View of St. Catherine's Church in Oppenheim, © CC BY SA 4.0 Dominik Ketz© CC BY SA 4.0 Dominik Ketz

Rheinhessen is a region that can look back on a lively and diverse history spanning over 2000 years. During this time, not only have people of different origins settled in the region along the Rhine from various epochs of human history, but they have also erected monumental buildings as an expression of their faith and tradition.

Many of these impressive sacred buildings can still be visited in the region between the Rhine and vineyards today, where their outstanding origins can be admired.

On our overview map of Rhine-Hesse, you can get an overview of the diverse sacred buildings in Rheinhessen.



Mainz and Worms - home to two Imperial Cathedrals

The cornerstone for the Mainz Cathedral of St. Martin was laid around the year 975 under Archbishop Willigis (975-1011). Built after the model of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the cathedral was intended to unmistakably demonstrate the city's claim as the "Second Rome" through its immense proportions. The Worms Cathedral of St. Peter is considered the smallest and most slender of the three Romanesque imperial cathedrals on the Rhine. In its present form, it was built between the years 1130 and 1181, although its origins trace back even further into the early Christian period of late Roman times.

The High Cathedral of Mainz, © CCO 4.0

Visit the Mainz Cathedral

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Dom St. Peter Worms, © CCO 4.0

Visit the Worms Cathedral

During a visit to Worms, a detour to the St. Peter's Cathedral is a must. Situated at the highest point of the city center, this impressive structure was built in the 11th century and its towers serve as a guiding landmark for visitors and locals alike. Today, just like in the past, the cathedral remains a central hub of Worms, where life thrives, commerce takes place, justice is administered, and faith is made visible. Additionally, it annually provides the backdrop for the spectacular Nibelungen Festival.

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Experience the extraordinary

A rarity between Strasbourg and Cologne...

The Katharinenkirche in Oppenheim should definitely not be missed during your visit to Rheinhessen. The architectural masterpiece not only impresses with its exterior facade featuring the "Oppenheimer Rose," but also with its outstanding location in the Rheinhessen vineyard landscape, which can be admired when climbing the church tower.

Aerial view of Oppenheim, © Dominik Ketz

St. Catherine's Church Oppenheim

St. Catherine's Church in Oppenheim is considered one of the most significant Gothic churches between Strasbourg and Cologne. Building upon a predecessor from the 13th century, St. Catherine's Church has a rich history. After being plundered during the iconoclastic riots of the 16th century and suffering destruction during the Palatine War of Succession in the 17th century, the significant church could only be extensively renovated in the 19th century. Since then, St. Catherine's Church has presented itself in its current appearance.

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The Orient in Rheinhessen...

Four church towers in Rheinhessen puzzle historians! We're talking about the "Heidenturmkirchen," whose reasons for existence and history have not been fully clarified to this day. What is certain is that the towers must have been built around the time of the First Crusade (1096-1099) in the region. However, what exactly prompted the builders to give the structures their atypical gables for the region remains unresolved to this day.

Pagan tower churches in Rheinhessen

Pagan tower churches are a true rarity in Germany; it's fortunate that there are four of them in Rhine-Hesse. Characteristic of these churches, as the name suggests, are their towers, which have a somewhat oriental flair. From the outside, the churches are definitely eye-catching, but it's also worth visiting their interiors. The elaborate decorations and ornaments are just as much a highlight as the rare towers. Furthermore, all the churches are located in close proximity to each other, making it possible to visit them all on a day trip.