In addition to the secular fortifications of the Medieval Period, there were also many monasteries located in the ‘Waldecker Land’.
Together with the churches, they created the spiritual, cultural and economic foundations of clerical rule, and even today monasteries and churches bear testimony to their splendid past. In terms of tourism, the most important ones are Haina Monastery (one of the best preserved examples of Cistercian gothic architecture in Germany), Marienthal Monastery (the Waldecks’ first monastic foundation in the village of Netze, which is home to the ‘Netze Altar’ – one of the most important examples of German panel painting) and the former Cistercian monastery in Frankenberg.
The Protestant Town Church of Bad Arolsen
Julius Ludwig Rothweil planned the simple baroque building, which was erected between 1735 and 1787. At the time of the laying of its foundation, a gold and silver coin, a Bible, Luther’s Catechism and Waldeck’s Church Constitution of 1730 were immured in the wall. The Arolsen carpenter Johann Wilhelm Kaulbach was responsible for the interior furnishings of the church. The three white marble figures representing the Christian virtues of faith, love and hope (dating from 1842 to 1852) are gifts by the sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch, who was born in Arolsen.
Contact: Kirchplatz, 34454 Bad Arolsen
The Town Church of Bad Wildungen
The construction of the ‘Stadtkirche’ in Bad Wildungen was begun in 1260. As is the case with many Hessian churches, there are two architectural styles present in the Wildungen church: the Hessian influence, which can be found in the deep sanctuary, and the Westphalian influence, which is reflected in the round rooms and the square floor plan of the hall church.
Contact: Kirchplatz 1, 34537 Bad Wildungen, Phone +49 5621 4011
The Haina Monastery
One of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in Germany (with its rich glass window ornamentation) may be visited on the grounds of the ‘Center for Social Psychiatry Haina’.
The ‘Friends of the Haina Monastery’ regularly offer guided tours which are subject to prior reservation. The monastery complex is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays from April to October (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.).
Contact: Haina Monastery: +49 6456 929743, Guide: +49 6456 245
The Parish Church of St. Kilian in Korbach
The construction of the gothic church was begun in 1335. The choir and the Chapel of St. John on the northern side of the choir were built first, with the basement of the tower having been constructed in the same year. The tower itself was erected between 1380 and 1392. Since the tower of St. Kilian was frequently hit by lightning strikes, the bulbous copula seen today was added in 1709. From 1957 to 1958, the church interior was completely restored. In recent decades, both the interior and exterior of the church have been renovated.
Contact: Protestant Parish of the Town Church, Kilianstraße 5, 34497 Korbach, Phone +49 5631 2595
The Gothic Church of Our Lady in Frankenberg (Eder)
In 1286, the triple-nave gothic ‘Church of Our Lady’ in Frankenberg (Eder) was built in the style of St. Elisabeth’s Church in Marburg. In 1380, the 6.50 m tall stone altar wall was finished; it is the most valuable part of the church. At the choir of the church you can still admire the windows with gothic glass paintings from the 14th century, the tabernacle and the stone pulpit that date from 1554, as well as the ceiling paintings.
Contact: Auf der Burg, 35066 Frankenberg, Phone +49 6451 2300662
The Flechtdorf Monastery
With its many time layers ranging from the 12th to the 20th century, the Flechtdorf Monastery presents a special documentation of the building and utilization history of a monastery in the former principality of Waldeck at the border area between Hesse and Westphalia. Public tours of the monastery by trained guides are offered regularly every first Saturday of the month or by appointment (phone: +49 (0)5633 - 91124).
Contact: Kloster Flechtdorf, Klosterstraße 13, 34519 Diemelsee-Flechtdorf, E-Mail: info(at)kloster-flechtdorf.de
The Former Cistercian Convent in Frankenberg (Eder)
The three-wing building complex used to be a Cistercian nunnery. The convent north of Frankenberg was founded by Konrad von Itter in 1242. After the passing of last nun, the convent buildings were used as the seat of state authorities. From 1902 onward, the convent served as the seat of the district office of the Frankenberg district. Today, it houses a field office of the district administration of Waldeck-Frankenberg. Since 1952, the north wing has been accommodating a local museum and there is a publicly accessible herb garden in the courtyard.
Opening Times Museum: Wednesday (2 pm – 5 pm), Sunday (2 pm – 5 pm)
Contact: Bahnhofstraße 8 – 12, 35066 Frankenberg (Eder), Phone +49 6451 743672