In what can easily be translated in words the “city of heartbreak” is a serious misnomer of the religiously passionate town of Herzenbrock-Clarholz.
On the contrary, Herzebrock-Clarholz will easily win your heart over with its rich history of religious devotion and medieval charm.
In the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany lies this little enclave of two municipalities, Herzebrock and Clarholz, with Herzebrock dating back to sometime in the mid the 8th century. While Clarholz is the younger sister of the two, it’s just a mere 400 years younger.
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Since religion played an integral part of daily life from the days of the Dark Ages clear through the Middle Ages, it’s no wonder that Herzebrock-Clarholz got some wonderful old churches and monasteries celebrating centuries of religious life.
Herzebrock has a wonderful Local History Museum located in the former Benedictine Monastery. The local monastery museum in Clarholz gives you a glimpse of monastic and local village life. Keep in mind, these local museums are only open on Sundays for only a few hours in the afternoon.
The monastery buildings of Herzebrock, the originals dating from 1313, were moved to their current position after several devastating fires.
Make sure you visit the Parish Church Christina and its 12th century towers. The Parish Church Laurentius is also quite remarkable and its beauty is only enhanced by the changes and additions added on through the centuries on the original Roman Basilica that stood here.
For whatever the reasons, there were very few Protestants here in Herzebrock through the centuries and only after the Second World War did they build the Protestant Cross Chuch in 1952, when the Protestant population surged from incoming refugees.
Clarholz also had a large refugee community building its own church, the Protestant Grace Church also in 1952 after the faithful had held their services for years in an old restaurant.