13 Outstanding Churches and Cathedrals in Cologne, Germany

Updated on September 8, 2023  

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Boasting an impressive array of churches and cathedrals, Cologne's skyline is punctuated by stunning examples of Romanesque, Gothic, and modern architecture - all testament to the city's rich religious heritage.

In this blog post, we've compiled a list of must-see churches and cathedrals for anyone looking to explore the breathtaking beauty of Cologne's sacred spaces.

Background On Cologne's Religious And Architectural History

Cologne, a city renowned for its rich history and stunning architecture, has long been a hub for Roman Catholicism in Germany. With the construction of various churches and cathedrals throughout the centuries, it holds an integral role in showcasing Gothic architecture as well.

As early as the 4th century AD, Cologne saw an emergence of Christian communities who laid foundations for many noteworthy structures within its territory.

The magnificent Cologne Cathedral – one such example – boasts seven centuries' worth of collaboration from skilled architects and builders to create this masterpiece which now stands proudly on UNESCO's World Heritage List. [1]

In addition to Cologne Cathedral, several other churches including St. Andreas and Great. Great St. Martin Church.

Visiting historical sites allows travelers to immerse themselves in a fascinating blend of spiritual tradition and artistic expression spanning over many centuries.

Each church or cathedral tells its own unique story while collectively encapsulating Cologne's profound religious influence extending through time.

Top Churches And Cathedrals To Visit In Cologne

Cologne Cathedral

As the largest Gothic cathedral church in Cologne, Germany, the Cologne Cathedral stands as an awe-inspiring monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture.


Declared a World Heritage Site in 1996, this magnificent structure draws over six million visitors each year, making it Germany's most visited landmark.

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When exploring the breathtaking interior of Cologne Cathedral, you'll be amazed by its intricate details and stunning stained-glass windows that bathe the space in vibrant colors.

This incredible feat of engineering and artistry took many centuries to complete, showcasing not only religious significance but also unique architectural features representing distinct time periods throughout history.

Fun fact: There's a treasury that acts as a museum inside the Cathedral.

St. Andreas

Tucked away in Cologne's bustling banking district, St. Andreas is an outstanding example of Late Romanesque architecture that should not be missed on your visit to this historic city.

What sets St. Andreas apart from other churches in the area are its beautiful interior frescoes and stunning stained glass windows, which provide a glimpse into the intricate craftsmanship of centuries past.

While admiring the artwork and architecture, take note of how it has been expertly preserved and restored over time to maintain its original charm for visitors like yourself to enjoy today.

St. Aposteln

With its impressive Gothic architecture and rich history, St. Aposteln is a true gem among Cologne's churches. This beautiful former collegiate church is dedicated to the twelve apostles and boasts an impressive Romanesque architecture.

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The basilical plan of construction, which was a common feature during this period, makes it truly unique. St. Aposteln is an iconic landmark that holds significant cultural and religious importance as part of Cologne's rich history.

Furthermore, visitors will discover its historical significance as they explore this Gothic-style structure with intricate details carved into the walls throughout its entire interior.

They can also marvel at the stunning stained-glass windows that light up every corner of the building with vivid colors while basking in its peaceful atmosphere.

St. Cecilia's

St. Cecilia's is one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Cologne that every traveler must visit. Maintained by the Foundation of Romanesque Churches in Cologne, it boasts of stunning frescoes on the upper choir that were unfortunately damaged during World War II.

Aside from its historical significance, St. Cecilia's Church also adds up to Cologne's tourist attractions with its unique features like Gothic cathedrals and Sacred art displays making it an important part of Germany's cultural heritage buildings list alongside other landmarks.

St. Georg

Another of the 12 Romanesque church in Cologne is St. Georg. Although the exterior may seem unremarkable, don't let that fool you - this church has a unique interior with pillars partially taken from ancient Roman structures.

Divided into three naves, St. Georg's Church boasts an architectural style that sets it apart from other religious sites in the city.

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St. Gereon

As one of the oldest churches in Cologne, St. Gereon offers visitors a glimpse into the city's rich history and cultural heritage. This Romanesque church is among the top churches and cathedrals to visit in the city and holds significant historical and architectural importance.

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Built-in the fourth century, the interiors of St. Gereon are adorned with beautiful frescoes and colorful stained glass windows that add to its majestic ambiance.

This landmark church is part of Cologne's twelve great Romanesque churches, which attract tourists from all over the world for their Gothic architecture and German heritage.

So if you're looking for an enriching religious tourism experience, exploring St. Gereon should be on your list of cathedrals to visit in Cologne.

St. Kunibert

With its stunning stained glass windows and intricate stonework, St. Kunibert is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This Catholic church stands as a religious landmark named after the tenth bishop of Cologne who founded it in the 7th century.

Completed in 1247, St. Kunibert church is one of Cologne's Romanesque churches and has an impact on the Rhine panorama in the North of the cathedral city, just like its iconic counterpart, Cologne Cathedral.

St. Maria

A visit to St. Maria church is a must for anyone interested in Cologne's religious and cultural heritage. This sacred space is a perfect blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, making it unique among other religious sites in the city.

With its breathtaking design and peaceful ambiance, St Maria has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

As you explore this remarkable building, take note of how every nook and cranny is designed to evoke feelings of spiritual awe and inspiration.

St. Maria Lyskirchen

Situated on the banks of the Rhine River, this Romanesque building may be small, but it packs a punch with its intricate architecture and rich history.

st-maria-lyskirchen--cologne church and cathedral

The church was founded in 948, and the present structure dates back to 1210-1220. [2] Interestingly enough, Saint Mary in Lyskirchen is the sole Romanesque church in Cologne that was built as a parish church instead of an abbey or monastery belonging to religious orders.

In addition to its historical significance, St. Maria Lyskirchen serves as one of Cologne's cultural treasures and top tourist attractions because of its excellent location on the riverfront promenade; it provides visitors with an opportunity to take stunning photos while also appreciating Germany's rich cultural heritage firsthand.

Great St. Martin

The Great St. Martin Church is one of the most iconic religious landmarks and tourist attractions in Cologne, Germany.


Its foundations rest on remnants of a Roman chapel, built on what was then an island in the Rhine. [3]


This majestic church was first founded as a small chapel way back in 690 but was later transformed into a monastery in 708.

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It has an impressive quarter-tower top and a unique clover-like ground shape that makes it stand out from other churches and cathedrals in the area. The church contains stunning Roman ruins underground, with well-preserved columns showing their colors after centuries of wear and tear during wars.

St. Pantaleon

If you're looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, St. Pantaleon church is a peaceful haven that you won't want to miss.

Built in the 10th century as a Benedictine abbey by Archbishop Bruno, St. Pantaleon is now a former monastery church consecrated to Saint Pantaleon and the Saints Cosmas and Damian.

St. Pantaleon's Church holds immense historical significance as it is associated with the Ottonian Church, which was dedicated to Emperor Otto III's memory after his death in 1002 AD.

This significant monument is included in the top 50 churches to visit in Cologne city due to its rich history and cultural importance.

St. Severi

St. Severi is a stunning, early Romanesque basilica church s