Religious sites in Germany

Essen Minster

Essen Minster was formerly the collegiate church of Essen Abbey, founded in about 845 by Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim. The present building, which was reconstructed after its destruction in World War II, is a Gothic hall church, built after 1275 in light-coloured sandstone. The octagonal westwork and the crypt are survivors of the Ottonian pre-Romanesque building that once stood here. The separate Church of St. Johann Ba ...
Founded: 1275-1316 | Location: Essen, Germany

Blaubeuren Abbey

Blaubeuren Abbey was a house of the Benedictine Order founded in 1085 by the Counts of Rück and Tübingen, against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. The first abbot, Adzelinus, and monks were from Hirsau Abbey. Abbot Fabri was closely involved with the foundation of the University of Tübingen in 1477. In 1493 the high altar was created. The choir stalls by Jörg Syrlin ...
Founded: 1085 | Location: Blaubeuren, Germany

Church of John the Baptist

The Church of John the Baptist (Johanniskirche) is the oldest Lutheran church in Lüneburg, Germany. The church is considered an important example of northern German Brick Gothic architecture. The five-naved hall church was erected between 1300 and 1370 and repaired in 1420. In the early 15th century Conrad of Soltau, as Conrad III Prince-Bishop of Verden, failed to make St. John"s the new cathedral of h ...
Founded: 1300-1370 | Location: Lüneburg, Germany

St. Stephen’s Church

In 990 AD, Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire, endowed a collegiate foundation in Mainz and had the church built as the “Empire’s Place of Prayer”. The constructor of the cathedral was himself laid to rest in St. Stephen’s in 1011. The new Gothic building was erected between 1290 and 1335. It stands on the foundations of the basilica built in Ottonian-pre-Roma ...
Founded: 1290-1335 | Location: Mainz, Germany

Michaelsberg Abbey

After the creation of the Bishopric of Bamberg by Emperor Henry II, the first Bishop of Bamberg, Eberhard I, founded the Michaelsberg abbey in 1015 as the bishop's private monastery. Accordingly the abbot answered directly to the bishop of Bamberg, and to no-one else. The monks for the new establishment were drawn from Amorbach Abbey and Fulda Abbey. The chronicler and author Frutolf of Michelsberg was prior here until h ...
Founded: 1015 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Peter and Paul Church

The church St. Peter und Paul in Weimar, also known as Herderkirche after Johann Gottfried Herder, is the most important church building of the town. The first church was built on the same location from 1245 to 1249, but destroyed by fire in 1299. Only the foundations remain. The second building was badly damaged in the 1424 town fire. The present building dates back to the a hall church in late Gothic style, built betwee ...
Founded: 1498-1500 | Location: Weimar, Germany

St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas' Church stands besides one of Germany's oldest manmade waterways, the Frischen Grube, and was dedicated as the church for sailors and fishermen. The 37m high nave is almost the height of the Marienkirche in Lübeck. The protruding northern and southern vestibules that resemble the arms of a transept are also a particular feature of the church. The lavishly adorned southern gable takes a special place in art o ...
Founded: 1381-1460 | Location: Wismar, Germany

Basilica of St. Ursula

The Basilica church of St. Ursula was is built upon the ancient ruins of a Roman cemetery. The church has an impressive reliquary created from the bones of the former occupants of the cemetery. It is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne and was designated a Minor Basilica in 1920. While the nave and crossing tower are Romanesque, the choir has been rebuilt in the Gothic style. The Golden Chamber, or ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Cologne, Germany

Hildesheim Cathedral

Hildesheim Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1985, together with the nearby St. Michael's Church. The cathedral church was built between 1010 and 1020 in the Romanesque style. It follows a symmetrical plan with two apses, that is characteristic of Ottonian Romanesque architecture in Old Saxony. The cathedral's treasures include world-famous artworks, bronzeworks from the time of Bishop Be ...
Founded: 1010-1020 | Location: Hildesheim, Germany

Osnabrück Cathedral

St. Peter"s Cathedral in Osnabrück is a late Romanesque building and dominates the city"s skyline. The first version of St. Peter"s Cathedral was built in the year 785, 15 years after the diocese was founded by Charlemagne. The Normans destroyed the church 100 years later, and the present version of the church developed only gradually after a fire around 1100. The oldest parts of the present-day churc ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Osnabrück, Germany

Schlosskirche

All Saints' Church, commonly referred to as Schlosskirche (Castle Church) is the site where the Ninety-five Theses were likely posted by Martin Luther in 1517, the act that has been called the start of the Protestant Reformation. From 1883 onwards, the church was restored as a memorial site. A first chapel dedicated All Saints was erected at the new residence of the Ascanian duke Rudolf I of Saxe-Wittenberg ...
Founded: 1490-1511 | Location: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany

