Religious sites in Germany

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary"s Church is the biggest of three town churches in the Hanseatic city of Rostock. St. Mary"s was designated in 1265 as the main parish church and since the Protestant Reformation in 1531 it"s the house of a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Mecklenburg. St. Mary"s Church is a large Brick Gothic church. It was enlarged and modified at the end of the 14th century into the ...
Founded: 1265 | Location: Rostock, Germany

St. George's Collegiate Church

St. George"s Collegiate Church is a late gothic structure built by Peter von Koblenz in 1470. The stained glass windows were designed by Peter Hemmel of Andlau. It is the central landmark and one of the first to convert to Martin Luther"s protestant church. It maintains (and carefully defends) several 'Roman Catholic' features, such as patron saints.
Founded: 1470 | Location: Tübingen, Germany

Bonn Minster

The Bonn Minster (Bonner Münster) is one of Germany"s oldest churches, having been built between the 11th and 13th centuries. At one point the church served as the cathedral for the Archbishopric of Cologne. Castra Bonnensia was a fortress on the site of current Bonn built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It survived the breakup of the Roman Empire as a civilian settlement, and in the 9th century it became t ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bonn, Germany

Neumünster

According to tradition, the Irish bishop Kilian were killed with his fellows at the site of today Neumünster church. Bishop Megingoz built the first church on the site as a memorial for martyrs in the 8th century. The next church was built around 1060 and renewed in 1250. The current Baroque appearance dates from the 18th century (1711-1722). In World War II the church was partly destroyed and restored later.
Founded: 1711-1722 | Location: Würzburg, Germany

Speyer Cathedral

Speyer Cathedral was founded by Konrad II in 1030, probably soon after his imperial coronation. It was rebuilt by Henry IV, following his reconciliation with the Pope in 1077, as the first and largest consistently vaulted church building in Europe. The Cathedral was the burial place of the German emperors for almost 300 years. Speyer Cathedral is historically, artistically and architecturally one of the most significant ...
Founded: 1030 | Location: Speyer, Germany

St. James' Church

St. James" Church is one of the five principal churches of Hamburg. The history of the church goes back to 1255 when St. James" was a small chapel located outside the Hamburg city walls. After these were extended in 1260, it became part of the Hamburg city territory. Between 1350 and 1400, the chapel was replaced by a hall church with three naves, similar to St. Peter"s. Around one hundred years later, a f ...
Founded: 1255 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Nicholas' Church

The Gothic Revival Church of St. Nicholas was formerly one of the five Lutheran Hauptkirchen (main churches) in the city of Hamburg. The church lies now in ruins, with only its tower remaining, serving as a memorial and an important architectural landmark. The church was the tallest building in the world from 1874 to 1876 and is still the second-tallest structure in Hamburg. With the founding of the Nikolai settlement an ...
Founded: 1846-1863 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Maria Lyskirchen

St. Maria Lyskirchen is the smallest of the twelve Romanesque churches in Cologne. It was founded in 948, and the present building dates from 1210-1220, with some later additions in the Gothic style. The upper parts of the west front were rebuilt in the 19th century. The church is in the form of a three-aisled basilica, with a chancel flanked by two towers, only one of which was constructed to its full height, and an ea ...
Founded: 1210-1220 | Location: Cologne, Germany

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter"s Church, once three-naved, was built between 1227 and 1250 and expanded in the 15th and 16th century to a five-naved Gothic hall church. The church roof was destroyed during the Second World War and was provided with an emergency roof in 1960. Reconstruction was only completed in 1987. Nowadays, St. Peter"s is no longer used as a church. Instead, the 800-year-old light and airy church interior has ev ...
Founded: 1227-1250 | Location: Lübeck, Germany

St. Lambert's Church

St. Lambert"s church in Münster was built between 1375 and 1450. It is best known for of three iron cages in which the bodies of Anabaptist leader Jan Matthys and his lieutenants were exhibited in 1535 after their torture and execution. This  was the last episode of so-called Münster Rebellion. Jan Matthys was a charismatic Anabaptist leader in Haarlem. In 1534, an Anabaptist insurrection took control of Mü ...
Founded: 1375-1450 | Location: Münster, Germany

