Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) was built opposite of the Reinoldikirche, for the town's council and jurisdiction. It shows elements of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and houses notable Medieval art.

The church was built on the Hellweg, a main Medieval road connecting the free imperial town Dortmund with others. It was erected between 1170 and 1200 in Romanesque style to serve the town's council and jurisdiction. It is the oldest extant church in Dortmund's inner city. Around 1350, a choir in Gothic architecture was built. It served as a model for the Reinoldikirche, which was built opposite of the road.

The Marienkirche houses notable Medieval art, such as the Berswordtaltar from 1385, named after its patron, and the Marienaltar by Conrad von Soest from 1420, with scenes of the life of Mary. The central panel of the Berswordt-Altar dating from 1397 depicts the Swoon of the Virgin, an imagery which gradually disappeared from paintings of the Crucifixion after Molanus and other theologians of the Counter-Reformationcondemned its use. The Marienaltar now contains only fragments of von Soest's original masterpiece. In 1720 a new reredos was installed, and workmen took hammers and saws to the paintings to make them fit into the new frames, losing over half of the large central panel and a quarter of each of the two side panels.

Since the Reformation, it has been a Lutheran parish church of St. Marien. The church was almost completely destroyed by bombs in World War II. However, both the Marienaltar and the Berswordtaltar had been evacuated to the Cappenberg Castle at the outset of the war and thus survived. The church was rebuilt, beginning right after the war and completed in 1959. The swallow's nest organ high above the nave, was reconstructed in the same position by Steinmann Orgelbau. The glass windows were restored in subdued colours after designs of Johannes Schreiter, completed in 1972. The church serves as a concert venue for sacred music.

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Details

Founded: 1170-1200
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tobias Schade (9 months ago)
Beautiful and peaceful old church to find quiet in the middle of the city. There was a free and very friendly guide to answer questions.
Thomas “PottBubi” Wiemers (14 months ago)
The oldest church in the city just opposite the Reinholdikirche and separated by the historic Ostenhellweg shopping street.
Gangalic Catalin (18 months ago)
Cool church. Most of the time is closed due to covid, but it's still possible to get inside with a mask during specific times
Raymond Acheampong (3 years ago)
Very beautiful church
Hans - Jörg Schwoch (3 years ago)
Sehr schöne Kirche die auch zum verweilen einlädt......einen sehr schönen gepflegten Garten im Postkartenvormat.......ich kann es jedem empfehlen auch wenn man nicht gläubig ist......hier findet man seine Ruhe...
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