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Churches in Amberg

Magnificent churches – from the gothic to the rococo
Basilika St. Martin
St. Martin

In the second half of the fourteenth century the plan to replace the romanesque building with a gothic hall church was established. Its construction nevertheless did not begin until 1421 with the choir, the arch of which was introduced in 1452. After the demolition of the previous church construction on the nave was begun in 1456; in 1483 the arch of the last yoke was started on. In 1509 the tower was completed up to the indent over the bell area. From 1869 to 1874 the baroque decoration was replaced by new gothic decoration. At 72 meters in length, 28 meters in width, and a ridge height of about 40 meters, the Church of St. Martin is the largest hall church in Northern Bavaria. A special feature that is only to be found in the area of the upper Saxon hall churches is shown by the end of the apse chapel, placed between the inward-pulling buttresses, with its round gallery.

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St. George
St. George

The romanesque structure of the parish church of Amberg, first mentioned in writing in 1094, the exterior appearance of which shows the oldest city seal of Amberg, was replaced by the construction of the gothic basilica, begun in 1359 and completed at the beginning of the fifteenth century, with the exception of the tower. With the transfer of St. George to the Jesuits in 1629 as a college church, the parish rights were transferred to St. Martin. After Electoral Prince Maximilian I refused to demolish the church, it was redone in a baroque fashion in the following period. In 1652 the Italian architect Francesco Garbanini completed its design in „exquisite white,“ and after 1718 Johann Babtist Zimmermann completed its restuccoing and created twelve stucco sculptures of the Apostle. After the dissolution of the Jesuit order in 1773 the church fell to the Order of Maltese Knights until its secularization in 1808, and in 1923 it again became a parish church.

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Paulanerkirche
Paulanerkirche

There is a relatively long period of time between the arrival of the Pauline fathers – the order is actually called the „Ordo Fratrum Minimorum sancti Francisci de Paula“ – in Amberg in 1652 and the construction of a cloister following the plans and under the guidance of Wolfgang Dientzenhofer in 1695. The construction of the church devoted to Saint Joseph following Dientzenhofer’s plans took place between 1717 and 1719. After the secularization of the Pauline cloister in 1802 the profaned sacred building, whose furnishings were sold to various churches, found use as a salt barn. From 1851 onwards its upper story, divided by a false ceiling, served the religious purposes of the Protestant community, which bought the entire church in 1862, and was established as a parish church one year later. After a comprehensive renovation in 1888 the former Pauline church was consecrated as a Protestant city parish church with celebration.

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Mariahilfberg Church
Mariahilfberg Church

The pilgrimage church on the Mariahilfberg was built beginning in 1697 following the plans of Wolfgang Dientzenhofer in place of a previous church that had burned down. Cosmas Damian Asam created the ceiling frescoes, Paul d’Aglio and Johann Baptise Carlone the stucco. This occurred during the plague of 1634.

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Hospital Church
Hospital Church

When King Ludwig of Bavaria founded the hospital outside the city walls that then existed in 1317, there was already a church here devoted to Saint John. This patronal image lay on the main altar of the subsequent hospital church, a single-nave church building with a retracted choir oriented towards the north, from the middle of the fourteenth century, in which the king had founded a mass for the spiritual care of the hospital inhabitants. 1326 – in the same year the hospital gave the impetus for the city’s expansion in this area – Ludwig transferred the administration of the hospital to the council, which ordered nurses for it. Numerous foundations helped in the furnishing of the hospital, resulting in a notable complex of property. Over the course of time its character changed from a large charity establishment to a retirement residence in our sense.

School Church
School Church

The sacred building today known as a school church and dedicated to Saint Augustine arose between 1697 and 1699 as a cloister church of the Salesian Sisters, who had come to Amberg shortly before. The plans for it stem from Wolfgang Dientzenhofer, with whom the responsibility for leading the construction also lay. The „roundel“ (Wiltmaister) created by him experienced a complete transformation in 1758, bringing the rococo style into Amberg. While the equipping of the inside lay in the hands of Amberg masters, Franz Joachim Schlott assumed the statuary and carpentry work, and the Superior at that time, Angela Viktoria von Orban, secured the court painter Gottfried Bernhard Götz for the fresco work. After the secularization of the cloister of the Salesians this passed to the „German School Foundation,“ which has given it its name up to the present day, along with the church. Later it became the Church of the Poor School Sisters of Our Beloved Lady.

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