Religious sites in Germany

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter"s Church in Garz is an impressive church built originally in the 14th century, but it took until the 16th century to finish. One of the elements on the outside of the brick building to stand out is the square west tower. A richly decorated font from the 13th century is the oldest piece of decoration. Most of the other furnishings date back to the 18th century, such as the suspended baptismal angel or the pu ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Garz, Germany

St. Mary’s Church

The Parchim 'new town' and St. Mary’s Church parish were mentioned for the first time in historical documents dating to 1249: a new town market and St. Mary’s Church with 54-metre high steeple were built at this time. St. Mary"s church steeple was finished in 1300 and its silhouette became a well-known landmark in the town. St. Mary’s Church is the oldest preserved building in Parchim and ...
Founded: 1249 | Location: Parchim, Germany

Biburg Abbey

Biburg Abbey was a house of the Benedictines founded in 1132 by Konrad and Arbo von Sittling-Biburg. They were sons of the Blessed Berta of Biburg, who donated their castle to the Bishop of Bamberg for the purpose. The foundation was originally a double monastery for both men and women; the nunnery however burnt down in 1258 and was not re-built. In 1555 the monastery was dissolved and the premises came into lay hands. I ...
Founded: 1132 | Location: Biburg, Germany

Ensdorf Abbey

Ensdorf Abbey was a house of the Benedictine Order, dedicated to Saint James. It was founded in 1121 by Pfalzgraf Otto of Wittelsbach. The monastery was dissolved in 1556 but restored in 1669, only to be dissolved again in 1802 in the secularisation of the period. The premises were taken over in 1920 by the Salesians of Don Bosco, who still occupy them.
Founded: 1121 | Location: Ensdorf, Germany

Gars Abbey

Gars Abbey was founded in 768 by the cleric Boso from Salzburg for Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria. For centuries it belonged to the archbishopric of Salzburg. The Augustinian Canons erected the present monastery building after 1122. In 1128 Bishop Conrad I of Salzburg transferred the monastery to the Augustinian Canons. In 1648 the Swedes pillaged and devastated the town and the monastery. Under Provost Athanasius Peitlhau ...
Founded: 768 AD | Location: Gars am Inn, Germany

Neustadt am Main Abbey

Neustadt am Main Abbey was first mentioned in a document dating to 768/769. Reportedly, the consecration of the abbey church was in 793. Berowelf, who succeeded Megingoz as Bishop of Würzburg, sent 50 monks to join him at this Nivenstat or Nuovenstatt ('new place'). To establish the new foundation"s independence from Würzburg, Megingoz succeeded in making it a Königskloster, chartered by the ...
Founded: 760-793 | Location: Neustadt am Main, Germany

Osterhofen Abbey

Henry V, Duke of Bavaria and his wife Luitgard erected a collegiate abbey of Augustinian Canons in his palace in Osterhofen in 1004–09. In 1017 the Emperor Henry II of Germany transferred the abbey to the diocese of Bamberg. In 1128 Bishop Otto of Bamberg brought men and women from the Premonstratensian Ursberg Abbey to the Osterhofen collegiate abbey.The abbey was endowed with extensive properties in the Wachau val ...
Founded: 1004-1009 | Location: Osterhofen, Germany

St. Michael Priory

The Priory of St. Michael, dedicated to Saint Michael, was founded in 1141 by Gebhard von Roning, as a monastery of Canons Regular, which it remained until 1598. It was re-founded in 1616 by monks from Andechs Abbey as a Benedictine community, which was dissolved during the secularization of monasteries in Bavaria in 1803. The monastery was bought in 1974 by the Canons Regular of the newly refounded Congregation of Winde ...
Founded: 1141 | Location: Paring, Germany

Neuenkamp Abbey

Prince Wizlaw I granted the central parts of the woods covering the mainland section of his Principality of Rügen to Cistercian monks from Camp Abbey in Lower Saxony who build Neuenkamp Abbey on 8 November 1231. The monks erected a church that was then the largest church in all Pomerania. The possessions of the abbey rapidly increased, 50 years after its foundation the abbey"s territory reached the coast. The wo ...
Founded: 1231 | Location: Franzburg, Germany

Schönau Abbey

Schönau Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1142 from Eberbach Abbey. The present settlement of Schönau grew up round the monastery. By the end of the 12th century Schönau was already in use as a burial place of the Staufen family: in 1195 Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Count Palatine of the Rhine, was buried here, as were his son of the same name, probably in 1186, and both his wives. Adolf, Count Palatin ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Schönau, Germany

