The Doberan Minster is the main Lutheran Church of Bad Doberan. Close to the Baltic Sea and the Hanseatic city of Rostock, it is the most important religious heritage of the European Route of Brick Gothic. It is the remaining part of the Ex-Cistercian Doberan Abbey, dedicated in 1368. The first abbey in Mecklenburg, founded in 1171, which was also used as the burial site for the regional rulers, became important both politically and historically.

Through the activities of its inhabitants, the abbey greatly contributed to the cultural and economic development of Mecklenburg and became the centre of Christianity in this region. No other Cistercian abbey in Europe can lay claim to such a large amount of the original interior remaining intact. Among the treasures are the main altar which is the oldest wing-altar in art history, the monumental cross altar and the sculpted tomb of Danish Queen Margarete Sambiria.

Even after the reformation and the dissolution of the abbey in 1552, the church continued to serve as the main burial place for the ruling Mecklenburg nobility as well as the place of worship for the Evangelical-Lutheran congregation.

The Minster in Bad Doberan is said to be the most important medieval building in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the best example of medieval creativity put in practice and it is a building of the highest technical and artistic perfection. The furnishings on display are of highest artistic quality. No other church in northern Germany has such complete and historically important liturgical furnishings. The mostly well preserved Cistercian furnishings are unique. The abbey is a unique and precious artistic monument in the coastal region of the Baltic Sea.

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Details

Founded: 1368
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eddie Valadez (4 months ago)
My visit on Christmas Day 2018 was fantastic. I absolutely loved it. The Church was filled with parishioners and I drove in from Börgerende to visit. I happened to be in Germany for the Christmas holiday from SF. California and I was impressed by the history, ambiance, and maintenance of the Church and grounds. I will definitely visit when I return to Rethwisch Börgerede.
syafa haack (5 months ago)
It is not so common you need to pay a ticket to visit a church in Germany. Here you need to pay. When I came here the church was renovated. A bit chaotic. I was a bit disappointed I could not really enjoy to be there. Other worse thing is there is a public rest room in front of the church but it closed. If you need to go to toilet you need to walk a bit to the main station.
Michał Nowicki (5 months ago)
Just ok
Marion Barclay (5 months ago)
Historical church and beautifully restored
Graham Clarke (12 months ago)
A beautifully decorated church with outstanding architecture helped by the gorgeous sunny weather. A must see if your in the area.
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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 future King Konrad I) founded a collegiate chapter of 18 canons, who lived according to the rule of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, on the hilltop site. The original castle chapel was torn down and a three-aisled basilica was built in its place. The foundations of this basilica have been found beneath the present floor.

The construction of current cathedral is dated to 1180-90. The consecration was performed in 1235 by the archbishop of Trier. It seems certain that the cathedral was built in four stages. The first stage encompassed the west facade, the south side aisle, the choir and the transept up to the matroneum. This section forms the Conradine church. The second stage consisted of the addition of the inner pillars of the south nave. In this stage the bound system was first introduced. In the third phase, the matroneum in the southern nave was built. The fourth stage included the north side of the transept and the choir matroneum. By this stage Gothic influence is very clear.

The interior was destroyed by Swedish soldiers during the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and reconstructed in a late Baroque style in 1749. The Baroque renovation was heavy-handed: the surviving medieval stained glass windows were replaced; all the murals were covered up; the ribs of the vaults and columns of the arcades were painted blue and red; the capstones were gilded; the original high altar was replaced. The colorfully painted exterior was coated in plain white and the central tower was extended by 6.5 meters.

The collegiate chapter of Limburg was dissolved in 1803 during the Napoleonic period, but then raised to the rank of cathedral in 1827 when the bishopric of Limburg was founded. Some renovations in contemporary style followed: the walls were coated white, the windows were redone in blue and orange (the heraldic colors of the Duke of Nassau) and towers were added to the south transept (1865).

Further changes came after Limburg was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. It was now the Romantic period and the cathedral was accordingly restored to an idealized vision of its original Romanesque appearance. The exterior stonework was stripped of all its plaster and paint, to better conform with the Romantic ideal of a medieval church growing out of the rock. The Baroque interior was stripped away and the wall paintings were uncovered and repainted.

Further renovations came in 1934-35, enlightened by better knowledge of the original art and architecture. Art Nouveau stained glass windows were also added. A major restoration in 1965-90 included replastering and painting the exterior, both to restore it to its original appearance and to protect the stonework, which was rapidly deteriorating while exposed to the elements.

The interior is covered in medieval frescoes dating from 1220 to 1235. They are magnificent and important survivals, but time has not been terribly kind to them - they were whitewashed over in the Baroque period (1749) and uncovered and repainted with a heavy hand in the Romantic period (1870s) before finally being restored more sensitively in the 1980s.