St. Apollinaris, a church that looks like a castle

Apollinaris Monastery

The Apollinaris Church is surrounded by monastery buildings and a beautiful garden with a wonderful view of the Rhine

Touring the Rhine on the Remagen side, I saw this monastery that looked to me like a castle sitting on the hill

One day I was driving through Remagen along the Rhine, and while I was leaving town, I saw this castle on a hill to my left. Well, the building that looked like a castle was actually a Franciscan Monastery until 2006, and is now used by another religious group.

Apollinaris Monastery

I was touring the Rhine on the Remagen side going to Bonn, when I saw this church I first thought was a castle. It definitely caught my eye.

St. Apollinaris received its current name at the beginning of the 15th century from the relics of St. Apollinaris. It is not known exactly how long they have been there, but most likely since the last decades of the 14th century.

There were pilgrimages to St. Apollinaris and to the 14th-century sarcophagus in the crypt, where the main relic is kept to this day.

Only assumptions can be made about the origin of the relic. They probably come from the Benedictine Abbey of Siegburg, which bequeathed one of its precious relics to its provost founded in 1117 on today’s Apollinarisberg. The Siegburg Benedictines looked after the old Apollinaris Church until 1793.

An aerial view of the Apollinariskirche by Wikimedia

At the end of 2006, the Franciscan monks left Mount Apollinaris and the “Gemeinschaft der gekreuzigten und auferstandenen Liebe” (Community of the crucified and risen love”) and took over the pilgrimage. On the first pilgrimage day of the great Apollinaris pilgrimage in 2007, Bishop Dr. Reinhard Marx commissioned the new community on the mountain to restore the old traditions.

Tumba with the head relic of Apollinaris in the crypt of the Apollinaris Church in Remagen

St Apollinaris relic Joachim Schäfer - Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon

According to legend, the relics on the Apollinaris came to Germany in 1164 together with those of the three kings by the Archbishop of Cologne, Reinald von Dassel. A small church was built on the Apollinarisberg near Remagen, which was looked after by Benedictines from the Siegburg Abbey

Pictured: St. Apollinaris relic by Joachim Schäfer – Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon

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