Writing this page on German churches was a lot harder than I originally thought. Yeah, sure, there’s only like a gazillion here — from the biggest of cities to the smallest of villages has at least 1.
So, how do you even begin to write a page about them? See, not so easy. ;-)
My heart belongs to the Frauenkirche in Dresden, and I can’t decide to start or end with her bittersweet story.
It’s going at the end. It’s tale worth waiting for.
Because I’d just seen the Pilgrimage Church of Wies in Steingaden (near Füssen), I’m all gung-ho on telling you all about it — not only is it a UNESCO site, it’s a Baroque church you won’t soon forget after seeing the frescoes that adorn the ceiling.
I wouldn’t dream of leaving out the Basilica of St. Castor in Koblenz, one of the oldest churches in the region. It has a War Memorial in its St. Michael Chapel, and its St. Brigid Madonna is spectacular piece of art.
From spectacular art to spectacular music, the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig was where Johann Sebastian Bach worked until his death (he’s buried here), Mozart played here in 1789, and its where Wagner baptized.
Nördlingen has two churches you should see. The St. Salvator Church was originally a Monastic Church when it was built in 1422 (a City Church from 1562); and you can climb the Daniel Tower at the Gothic St. Georg Church that was built in 1427.
Two churches await you in Cologne. And I’m not talking about the Cologne Cathedral either. A number of Romanesque Churches can be found here, but we’ll go from the youngest of them — the Basilica of St. Kunibert (1247), to the oldest — St. Pantaleon (10th century).
Over in Trier you must see the Constantine Basilica, which is also called the Aula Palatina. It was originally built in the 4th century, and was restored after it was damaged during an air raid — which is why you can see the outside bricks on the inside. An interesting history, no doubt.
My poor pal Ludwig II. His heart (literally, his heart) lies at the Stiftskirche in Altötting. It’s been tradition to bury the heart of Bavarian kings here, which is why Ludwig’s dad & grandpappy’s heart is also interred at this pilgrimage church.
Another pilgrimage church is the Basilica of Holy Blood, built in 1698 in Walldürn — but it’s been a pilgrimage site more than three centuries before that. More than a hundred thousand pilgrims come here every year to see its Blood Altar.
Wismar is another town with more than one church to see. You can’t miss St. Mary’s Church with its 80-meter high tower; and its St. Georg Church is still undergoing reconstruction from when it was destroyed during World War II.
Which brings me to the story of the Frauenkirche in Dresden. During the last days of WWII Dresden was seriously bombed, destroying the Romanesque 11th century church.
At a cost of 180 Million Euro, the landmark of Dresden was finally finished its reconstruction in 2005 — sixty years after it was flatted.
Since the Frauenkirche reopened, more than 7 million people have come back to see the church where Bach played, and see its totally unique dome.
I told you her story was bittersweet — and worth the wait. Talk about the best of Germany’s churches, huh?