron Archabbey

Beuron Archabbey is a major house of the Benedictine Order. It was founded in 1863 by the brothers Maurus and Placidus Wolter, in buildings which until 1802 had housed an Augustinian monastery. Between 1875 and 1887 because of political conditions during the 'Kulturkampf' the monks had to leave the abbey, but used the opportunity to found new communities elsewhere, which afterwards joined together under the lead ...
Founded: 1863 | Location: Beuron, Germany

St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine"s Church in Middelhagen, with boulder foundations, was built around 1455. The wooden tower was created only later – according to the strict rules of the Cistercian monks, many churches were built without towers. The Catherine"s altar from the Middle Ages (c.1480) is still preserved – it was probably installed here only after the Thirty Years" War, having been brought from Stralsund ...
Founded: c. 1455 | Location: Middelhagen, Germany

Neuburg Abbey

Neuburg Abbey was founded in 1130 by Anshelm, a monk from the Benedictine Lorsch Abbey, as a priory of Lorsch. It did not thrive, and in 1195 was turned into a nunnery by order of Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and raised to the status of abbey, but its condition did not improve as had been hoped. When Lorsch Abbey was suppressed in 1232 Neuburg passed under the authority first of the Bishop of Mainz ...
Founded: 1130 | Location: Heidelberg, Germany

Sankt Märgen Abbey

Between 1115 and 1118 the Augustinian monastery was established in Sankt Märgen by Count Bruno von Haigerloch-Wiesneck, Chancellor of Henry V and Provost of Straßburg, as competition to the Zähringen-founded Benedictine monastery of St. Peter auf dem Schwarzwald. The town and the monastery were dependent upon each other for many years. In 1716 a two-steepled Baroque monastery church was built, and the life ...
Founded: 1115-1118 | Location: Sankt Märgen, Germany

Lorch Abbey

Lorch Abbey is a former Benedictine family monastery of the Staufer family. It was founded around 1102 by the Duke Friedrich I from Staufer family. After the Reformation the abbey was turned in to the Protestant convent school in 1556. Today Lorch Abbey is open for tours.
Founded: 1102 | Location: Lorch, Germany

St. Jodok Church

St. Jodok Church was founded in 1338 by the Duke Henrik XIV. The church was not yet fully completed, when it was destroyed by fire in 1403. During the reconstruction the chapels were extended (1435-1450). St. Jodok represents the Gothic style with late Gothic (15th century) and 19th century additions. Of the many outstanding grave stones the particularly noteworthy are the tomb of Heinrich von Staudach (1483) in the cryp ...
Founded: 1338 | Location: Landshut, Germany

St. Trudpert's Abbey

St. Trudpert"s Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery. According to tradition, the abbey originated with Saint Trudpert, an Irish missionary and martyr in the southern Black Forest in the first half of the 7th century. He established a hermitage in Münstertal which became a monastery in the 9th century, and which by, at the latest, 900 had expanded to a monastic community supported by the influential noble fami ...
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Obermünstertal, Germany

Ribnitz Abbey

The Clarissa (Poor Clares) order nunnery in Ribnitz was one of the last nunnerys or monasteries to be founded in the dutchy of Mecklenburg. In 1323, Duke Heinrich II von Mecklenburg bequeathed to the Franciscans his court stronghold in the southeast of the town of Ribnitz. The first four nuns arrived from the Clarissa nunnery in the Westphalian town of Weißenfels. In 1330, the nunnery is consecrated, while today's church ...
Founded: 1330 | Location: Ribnitz, Germany

Görlitz Cathedral

The cathedral of St. Jakobus (St. James) in Görlitz was built between 1898-1900 in neo-Gothic style as a parish church. It became a cathedral in 1994, due to the reorganisation of East German dioceses. The neo-Gothic hall church in brick construction with the 68-foot tower stands on a hill and is therefore visible from afar. During the last days of World War II, the church was badly damaged by artillery fire. It was ...
Founded: 1898-1900 | Location: Görlitz, Germany

Asam Church

Without a forecourt or towers and somewhat hidden away in the Old Town, the true magnificence of the Baroque Asam Church Maria de Victoria lies in its stunning interior. Two exceptionally valuable artistic treasures adorn this architectural gem, which was built between 1732 and 1736 as the oratory of the Marian student congregation. The Incarnation of the Lord is the subject of the phenomenal ceiling fresco that was pain ...
Founded: 1732-1736 | Location: Ingolstadt, Germany

Wessobrunn Abbey

Wessobrunn Abbey was founded in about 753 and dedicated to Saint Peter. According a legend Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria was hunting nearby and had a vision of three springs, which his servant Wezzo duly discovered the next day (the name means Wesso or Wezzo"s spring(s)). The three springs are still to be seen, but there is otherwise no evidence of the truth of the story, and it is likely that the founders were a local ...
Founded: c. 753 AD | Location: Wessobrunn, Germany

Grafschaft Abbey

Grafschaft Benedictine Abbey was founded in 1072 on a site at the foot of the Wilzenberg mountain, by Saint Anno, Archbishop of Cologne, whose statue still stands at the west gate. The monastery was dedicated between 1079 and 1089. The original buildings burned down in 1270. From 1729 the premises were gradually replaced by completely new buildings in the Baroque style; the rebuild was finished in 1742 and the new ab ...
Founded: 1072 | Location: Schmallenberg-Grafschaft, Germany

Donauwörth Abbey

The Holy Cross Abbey in Donauwörth was founded around 1040 by Mangold I von Werd as a Benedictine convent. In the early 12th century the convent moved to the western edge of the city to the highest point insode the city walls. After buildings were damaged during the Thirty Years" War, the abbey church wa rebuilt. In 1770-1780 it was expanded to the Rococo style. The monastery was dissolved in 1803. The church r ...
Founded: c. 1040 | Location: Donauwörth, Germany

Marchtal Abbey

Marchtal Abbey is a former Premonstratensian monastery founded in the 8th century. In 776 the noble clan of the Ahalolfinger made a gift of the monastery founded by their ancestor Halaholf and his wife to St Gall"s Abbey. By 993 the monastery had become a collegiate foundation of canons dedicated by Herman II, Duke of Swabia, and his wife Gerberga to the apostles Peter and Paul. During the 12th century the monastery pass ...
Founded: before 776 / 1171 | Location: Obermarchtal, Germany

Buxheim Charterhouse

Buxheim Charterhouse was formerly a monastery of the Carthusians (in fact, the largest charterhouse in Germany) and is now a monastery of the Salesians. The estate of Buxheim belonged from the mid-10th century to the chapter of Augsburg Cathedral, who in about 1100 founded a house of canons here, dedicated to Our Dear Lady. In 1402 however, after a long period of decline, in an extreme move to preserve it the then provo ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Buxheim, Germany

Höglwörth Abbey

Höglwörth Abbey is a former monastery of the Augustinian Canons, dedicated to St. Peter and Paul. It was founded in 1125 by Archbishop Conrad I of Salzburg. It was the only monastery saved from the secularization of Bavaria (1802 and 1803), until Rupertiwinkel became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816. The last provost Gilbert Grab sought relief from secularization from 1813, but this was not granted until 1 ...
Founded: 1125 | Location: Höglwörth, Germany

Knechsteden Abbey

Knechsteden Abbey is a former Premonstratensian abbey in Dormagen, since the 1890s a house of the Spiritans. It was founded in 1130, and in 1138 building began on the church, which was created a basilica minor in 1974.
Founded: 1130 | Location: Dormagen, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.