St. Martin's Church

The Church of St. Martin in Landshut is a Brick Gothic landmark of Landshut. It is the tallest church in Bavaria, and the tallest brick building and church in the world. In the year 1204, the town of Landshut was founded by Duke Louis I, Duke of Bavaria. He established Castle Trausnitz and built a small church on the site of the present-day St. Martin's Church. Construction of the current church began around 1389, under ...
Founded: 1389-1500 | Location: Landshut, Germany

Bebenhausen Abbey

Bebenhausen Abbey was a Cistercian monastery built by Rudolph I, Count Palatine of Tübingen, probably in 1183. Attractively set in a peaceful valley, it is one of the best-preserved Cistercian abbeys in southern Germany. After the Reformation swept through in 1534, and a boarding school was established in 1560, the number of monks dwindled, until the monastery was finally dissolved in 1648. The abbey’s idyllic ...
Founded: 1183 | Location: Bebenhausen, Germany

St. Boniface's Abbey

St. Boniface"s Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1835 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, as a part of his efforts to reanimate the country"s spiritual life by the restoration of the monasteries destroyed during the secularisation of the early 19th century. The abbey, constructed in Byzantine style, was formally dedicated in 1850. It was destroyed in World War II and only partly restored. The church contains ...
Founded: 1835 | Location: Munich, Germany

St. Peter and Paul Church

There was a church on the site of current St. Peter and Paul church in Görlitz already in 1230, the western part has only been remained. The current church was mainly built in between 1423-1497. A first renovation took place in 1590-1596. In a city fire in 1691, the upper floors of the western building and the inventory, including 36 altars, were destroyed. The roof could be renewed until 1712. At the same time, the chu ...
Founded: 1423-1497 | Location: Görlitz, Germany

St. George's Church

St. George's Church belongs to the most significant historical monuments of North German brick Gothic architecture. It was constructed in a long period spanning the Late Middle Ages and the Reformation, undergoing several design changes before its final completion in 1594. The colossal nave and transept is testament to the last great parish church constructed in the Middle Ages in Northern Germany. After extensive damage ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Wismar, Germany

St. Emmeram's Abbey

St. Emmeram's Abbey, now known as Schloss Thurn und Taxis, was a Benedictine monastery founded in about 739 at the grave of the itinerant Frankish bishop Saint Emmeram. Saint Wolfgang, who was made bishop in 972, ordered that a library be constructed at St. Emmeram shortly after his arrival in Regensburg. An active scriptorium had existed at St. Emmeram in the Carolingian period, but it is not known whether it occupied a ...
Founded: 739 AD | Location: Regensburg, Germany

Augsburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Augsburg is perhaps located on the site of a pre-existing 4th-century building, not necessarily a church, whose foundations have been excavated beneath the current level; the site is included within the ancient Roman walls of Augusta Vindelicorum. The first known church in the place is documented from 822, but dating to the late 8th century reigns of bishops Wikterp and Simpert. The edifice was damaged b ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Augsburg, Germany

Fulda Cathedral

Influenced by Roman Baroque architecture, the Fulda cathedral was built between 1704 and 1712 by the renowned architect Johann Dietzenhofer. The cathedral is not only Fulda’s famous landmark, but also the most significant baroque religious building in the State of Hesse. During construction many parts of the previous church, the 9th century Ratgar Basilika, were integrated in the new cathedral. Since 1752 it has bee ...
Founded: 1704-1712 | Location: Fulda, Germany

Ludwigskirche

Ludwigskirche in Old Saarbrücken is a Lutheran baroque-style church. It is the symbol of the city and is considered to be one of the most important Protestant churches in Germany. Ludwigskirche and the surrounding Ludwigsplatz were designed as a 'complete work of art', in the sense of a baroque place royale, by Friedrich Joachim Stengel on the commission of Prince William Henry. Construction was begun in 1762. After the ...
Founded: 1768-1775 | Location: Saarbrücken, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Walhalla Memorial

The Walhalla is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished people in German history. The hall is a neo-classical building above the Danube River. The Walhalla is named for the Valhalla of Norse mythology. It was conceived in 1807 by Crown Prince Ludwig in order to support the then-gathering momentum for the unification of the many German states. Following his accession to the throne of Bavaria, construction took place between 1830 and 1842 under the supervision of the architect Leo von Klenze.

The memorial displays some 65 plaques and 130 busts covering 2,000 years of history, beginning with Arminius, victor at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD.