Religious sites in Germany

Meissen Cathedral

The Meissen Cathedral is situated on the castle hill of Meissen, adjacent to the Albrechtsburg castle. It was the episcopal see of the Bishopric of Meissen established by Emperor Otto I in 968. It replaced an older Romanesque church. The present-day hall church was built between 1260 and 1410, the interior features Gothic sculptures of founder Emperor Otto and his wife Adelaide of Italy as well as paintings f ...
Founded: 1260-1410 | Location: Meißen, Germany

Liebfrauenkirche

The Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Beloved Lady) has always been the parish church of Koblenz. It dates back to the 5th century when the Franks erected a place of prayer within the Roman walls. The church has been converted and extended several times using the original foundations. The gothic chancel was built around 1404 but the Baroque dome towers date from 1693. The twin-tower façade in the west corresponds to ...
Founded: 1180 / 1404 | Location: Koblenz, Germany

Xanten Cathedral

Xanten Cathedral (Xantener Dom) is considered the biggest cathedral between Cologne and the North sea. The cathedral owes its name to Victor of Xanten, a member of the Theban Legion who was supposedly executed in the 4th century in the amphitheater of Castra Vetera for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This Roman camp is near today's town of Birten. According to legend, Helena of Constantinople recover ...
Founded: 1263 | Location: Xanten, Germany

Basilica of Constantine

The Basilica of Constantine (Konstantinbasilika or Aula Palatina) is a Roman palace basilica that was built by the emperor Constantine (AD 306–337) at the beginning of the 4th century. Today it is used as a church and owned by a congregation within the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. The basilica contains the largest extant hall from antiquity with a length of 67 m, a width of 26.05 m and a height of 33 m. It is d ...
Founded: 310 AD | Location: Trier, Germany

Wieskirche

The Pilgrimage Church of Wies (Wieskirche) is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the municipality of Steingaden. The sanctuary of Wies is a pilgrimage church extraordinarily well-preserved in the beautiful setting of an Alpine valley, and is a perfect masterpiece of Rococo art and creative genius, as well as an exceptional testimony to ...
Founded: 1745-1754 | Location: Steingaden, Germany

St. Michael Church

St. Michael"s Church with its famous staircase towers majestically over Schwäbisch Hall"s marketplace. It was consecrated on 10th February 1156 by the Bishop of Würzburg. From this period only the four bottom storeys of the Romanesque west tower have survived, along with the porch. From here the Archangel Michael – a stone sculpture from the late 13th century – watches over the trading on the marketplace a ...
Founded: 1156 | Location: Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine's Church is one of the five principal Lutheran churches of Hamburg. The base of its spire, dating from the 13th century, is the second oldest building preserved in the city, after the lighthouse on Neuwerk island. It is situated on an island near what was formerly the southern boundary of the medieval city, opposite the historic harbour area on the Elbe river. It traditionally served as the church of the sea ...
Founded: 1256 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Church of All Saints

The Church of All Saints, also known as Holy Cross Church (Kreuzkirche) was built in 1478 by Jörg von Halsbach and was the first church with a cemetery in the St. Peter parish. It was once located at the crossing of four roads, whence the original suffix am Kreuz ('at the Cross'). It has unadorned brickwork walls, Gothicvaults and a tall bell tower. The interior was rebuilt from 1620 in Baroque style, the only remaining ...
Founded: 1478 | Location: Munich, Germany

Predigerkirche

Predigerkirche ('Preacher"s Church') is a monastic church to the Dominican friary adjacent to the church. Predigerkirche was originally built by the Dominican Order in the 13th century, when the mystic Meister Eckhart was prior here. The church only became a Protestant church after the Reformation. The original building was modified in 1340-50, and the bell tower was built between 1447 and 1488. Around 1806 ...
Founded: 1340-1350 | Location: Erfurt, Germany

St. Peters Church

St. Peters Church dates back to 1094, but the current building was founded in the 12th century. It has been restored and rebuilt a number of times over the years, but the main. Inside are many original furnishings and items from centuries ago. Also inside you will find the tomb of Johann Friedrich von Wolfskehl from 1609.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bacharach, Germany

Alte Kapelle

According a tradition collegiate church of Our Dear Lady of the Old Chapel (Alte Kapelle) dates from Roman times. In the 18th century the Romanesque basilica was magnificently rebuilt in the Bavarian rococo style. Of special interest is the new organ which was dedicated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 during his visit to Regensburg.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Regensburg, Germany

Church of Peace

The Protestant Church of Peace (Friedenskirche) is situated in the palace grounds of Sanssouci Park in Potsdam. The church was built according to the wishes and with the close involvement of the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV and designed by the court architect, Ludwig Persius. After Persius" death in 1845, the architect Friedrich August Stüler was charged with continuing his work. Building includ ...
Founded: 1845 | Location: Potsdam, Germany

St. George's Church

St. George's Church with its 90 m high tower is a late Gothic style main church of Nördlingen. It was built between 1427-1505. The pulpit dates from 1499 and high altar from 1683 with a late medieval crufixion scene made by Nicholas Gerhaert of Leyden.
Founded: 1427-1505 | Location: Nördlingen, Germany

St. Elizabeth Church

St. Elizabeth's church was dedicated to Elizabeth of Hungary in 1235. After the Reformation, this was the only Roman Catholic church in the Protestant city of Nuremberg. It soon became inadequate for its congregation, and the church entered into protracted negotiations with the city magistrate, which lasted from 1718 to 1780. Finally agreement was reached for a new church, and the old one was demolished in 1784. Franz Ig ...
Founded: 1785 | Location: Nuremberg, Germany

Basilica of St. Castor

The Basilica of St. Castor is the oldest church in Koblenz A fountain called Kastorbrunnen ('Castor well') was built in front of the basilica during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Since 2002, the Basilica of St. Castor has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. The first church of St. Castor was built between 817 and 836 by Hetto, the Archbishop ...
Founded: 1208 | Location: Koblenz, Germany

St. James Church

St. Jakob (St James the Greater) church was founded in 1209 by Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The small Romanesque chapel was demolished about 80 years later and the church rebuilt. The church soon came into the possession of the Knights of St John. By Frederick II, the order was equipped with more and more possessions. The church still contains the reredos on the high altar which dates from 1360-1370. During the Reformati ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Nuremberg, Germany

St. Martin's Church

St. Martin"s Church is located in the heart of Bamberg. Built by the Dietzenhofer brothers, it is Bamberg"s only baroque church. The creation of this church is closely linked with the Jesuits as it was originally constructed as the university church and the church of the Jesuit College. After a construction period of just seven years, the house of worship was consecrated in 1693. The trompe d"oeil dome by ...
Founded: 1693 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Deutz Abbey Church

Deutz Abbey was founded in 1003 on the site of a Roman fort by the future Saint Heribert, Archbishop of Cologne, close adviser of Emperor Otto III. Heribert died in 1021 and was buried in the Romanesque church he had had built here. The theologian Rupert of Deutz was abbot during the 1120s. The abbey had extensive properties, but its strategic position by the Rhine exposed it to involvement in fighting, and ...
Founded: 1003 | Location: Cologne, Germany

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style ...
Founded: 1173 | Location: Lübeck, Germany

Limburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Limburg is one of the best preserved late Romanesque style buildings. It is unknown When the first church was built above the Lahn river. Archaeological discoveries have revealed traces of a 9th-century church building in the area of the current chapel. It was probably built in Merovingian times as a castle and the chapel added in the early 9th century. In 910 AD, Count Konrad Kurzbold (cousin of the fut ...
Founded: 1180-1235 | Location: Limburg an der Lahn, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.