View of the nave toward the west window

West window

Altenberger Dom

Eugen-Heinen-Platz 2, 51519 Odenthal

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Graf Adolf IV. von Berg

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Altenberger Dom

In 1259, Graf Adolf IV. von Berg laid the foundation stone for the church that has always been known as ‘Altenberger Dom’, here not referring to a see.
The church is made of ‘Drachenfelser Trachyt’. Since the Cistercian rules provide for poverty also in architecture, the church only has one ridge turrets and no spires. In its first years, there also were no figure and colourful glasswork. The church portal is also small and inconspicuous.
Over the centuries, the influence of the Cistercians waned, which can indeed also bee seen in the church windows. While the first ones in the choir segment are plain and only slightly coloured, toward the west window they become brighter in colour and richer in ornaments. The west window finished at the beginning of the 15th century shows the New Jerusalem in a very concrete and brightly coloured representation. It is deemed the largest Gothic church window north of the Alps.
During a fire in 1815, the church’s cloistral building was destroyed and the entire structure then fell into decay. In 1830, large parts crumbled. In 1856, the restoration was funded by the Prussian state with the condition that in future it was to be used as co-denominational church for Catholics and Protestants. In 1994, extensive repair work was started, to be finished only in 2006.

Author: editorial baukunst- nrw
Last changed on 01.03.2023


Architecture » Public Buildings » Religious

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