© Dominik Ketz

Elegant churches, the Bergische Dom and much more!

Although it was often difficult for the farmers to eke out a living from the bare soil of the Bergisches Land, there was one repose from the everyday burden of surviving: after the Reformation in the 16th century, the Counts of Berg – as the local rulers – allowed free choice of religion. 

The churches that invite you to visit in the two Bergisch districts are just as varied today. There are the small – but typically Bergisch – “Bonten Kerken”, whose brightly coloured ceiling and wall paintings are fascinating, while at the same time lend the church a certain simplicity. There is Altenberg Cathedral - the Bergisch cathedral surrounded by green countryside, which draws lots of visitors because of its architecture and famous windows, and the galleried basilica in Morsbach is an imposing structure with its high church tower. There are also ornate pilgrimage churches, little chapels and Ways of the Cross in the Catholic part of the Bergisches Land.

“Our guides know how to tell the stories of the churches in a lively way. Book a guided tour and let them take you back in time.”

A tip from Das Bergische

Guided tours, dates and events


" Cisterscapes - Cistercian landscapes connecting Europe"

As part of the transnational project “Cisterscapes - Cistercian landscapes connecting europe”, the Rheinisch Bergischer Kreis is working together with 17 Cistercian monastery landscapes from six European countries to attain the European Heritage Label. The project involves monastic communities in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, and its overriding aims are to bring the Cistercian network back to life and promote a shared identity. 

Receiving the European Heritage Label for a monastic landscape has a sizeable external impact both for the local community and for the entire region. There are currently only 50 sites in Germany that have been awarded the European Heritage Label. The seal will give the region a unique selling point that is recognised throughout Europe. Both the local population and visitors will stand to benefit from this. The European Heritage Label and the envisaged measures should it be awarded open up offerings for specific target audiences to the district's inhabitants, make their local area more attractive in terms of leisure activities and lead people to identify more strongly with their region and its place in the overall European context. In addition, culture enthusiasts are attracted to the Rheinisch-Bergische Kreis, which in turn stimulates cultural tourism and its economic benefits.

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