There are numerous castles, ruined castles and fortresses in the Middle Rhine Valley – hardly anywhere else in the world will you find such a dense concentration of castles. But even more than the castles, it was the churches which dominated and still dominate the scene in the towns and villages along the Middle Rhine.

There is nowhere in the whole World Heritage valley without at least one place of worship, and often there are more. Churches, monasteries and chapels testify to an almost two thousand year history of faith in the Middle Rhine Valley, for Christianity has been at home here ever since Late Antiquity. The earliest parts of the oldest churches go back to the 5th century AD. The Middle Rhine Valley is also a treasure trove of medieval buildings from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. The notable churches St. Kastor in Koblenz, St. Severus in Boppard and Our Lady’s (Liebfrauen) in Oberwesel are only a few outstanding examples. The region also has a rich legacy of buildings from the Baroque era and 19th century Historicism. However, unlike the castles and palaces which

have lost their original raison d’être, the churches and chapels are still very

much alive. Their daily rhythms are still determined by prayer and meditation,

services and holy masses. We thus have to consider the churches, monasteries,

convents and chapels from two different perspectives: as places where faith

is practiced but also as rich testimonies to the history of art, which both amaze

and delight their visitors. Many of the magnificently restored churches and

chapels are open to the public and invite visitors to stop and reflect.