Fortified sacral building

Bastions and canons under the holy cross

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Cathedrals, basilicas, monasteries and also village churches which are equipped with typical fortification elements for the use of firearms.


“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" – this is the beginning of a well-known choral of the reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). In particular, the reformation and the pursuit for supremacy of the Ottomans inflamed religious wars. As a consequence, many sacral buildings were reinforced with modern fortifications and canon stations. This also applies to the world-famous castle church of Wittenberg where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door in 1517.


One of Europe’s most splendid fortified sacral buildings is the as a rectangular citadel aligned Jasna Góra Monastery in Czestochowa which is also referred to as Poland’s cultural and religious centre. High above the Austrian Danube section thrones the Benedictine monastery Göttweig sitting on powerful fortification walls. Further downstream in the Hungarian Esztergom arises the Esztergom Basilica, the cathedral of the Roman-Catholic archbishopric and mother church of the land Hungary, which is surrounded with high fortification walls close to the Danube slope. Destroyed by the Turks in the 16th century, it was re-built at the beginning of the 19th century.


Aside from these outstanding fortified monuments, a large number of fortified churches and castle churches exist between Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea which were supplemented with simple fortification components for the protection against attackers. Constructors of these distinctive buildings were farmers above all. Such extremely diverse constructions are especially wide-spread in Middle and South Germany and also very interesting for explorers with an eye for fortress architecture.


The well-known fortified churches in Romania are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.