Bonte Kerke Marienhagen

The “Bonten Kerken” - "Bunten Kirchen" in High German (colourful churches) - compel visitors to look up at all times. The mostly simple churches with the medieval ceiling paintings have been preserved hardly anywhere in Germany other than the Bergisches Land. Most of the churches were built in the 11th and 13th centuries. The churches were painted with religious motifs for educational purposes shortly after they were built, so the farming segment of the population, who could neither read nor write, could be taught the contents of the Bible. The paintings also survived the Reformation - many were added to over the centuries and in some cases new paintings were even created.

Today, all of the Bonten Kerken have been lovingly restored. In their simplicity and colourfulness, they offer a precious contrast to the often extremely ornate cathedrals and pilgrimage churches in the area.

The Protestant church in Marienhagen is one of the five "Bonte Kerken" (colourful churches) in the Oberbergisch district. In 1907, construction work led to the rediscovery of the medieval wall paintings at the church in Marienhagen, which were whitewashed at the beginning of the 17th century during a Calvinist (and therefore particularly hostile to the senses) reformation. The fragments of the paintings show the artistically sound outlook of an Early Gothic master of the highest order, attributed to the so-called “Cologne School” by experts.


guided tours are free, donations are requested
rondleidings kosteloos, om te doneren wordt gevraagd

Opening hours

April-October, 09:00-18:00
April to October: 9 am to 6 pm
November-March, 09:00-17:00
November to March (only at weekends): 9 am to 5 pm


Am Kirchplatz 1
51674 Wiehl-Marienhagen
Bonte Kerke Marienhagen
Bonte Kerke Marienhagen

(Images: Annika Kolken/Das Bergische)