Religious sites in Germany

Maria Laach Abbey

Maria Laach Abbey was founded in 1093 as a priory of Affligem Abbey (in modern Belgium) by the first Count Palatine of the Rhine Heinrich II von Laach and his wife Adelheid von Orlamünde-Weimar, widow of Hermann II of Lotharingia. Laach became an independent house in 1127, under its first abbot, Gilbert. The abbey developed as a centre of study during the 12th century. The 13th-century abbots Albert (1199–1217) ...
Founded: 1093 | Location: Andernach, Germany

Schleswig Cathedral

Schleswig Cathedral is the main church of Schleswig and was the cathedral of the Bishop of Schleswig until the diocese was dissolved in 1624. After the founding of Schleswig diocese in 947, the first cathedral in Schleswig was built. Today, neither the size nor the location of this cathedral is known. In 1134, construction of a new Romanesque basilica began. The work was only completed around 1200, because an additional n ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Schleswig, Germany

Altenberg Abbey

Altenberg abbey was founded in 1133 as a daughter house of Morimond Abbey and settled initially in the old castle of the Counts of Berg, Burg Berge, which the counts had left for Schloss Burg, but moved to the new purpose-built monastery in the valley of the Dhünn in 1153. It flourished sufficiently to undertake the settlement of a number of daughter houses of its own from 1143 to 1443. In 1803 it was dissolved du ...
Founded: 1133 | Location: Altenberg, Germany

Weltenburg Abbey

Weltenburg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded by monks of the Hiberno-Scottish mission around 620 AD. It is held to be the oldest monastery in Bavaria. According to tradition, the abbey was founded in 617 by Agilus and Eustace of Luxeuil, both students of Columbanus. Reportedly during the first half of the 8th century, the abbey took on the rules of the Benedictine order and was supported by Tassilo III. By 932 at ...
Founded: 617 AD | Location: Weltenburg, Germany

Fulda Abbey

Fulda Abbey was a Benedictine abbey as well as an ecclesiastical principality founded in 744 by Saint Sturm, a disciple of Saint Boniface. Through the 8th and 9th centuries, Fulda Abbey became a prominent center of learning and culture in Germany, and a site of religious significance and pilgrimage following the burial of Boniface. The growth in population around Fulda would result in its elevation to a prince-bishopric i ...
Founded: 744 AD | Location: Fulda, Germany

St. Ulrich's and St. Afra's Abbey

From the late 16th century onward, the Abbey of St. Ulrich and St Afra was one of the 40-odd self-ruling imperial abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire and, as such, was a virtually independent state. The territory of that state was very fragmented: the abbey of St. Ulrich and St Afra proper enclaved within the Free Imperial City of Augsburg, and several small territories disseminated throughout the region. At the time of its d ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Augsburg, Germany

St. Stephan's Church

St. Stephan"s Church is built on the most eastern of the seven hills. It has been Bamberg"s most important protestant church since 1807. The original building, which was probably donated by empress Kunigunde, was erected at the same time as Heinrich"s Cathedral and was consecrated by Pope Benedict VIII in 1020. Today"s church was constructed in two phases in the 17th century and is based on a Greek cr ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Catherine's Monastery

St. Catherine"s Abbey in Stralsund is one of the few Northern German monasteries, whose Gothic substance has almost survived in its entirety. It was built by the Dominicans in 1251 and used as orphanage and public school after the Reformation. Nowadays, it is home to the famous German Oceanographic Museum and the Museum of Cultural History, offering a comprehensive collection of artefacts of the region’s histor ...
Founded: 1251 | Location: Stralsund, Germany

St. Catherine's Church

The Katharinenkirche (St. Catherine's church) is regarded as important Gothic church building on the Rhine, alongs with the cathedrals of Cologne and Strasbourg. Construction began probably in 1225, when Oppenheim was granted Town privileges. Since the merger of the Lutheran and Reformed congregation in 1822, it is a United Protestant church and its congregation forms part of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau.
Founded: 1225 | Location: Oppenheim, Germany

