In the past centuries, the churches in Germany were much more than a place for prayer, worship and teaching facilities. Find out the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Germany today.
Churches and cathedrals in Germany represented the cultural and urban development center of places. Today the churches are also popular travel destinations in Germany because the churches and cathedrals in Germany are impressive testimonies of earlier architecture and often small wonders of technology.
Below are the 14 most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Germany
- Map of the 14 most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Germany
- 1. Frauenkirche in Dresden
- 2. Cologne Cathedral
- 3. Berlin Cathedral
- 4. Aachen Cathedral
- 5. Erfurt Cathedral
- 6. Hamburg Michel
- 7. Bamberg Cathedral
- 8. Bonn Minster
- 9. Ratzeburg Cathedral
- 10. Castle church in Wittenberg
- 11. Elisabeth Church in Marburg
- 12. Speyer Cathedral
- 13. Ulm Minster
- 14. Gustav-Adolf-Stave Church in Goslar
Map of the 14 most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Germany
1. Frauenkirche in Dresden
It is the landmark and a popular sight of Dresden and is probably like no other church in Germany for the reconstruction of many places of worship after the Second World War.
The Dresden Frauenkirche was built between 1726 and 1743 and is considered a splendid testimony to the Protestant sacred building.
During the air raids on Dresden in World War II, the church was almost completely destroyed and rebuilt between 1994 and 2005.
Inside the church you can find the original altar, which survived the war with some damage.
The war damage was deliberately left at the core of the altar.
So it forms a raw counterpart to the other furnishings in the Baroque style.
The evangelists and the four Christian virtues of faith, hope, love and mercy are depicted on a total of eight paintings in the dome.
2. Cologne Cathedral
The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most popular sights in Germany and one of the impressive sacred buildings in Germany.
The foundation stone for Cologne Cathedral was laid as early as 1248. However , it was not completed until 1880 .
Although almost all architectural styles of the past centuries can be found on the church, experts see it as a uniquely successful church building that perfectly combines all styles.
Until 1884, Cologne Cathedral was the tallest building in the world .
The predecessor building of the Cologne Cathedral became an important place of pilgrimage in the early years , as the alleged relics of the Three Wise Men are kept here.
The Shrine of the Three Kings is placed in the center of the choir and is considered the largest medieval goldsmith’s work.
It is decorated with many pictures and precious stones and pearls.
Cologne Cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 .
3. Berlin Cathedral
The next beautiful church in Germany can be found in the German capital Berlin on the Spree island.
As early as the 15th century there was a church on the Spree island, which has been changed and expanded over the years in order to adapt it to the circumstances.
Today’s cathedral was erected in 1894 after lengthy construction delays and was completed in 1905 .
After the Berlin Cathedral suffered considerable damage in World War II, it was rebuilt from 1975 onwards.
Inside the almost square building you will find a Sauer organ from 1905 , and you can also look up into the church dome.
In the middle there is a Holy Spirit window, mosaics with the Beatitudes and a relief with scenes from the Acts of the Apostles.
Visited the Berlin Cathedral on a weekend trip to Berlin.
Today, the Berlin Cathedral also functions as a venue for high-profile political events such as festivities or state acts.
4. Aachen Cathedral
The Aachen Cathedral was built at the behest of Charlemagne and looks back on 1200 years of history .
From 936 to 1531 the cathedral was the coronation site of the Roman-German kings .
Even if many architectural styles influenced the exterior of the church over the years, it is still considered the most important example of the Carolingian Renaissance .
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses a large number of important works of art, which are exhibited in the Cathedral Treasury.
Among the exhibits shown there is also the Proserpine sarcophagus.
Charlemagne is said to have been buried in this marble coffin in Aachen Cathedral after his death in 814.
The exhibition in the cathedral treasury is divided into the areas of Charlemagne, liturgy, coronations, devotion to Mary, pilgrimage and reliquary.
5. Erfurt Cathedral
The next German church can be found in the beautiful city of Erfurt.
Here the ensemble of Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche shapes the cityscape of the Thuringian state capital.
The first church is said to have stood on the site of today’s cathedral as early as 752.
The building was first mentioned in 1117 .
Today you can see the stained glass windows and the largely original interior furnishings of the choir in the church.
The high altar has also been preserved.
It was made between 1997 and 1707.
The church peals a total of 13 bells.
One of them, the Gloriosa, is the largest free-swinging medieval church bell in the world.
6. Hamburg Michel
The Hamburg Michel is actually called the Hauptkirche Sankt Michaelis, but this name is almost never used.
It is one of the sights of Hamburg and the symbol of the port city .
The Michel is considered the most important baroque church in Northern Germany and is dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
A church is said to have stood on the site of today’s Michel as early as 600 .
The Michel is already the third sacred building at this location.
After a fire in 1906, the church was completely rebuilt.
The interior of the brick church is flooded with light and the vaulted ceiling shines in bright white.
A special highlight is the church tower , which is around 132 meters high and has always been an important landmark for ships heading for Hamburg.
From the visitor platform at a height of 83 meters, you have a sweeping view of the Hamburg city area.
7. Bamberg Cathedral
The Kaiserdom of Bamberg impresses from the outside with its four towers and is a little higher on the Domberg in Bamberg.
