List of Brick Romanesque buildings

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Apse at Lehnin Abbey

Brick Romanesque (German: Backsteinromanik) is an architectural style and chronological phase of architectural history. The term described Romanesque buildings built of brick; like the subsequent Brick Gothic, it is geographically limited to Northern Germany and the Baltic region. Structures in other regions are not described as Brick Romanesque but as "Romanesque brick-built church" or similar terms.

In comparison to Brick Gothic, Brick Romanesque is a less established and less frequently used term. One the one hand, this is caused by the fact that the Baltic region was only beginning to develop its own stylistic identity during the Romanesque period, on the other by the relatively low number of surviving buildings. Many of the major Brick Gothic edifices had Brick Romanesque predecessors, remains of which are often still visible. Nearly all preserved buildings are churches. The buildings contrast with earlier stone-built churches (Fieldstone churches or Feldsteinkirchen), which were constructed of glacial erratics and rubble. Such rounded stones limit the potential size of a building; the material and technique do not permit the construction of structures larger than a village church for static reasons. Monumental constructions only became possible through the growing use and perfection of brick building.

St. John's Church (Sankt-Johannis-Kirche) in Oldenburg (Holstein) is considered to be the oldest brick church in Northern Europe. The first monumental churches were Ratzeburg cathedral and Lübeck Cathedral, both begun shortly after 1160 under Henry the Lion. Lübeck Cathedral was later converted into a Gothic hall church (1266 to 1335). Jerichow Abbey with its convent church of which construction started in 1148 played an influential role for the brick architecture in the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For Scandinavia, the stylistically independent Roskilde Cathedral, started in the 1170s and used as the burial church for Danish monarchs, is of special importance. A last flourish and the transition to the Gothic style is marked by the Cistercian Lehnin Abbey in the Margraviate of Brandenburg.


Place Building Main period of construction Special features Image
Kalundborg Church of Our Lady Circa 1170-1200 Central structure on Greek cross plan. Central tower and 4 side towers of nearly the same height
Hærvigsgade-1 Kalundborg.jpg
Ledøje Residential church Circa 1225
Ledoeje kirke.jpg
Ringsted St. Benedict Built 1163-1170 One of the earliest brick churches in Northern Europe, basilica
Sct Bendt.jpg
Roskilde Cathedral Mainly 1170-1280 UNESCO World Heritage Site, burial church of Danish monarchs
Sorø Abbey After 1161 Former Cistercian basilica
Soroe Klosterkirke.JPG


Place Building Main period of construction Special features Image
Altenkirchen Parish Church Begun probably about 1185 Near previous Slavic cult place of the god Svantevit on Cape Arkona
Pfarrkirche Altenkirchen - 2001.jpg
Altenkrempe Basilica 1190 to 1240
Altenkrempe 4.jpg
Bad Segeberg St. Mary's
Marktplatz Bad Segeberg 2001.jpg
Bergen auf Rügen St. Mary's
Marienkirche in Bergen auf Rügen.jpg
Dessau-Roßlau Pötnitz church Consecrated 1198 Originally triple-aisled basilica. Side aisles demolished in the 17th century. Southernmost Brick Romanesque in Central Germany.
Dessau-Mildensee Pötnitzer Kirche 2008-05-01.JPG
Eutin St. Michael's 1180s to early 13th century
St-Michaelis-Kirche Eutin2007.jpg
Gadebusch Town Church St. Jacob and St. Dionysius Late Romanesque, begun around 1220
Kirche in Gadebusch.JPG
Near Greifswald Eldena Abbey South transept and choir are Romanesque, pre-1249 Ruin
Jerichow Jerichow Monastery 1148-1172 Former Premonstratensian collegiate church,
oldest brick structure East of the Elbe River
Lehnin Lehnin Abbey Circa 1185-1235, altered up to 1260
PM08-13 img03 Kloster Lehnin.jpg
Lübeck Cathedral 1163-1230 Romanesque nave, Gothic choir
Lübeck Dom-von-Westen 070311.jpg
Lübow Village church 1st half 13th century Possibly residential church of nearby Mecklenburg Castle
Kirche in Lübow.jpg
Melkow Village church Circa 1200
Wust Melkow church.jpg
Mölln St. Nicholas Early 13th century Basilica
Mölln 15.jpg
Neubukow Parish church Double-naved hall church
Neubukow Kirche 2.jpg
Neukloster Abbey church before 1227
Neukloster Kloster 1.jpg
Oldenburg (Holstein) St. John's Mainly built 1156-1160 Oldest brick church in Northern Europe
Ratzeburg Cathedral Mainly 1160-1220 Oldest fully preserved brick church east of Elbe
Ratzeburg-Dom 2006.jpg
Rehna Abbey Late Romanesque Single-naved abbey church
Luftaufnahme kloster rehna.jpg
Rieseby Village church Circa 1220/1230
Rieseby Kirche.jpg
Schaprode Village church 1st half 13th century
Schaprode Ruegen Kirche.jpg
Schlagsdorf Village church 1st half 13th century
Schleswig Schleswig Cathedral 1134 to circa 1200, built of granite, tufa and brick, Gothic additions 1275-1300
Schleswig Cathedral 0732.jpg
Schönhausen Village church Consecrated 1212
Schönhausen romanische Kirche.jpg
Vietlübbe (near Dragun) Village church Early 13th century Latin cross plan
Kirche Vietluebbe.jpg
Wust Village church Circa 1200 Tower added in the 18th century
Wust church.jpg


Place Building Main period of construction Special features Image
Chwarszczany Templar chapel c. 1280
Chwarszczany 1.jpg
Inowłódz St. Giles-Church c. 1138
Kosciol sw Idziego w Inowlodzu.jpg
Inowrocław St. Mary's Church 12th and 13th century Brick towers
Inowroclaw kosciol NMP.jpg
Kamień Pomorski Cathedral St. John after 1175 to 1250
Kołbacz Abbey Begun shortly after 1200 Former Cistercian basilica
Kolbacz kosciol.jpg
Lublin Lublin Castle Donjon 12th century Upper parts in brick, rest limestone
Lublin Donżon 2009.jpg
Oliwa Abbey After 1178 Former Cistercian Monastery
Kościół Oliwa2.jpg
Płock Płock Cathedral 1130-1144 Rebuilt several times
6 Plock 073.jpg
Poznań Church of St. John of Jerusalem Outside the Walls c. 1187 It was one of the first brick-built churches in Poland[1]
Kosciol Jana Jerozolimskiego za murami Poznan.jpg
Sandomierz Church of St. Jacob 13th century
Polska Sandomierz 007.jpg
Strzelno Church of the Holy Trinity 12th century-1216
Strzelno 3.JPG
Rotunda of St. Prokop Before 1133
Church of St. Prokop in Strzelno.JPG
Wąchock Cisterian monastery After 1179 Brick and sandstone
Cisterian monastery in Wąchock Poland.PNG
Wrocław St. Egidius Church c. 1242
Wroclaw kosciol sw.Idziego od Katedry.jpg


Place Building Main period of construction Special features Image
Vinslöv Gumlösa parish church consecrated 1192 Oldest brick building in present-day Sweden (then Danish)
Gumløse kirke.JPG
Linköping Cathedral 1230 onwards Took 250 years to build, so most visible parts Gothic


  • Wolf Karge: Romanische Kirchen im Ostseeraum. Rostock, Hinstorff 1996. ISBN 3-356-00689-4


  1. ^ (English) "Ostrów Tumski and Śródka". Retrieved 2009-12-17.