Basilica of St. Severin

The Basilica of St. Severin is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne. St. Severin was established in the late 4th century as a memorial chapel and extended several times. The oldest parts of today"s building date back to the 10th century.  The church has been extended and enlarged several times. On the passable archaeological dig area under the church in the midst of a Roman graveyard the foundation r ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Cologne, Germany

Minden Cathedral

Minden Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Gorgonius and Peter, is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Minden. From the year 803 AD, when the area was conquered by Charlemagne, it was the center of a diocese and subsequently became the center of a small sovereign state, a prince-bishopric of Minden, until the time of the Peace of Westphalia (1648), when Minden was secularized as the Principality of Minden (which l ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Minden, Germany

St. Ignatius Church

The red sandstone facade of St. Ignatius’s rises up in the midst of the low houses of the old city in Kapuzinerstrasse. The church was constructed between 1763 and 1774 to the plans of Johann Peter Jäger, namely in place of the old church of a suburb enclosed within the city wall after 1200. The church shows an impressive interplay of baroque, as the expression of joy in faith, and classicism, as the expression of rea ...
Founded: 1763-1774 | Location: Mainz, Germany

St. Kilian's Church

St. Kilian"s Church in Heilbronn is a Protestant Gothic hall church dating back to the 11th century. The church has one of the most remarkable renaissance church towers in Germany. The high altar was done by Hans Seyffer. Some of the stained glass is by Charles Crodel.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Heilbronn, Germany

St. Patrokli Church

St. Patrokli is of great example of Romanesque architecture in Westphalia. In 960, Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne transferred relics of St. Patroclus from Troyes to Soest. Since 964, they have been housed in the church.  The original building, with a monumental westwerk, was completed before 1000. In the first half of the 11th century, the westwerk was rebuilt after a fire. The altar was consecrated on in ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Soest, Germany

St. Stephen's Church

The Breisacher Stephansmünster is a Romanesque-Gothic church and landmark of the town of Breisach am Rhein. The church dates from the 12th century and was expanded and remodelled to the Gothic style in the 15th century. The construction time is not precisely known. It was probably started after 1185 and completed in 1230. The church is known for its historically significant interior, for example for the more than 100 ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Breisach am Rhein, Germany

Freising Cathedral

Freising Cathedral, also called Saint Mary and Corbinian Cathedral, is a romanesque basilica. An early church was present on the site by AD 715, consecrated as episcopal church by Boniface in 739. A triple nave was constructed in 860 and rebuilt after a fire in 903. The church was completely destroyed by fire on Palm Sunday, 5 April 1159. Construction of the current romanesque building started in 1159 and completed in 120 ...
Founded: 1159-1205 | Location: Freising, Germany

Alpirsbach Abbey

Alpirsbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 1095 by Count Adalbert of Zollern. It was settled by monks from Sankt Blasien in the Schwarzwald. It was dissolved as a Catholic monastery in 1535 in the course of the Reformation by Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, but the buildings have continued in Protestant use for various purposes until the present day.
Founded: 1095 | Location: Alpirsbach, Germany

Benediktbeuern Abbey

Benediktbeuern Abbey is a monastery of the Salesians of Don Bosco, originally a monastery of the Benedictine Order. The monastery, dedicated to Saints James and Benedict, was founded in around 739/740 as a Benedictine abbey by members of the Huosi, a Bavarian noble clan, who also provided the three brothers who served one after the other as the first three abbots, traditionally named as Lanfrid, Waldram, and Eliland, for ...
Founded: 739 AD | Location: Benediktbeuern, Germany

St. Nicholas Church

The church of St. Nicholas is the youngest and smallest of the three main churches of Lüneburg. The three-aisled basilica was built from 1407 to 1440 in the Gothic red brick style. Since the Reformation in Lüneburg in 1530 Protestant worship services have been held in the church.
Founded: 1407-1440 | Location: Lüneburg, Germany

Villingen Münster

Construction of the Villingen Münster first began in 1120. The late Romanesque church was rebuilt in around 1220. Heinrich von Fürstenberg chose the church as his burial site. In 1530, the dedication of the church was changed from John the Baptist to Mary and was consequently renamed "Church of our Lady".
Founded: 1120 | Location: Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.

As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.

The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.