Der Altenberger Dom von weitem, © Klaus Stange, www.avttention.de

Al­ten­berg Cathed­ral

An im­pos­ing church in Ber­gisches Land

A jour­ney in­to the past: Today Al­ten­berg Cathed­ral, which has stood in the mu­ni­cip­al­ity of Odenth­al since the 13th cen­tury, is a centre for re­li­gious mu­sic.

Sur­roun­ded by green mead­ows and forests, an im­pos­ing Chris­ti­an monu­ment perches atop the west­ern edge of Ber­gisches Land: Al­ten­berg Cathed­ral, also known as the Ber­gisch Cathed­ral, has stood in the mu­ni­cip­al­ity of Odenth­al since the 13th cen­tury. The Cister­cian mon­as­tery, part of which was built in­to the cathed­ral, dates back as far as the year 1133.

And the im­press­ive Goth­ic build­ing still holds a re­cord today: the west win­dow, which dates back to around 1400 and con­tains an im­age of heav­enly Jer­u­s­alem, is the largest church win­dow north of the Alps. Apart from the mag­ni­fi­cent win­dows the cathed­ral is oth­er­wise rather plain, as re­quired by the rules of the Cister­cian Or­der re­form move­ment.

Today the cathed­ral is used by Cath­ol­ics and Prot­est­ants alike and has also es­tab­lished it­self as a centre of re­li­gious mu­sic. More than a hun­dred con­certs at­tract count­less vis­it­ors every year. In­side the church, his­tory buffs have the chance to learn a great deal about the Ber­gisch ar­is­to­crat­ic fam­il­ies of the vari­ous dukes and counts, as well as about the long his­tory of the mon­as­tery, through the nu­mer­ous tombs and grave slabs of lay and ec­cle­si­ast­ic­al princes.

Vis­it­ors to Al­ten­berg Cathed­ral can learn even more on a guided tour through the church. Some are avail­able for free on Sat­urdays and Sundays. Al­ten­berg Cathed­ral is also wheel­chair ac­cess­ible, mak­ing it an ideal des­tin­a­tion for han­di­capped vis­it­ors.


Open­ing hours:
Daily: 8 am - 6 pm

Fur­ther in­form­a­tion:
Tours from early Feb­ru­ary to late Decem­ber:
Sat­urday: 11 am
Sunday and pub­lic hol­i­days: 1 pm and 3.30 pm


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