Altenberger Hof

The hotel “Altenberger Hof” is located right next to the Altenberger Dom (Altenberg Cathedral), also known as the “Bergische Dom”. The outdoor area of this historic house offers us the perfect location for our whip activity on Sunday.


With the cathedral in the background, our photo shoot will have a historical setting that is second to none.

After the photo shoot and the whip activity there is enough time to visit the cathedral.

Wonderful windows from various times, the Altenberg Madonna, the reliquary and the impressive organ make a visit to Altenberg Cathedral a special cultural highlight.

Altenberg Cathedral

The Altenberg Cathedral (also Bergischer Dom) is the former monastery church with the patronage of St. Mary’s Assumption of the Altenberg Abbey, built by the Cistercians since 1133.

Until 1511 the church was also the burial place of the counts and dukes of Berg and the dukes of Jülich-Berg.

The listed Altenberg Cathedral is located some 20 km (driving distance) northeast of Cologne on the western edge of the Bergisches Land in the Altenberg (Bergisches Land) district of the municipality of Odenthal in the Rheinisch-Bergischen district.


The Altenberg Cathedral was built as a monastery church from 1255 on the site of a Romanesque predecessor building consecrated around 1160. The Cistercians had already come to Altenberg in 1133 and had started building an abbey. Towards the end of the 12th century the abbey had 107 priestly monks and 138 lay brothers, so the construction of a large church was considered.

Count Adolf IV von Berg laid the foundation stone for the “Bergische Dom” on March 3, 1259 in the presence of the Archbishop of Cologne, Konrad von Hochstaden. Measured at the start of construction, it is roughly as old as Cologne Cathedral. The choir was consecrated in 1287, and on July 3, 1379, on behalf of the Archbishop of Cologne, it was consecrated as a whole by Bishop Wikbold Dobilstein von Kulm, who is buried in the cathedral’s high choir. The large west window was inserted around 1400.

The Cistercian order emerged through reforms from the Benedictine order. In contrast to other orders, it preferred secluded valleys for the construction of the monasteries. In terms of architecture, it initially followed a strict rule of the order – the “ideal plan” – the principles of which can also be seen in part in Altenberg. The buildings had to be of ascetic simplicity and were not allowed to have church towers, but only roof turrets. There was no monumental westwork. In the beginning, closed choirs and chapels were prescribed, but from around 1150 the ambulatory choir with a chapel wreath was the norm, and this was also implemented here.

Statues, colored figure windows and other elaborate decorations were also prohibited. However, these initially strict rules have been weakened over time.

Today’s cathedral is a Gothic work and consists of Drachenfelser trachyte. The floor plan shows a three-aisled basilica with an ambulatory and seven chapels. In the formal language of the church, Cistercian austerity is combined with Gothic from northern France (including the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres and Reims). Following the building regulations of the Cistercian order, there are no towers, only a roof turret on the crossing. Likewise, figurative representations and colored glazing were missing at the beginning, but were added later.


Fotos und Text on this page via Wikipedia

Stained Glass window: Von Aldebaraner – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0
Madonna: Von Beckstet – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0
Organ: Von Westerdam – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0
Historical copper engraving: Von Sartor – Das Bergische Land DuMont Kunstreiseführer Kultur