St. Mary's Chapel

Marienkapelle (St. Mary"s Chapel) is a late Gothic hall church. The construction started in 1377 and was finished in 1480 with the erection of a church tower. Elaborate ornamentation, especially in the arches of the doorways (figures of Adam and Eve by Tilman Riemenschneider – the originals are now on display in the Mainfränkisches Museum, replaced by replicas from 1975). Interior was replaced after fire ...
Founded: 1377-1480 | Location: Würzburg, Germany

Magdeburg Cathedral

Magdeburg Cathedral is the oldest Gothic cathedral in Germany. It is the proto-cathedral of the former Prince-Archbishopric of Magdeburg. The 100m high steeples make it one of the tallest cathedrals in eastern Germany. The cathedral is the landmark of Magdeburg and also home to the grave of Emperor Otto I the Great. The first church built in 937 at the location of the current cathedral was an abbey called St. Maurice, de ...
Founded: 1209 | Location: Magdeburg, Germany

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter"s Church in Hamburg stands on the site of many former cathedrals. It was probably built originally in 1189 and first documented in 1195. In about 1310, the cathedral was rebuilt in a Gothic style and was completed in approximately 1418. The bronze lion-head door handles, the oldest work of art of Hamburg, date from the foundation of the tower in 1342. A second tower, built in 1516, towered above even the H ...
Founded: 1189 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

St. Stephen's Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral is a baroque church built in 1688. Since 730, there have been many churches built on the site of the current cathedral. The current church, a baroque building around 100 metres long, was built from 1668 to 1693 after a fire in 1662 destroyed its predecessor, of which only the late gothic eastern side remains. The cathedral's overall plan was made by Carlo Lurago, its interior decoration by Giovanni ...
Founded: 1688 | Location: Passau, Germany

Münster Cathedral

Münster Cathedral stands in the heart of the city, on a small hill called Horsteberg. This area, which also contains the Domplatz and surrounding buildings, was the old Domburg. West of the cathedral lies the bishop"s palace and part of the old curia complex along with the current cathedral chapter. The cathedral had two predecessors. The first cathedral (called the Ludgerus Dom, 805-1377) stood to the north of ...
Founded: 1192-1264 | Location: Münster, Germany

Erfurt Synagogue

The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the ma ...
Founded: c. 1094 | Location: Erfurt, Germany

St. John's Church

The Church of St. John was originally built on the site of the Headquarters of the Order of St. John around 1200. In around 1400, the church was completely remodeled in the late gothic style, giving it its current appearance. The west choir loft was added between 1600 and 1628 and the upper floor was extended to form the town’s largest grain store. The Steinmeyer organ dates from 1885 and was restored in 2004. Ano ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

St. Severus Church

The Church of St. Severus, a five-naved early Gothic hall church, was a collegiate church for the regular canons of St Augustine during the 12th century. Today, along with the cathedral, it is Erfurts most famous landmark.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Erfurt, Germany

St. John's Church

St. John"s Church was built in the fourteenth century as a Franciscan abbey church. Franciscans erected a monastery with a basilica in 1225 on the site of the current church. The monastery grew rapidly and the church was soon too small. As a result, a vaulted Hall church with three aisles was built in its place in 1380. The money for this came mostly from the many funerary endowments resulting from the Black Death in ...
Founded: 1380 | Location: Bremen, Germany

St. Martin's Church

St. Martin"s Church was founded in 1229. The Gothic brick building has many colourful windows depicting biblical scenes. Of particular interest are the carved pulpit and the baroque organ front. The bells of St. Martin"s ring the well-known hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty", written in the 17th century by Joachim Neander, who was the church"s pastor at the time. He gave his name to the Nean ...
Founded: 1229 | Location: Bremen, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.