The cathedral is best known for the Bamberg rider , an equestrian statue inside the church from the first half of the 13th century.
The history of the cathedral goes back to 1004 , when Emperor Heinrich II laid the foundation stone for the first cathedral.
However, this building was destroyed by fire in 1081.
Today, Bamberg Cathedral is not just a popular tourist destination.
Inside the church you will find a large number of historical figures, impressive choirs and magnificent furnishings.
The grave of Pope Clement II is particularly worth seeing .
It is the only surviving tomb of a Pope north of the Alps.
Another impressive tomb inside the church is the imperial tomb.
Emperor Heinrich II and Empress Kunigunde lie there.
Bamberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany .
8. Bonn Minster
The next beautiful church in Germany that we would like to introduce to you is the Bonn Minster.
It was built as a Romanesque collegiate church as early as the 11th century .
Finds indicate, however, that a place of worship already stood here in Roman times.
The church combines Gothic and Romanesque style elements , the interior of the church dates mainly from the Baroque period and the last few centuries.
In this way, all elements and styles in Bonn Minster come together to form a suitable overall package.
Inside the Bonn Minster you will find two marble altars from the 17th and 18th centuries and a bronze statue of Saint Helena.
In the 11th century crypt you can see a replica of a historical shrine.
The original was stolen in 1587, as was most of the church’s treasure.
Every year during the city patronage festival you can visit the crypt of the Bonn Minster on October 10th.
The Christian martyrs Cassius and Florentius as well as Malusius are said to have lain here.
9. Ratzeburg Cathedral
The silhouette of the Ratzeburg Cathedral rises on the old town island of Ratzeburg.
The brick church was built from 1160 and is an important testimony to Romanesque brick architecture .
Inside the church you will find the oldest choir stalls in Northern Germany and the high altar from 1629 and the epitaph from 1649 have been preserved.
It shows August von Sachsen-Lauenburg and his wife Countess Catharina zu Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.
Other old treasures are the carved winged altar from the late Gothic period and the magnificent Renaissance pulpit from 1576.
10. Castle church in Wittenberg
It is one of the most beautiful churches in Germany not only because of its architecture, but also because of its historical significance .
The castle church in Wittenberg was where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on October 31, 1517.
The wooden door at that time was used by the scholars and members of the university to post information and thus present it to the population and other scholars.
In the Seven Years’ War , the door was unfortunately destroyed by fire.
Today you can admire a bronze door from 1858.
It was donated by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV on the occasion of Luther’s 375th birthday.
The text of the theses can be read on it in Latin script.
As early as 1340, a castle and a church were built on the site of today’s castle church. The castle church has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 .
Another place where Martin Luther worked was the Wartburg.
To this day it is one of the most beautiful castles and palaces in Germany .
11. Elisabeth Church in Marburg
From 1235 the Elisabeth Church in Marburg was built at the foot of the Schlossberg.
It was erected over the grave of St. Elisabeth of Thuringia , which made it an important place of pilgrimage in the late Middle Ages.I
The Elisabeth Church is the first purely Gothic church in the German cultural area.
Until the 16th century, the church was the burial place of the Landgraves of Hesse.
Incidentally, you can no longer find the bones of St. Elisabeth in the church today.
In order to set an example against the cult of relics, the then landgrave removed all relics from the church in 1539.
You can find them today in monasteries and museums all over Europe.
12. Speyer Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral is the largest preserved Romanesque church in the world and is one of the most beautiful sights in our country.
The cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981 and is the main attraction of Speyr’s old town.
From its church tower you have a great view over Speyer and the region.
On the way up to the church tower you pass the Kaisersaal. It lies above the entrance portal of the cathedral.
In the hall there are nine monumental frescoes by the painter Johann Baptist Schraudolph, which were formerly on the walls of the transept.
When the cathedral was renovated, they were dismantled and stored.
You have been able to marvel at them in the Kaisersaal since 2012.
Another attraction is the crypt from 1041.
It is located under the cathedral and can be entered.
13. Ulm Minster
The Ulm Minster is the largest Protestant church in Germany and has the highest steeple in the world .
This towers an incredible 161.53 meters into the sky and was completed in 1890.
The foundation stone for the church was laid as early as 1377 when Ulm became a free imperial city and was still a Roman Catholic.
It was not until 1530 that Ulm became Protestant and thus also the Gothic church.
The portals of the church are particularly worth seeing . They show detailed depictions of the Last Judgment, the creation story, including a god with a round earth and other planetary balls.
Inside the church you will find more detailed art treasures, pulpit, windows and organs.
14. Gustav-Adolf-Stave Church in Goslar
The last church that made it onto the list of the most beautiful churches in Germany is visually very different from the other churches presented.
From 1907 to 1908 the church was built on the model of a stave church.
This type of church construction was mainly used in the Scandinavian countries , but also in northern Germany at the beginning of Christianization.
The rod structure is a structure made of vertically looking masts on which the entire roof structure rests.
The original stave churches often still have pagan symbols such as dragon heads or snake symbols.
This was adopted in the stave church of Goslar.
The interior of the church is also made entirely of wood and offers space for around 50 people .
You can find many decorations on the walls and ceilings of the church.