Rinchnach Priory

Rinchnach Priory, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, was founded in 1011 by Saint Gunther, a Benedictine monk of Niederaltaich Abbey, as the first settlement in the central Bavarian Forest. In 1029 Emperor Conrad II endowed the monastery with land. It was made a priory of Niederaltaich in 1040, when Saint Gunther moved on to Gutwasser (the present Dobra Voda) in Bohemia. In 1488 the Hussites burnt the monastery down. I ...
Founded: 1011 | Location: Rinchnach, Germany

St. Vitus' Abbey

St. Vitus' Abbey on the Rott was a Benedictine monastery founded in 1121 by the nobleman Dietmar of Lungau, and dissolved during the secularisation of Bavaria in 1802. The premises were given at first to the Damenstift of St. Anna in Munich, but in 1829 came into the possession of the Saxon Baron Maximilian von Speck-Sternburg and then in 1858 were sold to Count Maximilian von Montgelas. Formerly in the diocese of Salzb ...
Founded: 1121 | Location: Neumarkt-Sankt Veit, Germany

Bredelar Abbey

In the year 1196, the Archbishop of Cologne summoned monks from the Cistercian Abbey in Hardhausen to establish a new abbey in a former Premonstratensian convent nearby that had been founded in 1170 but disbanded shortly thereafter. As abbey and landholder, the “Zisterze Breidelare“ would go on to spur the economic, intellectual and spiritual growth of the northeast Sauerland region. The Bredelar Abbey thrived for a go ...
Founded: 1196 | Location: Bredelar, Germany

St. George’s Church

St. George’s Church in Wiek was built in several phases from about 1400 onwards to the site of an early structure mentioned in 1318. Brick building on carefully hewn large boulders in the foundation and lower courses. Two choir bays and sacristy from the first building phase, with four cross-vaulted, three-aisle nave bays and narthex added a little later. At various places, late Medieval murals and crosses from abou ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Wiek, Germany

Attel Abbey

Attel Abbey was a monastery, originally of the Benedictines, later of the Brothers Hospitallers. The monastery, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Michael was founded as a Benedictine abbey by Count Arnold of Diessen-Andechs in around 1037. It was dissolved in 1803 in the secularisation of Bavaria. The abbey buildings were partly demolished, partly acquired by private owners. In 1874 the Bavarian government set ...
Founded: c. 1037 | Location: Attel, Germany

Geisenfeld Abbey

Count Eberhard II and his wife Adelheit founded Geisenfeld Abbey in 1030 after their three children had died leaving no descendants. It replaced a monastery in today"s Engelbrechtsmünster that had been destroyed around 955 AD by the Hungarians. The founders gave the abbey a lavish endowment. Instead of monks, as before, the Abbey was for use by nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict from noble families. It accommod ...
Founded: 1030 | Location: Geisenfeld, Germany

Oberalteich Abbey

Oberalteich Abbey, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was founded in c. 1100 by Count Frederick of Bogen, a lord protector of Regensburg cathedral. After a serious fire in 1245 the premises were re-constructed under abbots Heimo (1247 to 1252) and Purchard (1256 to 1260). Under abbot Friedrich II (1346 to 1358) the abbey was fortified. The church was extensively altered in the time of abbot Johann II Asperger (1438 to 14 ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Oberalteich, Germany

Schlehdorf Abbey

Schlehdorf Abbey was originally a Benedictine monastery, later an Augustinian monastery, and is today a convent of the Missionary Dominican Sisters of King William's Town. The abbey, dedicated to Saints Dionysius and Tertullinus, was founded around perhaps 740 from the nearby Benediktbeuern Abbey. In 769 it was resettled by monks from the abandoned Scharnitz Abbey. The first abbot, Atto, brought with him the relics of Sa ...
Founded: 740-769 AD | Location: Schlehdorf, Germany

Thierhaupten Abbey

Thierhaupten Abbey, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was founded in the late 8th century by Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria - the last of the Agilolfings, who was deposed by Charlemagne in 788. Under the Carolingian dynasty, the abbey became a possession of the Augsburg bishops. Its name Thierhaupten, which means 'beasts' heads' in German, is supposed to refer to a heathen shrine formerly on the site, possibly the remnants ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Thierhaupten, Germany

Ursberg Abbey

Ursberg Abbey is a former Premonstratensian monastery, now a convent of the Franciscan St. Joseph"s Congregation. The monastery, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint John the Evangelist, was founded between 1126 and 1128 by the nobleman Wernher of Schwabegg-Balzhausen. It was the first Premonstratensian foundation in southern Germany. The monastery became an Imperial abbey in 1143. As was usual with early Premonstrate ...
Founded: 1126-1128 | Location: Ursberg, 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.