Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig
Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig

Dominican friary and collegiate church of St. Paul

The collegiate buildings and cloisters are today a Dominican friary (a museum from 1881 to 1928). The Salian dynasty had an ancestral castle here, and the three-nave Romanesque pillar basilica was built by Bishop Burchard, with construction beginning in 1002.
The western part with its octagonal dome dates from the 13th century. The round turrets with their stone-faced roofs known as “heathen towers” (Heidentürme) show a clear oriental influence from the time of the Crusades.

Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig
Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig

Over 1000 years old

A special jubilee was celebrated in 2002/2003: "1000 Years of St. Paul’s in Worms“. St. Paul’s seminary, built by Bishop Burchard and begun in the year 1002, occupies on a site that was and is in the city centre of Worms and. The collegiate church was originally built as a three-nave pillar basilica. The stone helmets on the domes are a special feature, dating from the 13th century and in the Byzantine/Early Christian style of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Splendour and destruction

Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig
Paulusstift, Foto: R: Uhrig

Throughout the centuries, the canons of the Friary of St. Paul’s influenced life in Worms, both ecclesiastically and culturally. The friary experienced and suffered the ups and downs in the city’s history: the splendour of Imperial Diets but also the fires and destruction, for example those of the year 1689. The collegiate church with its Romanesque architecture was almost completely destroyed but then rebuilt by 1717 as a Baroque hall church with ceiling paintings showing scenes from the life of St. Paul.

Dominican Friars in St. Paul’s

Secularization brought an end to religious life here from the year 1797 on. St. Paul’s friary was dissolved and the buildings used for secular purposes, in the following years as a storehouse, to store hay and finally from 1880 as a city museum.

As a result of secularization, the Dominican order lost its friary in Worms, which had been established in 1226. In the 1920s, the order expressed interest in a new foundation, and on 16th May 1929, the church was newly consecrated as a Dominican friary. Dominican friars have been living here and working as a religious community since this time. Much of the friary church was in ruins following bombing on 21st February 1945. Generous support from the people of Worms led to reconstruction, enabling the church to be used again from 1947.

Since 1993, the friary has also been a training institution where novices spend their novitiate. All of the friars have duties in the church, conducting religious services, preaching sermons, hearing confessions and giving counselling. As well as these internal duties, some of them are also active outside the friary, providing pastoral care in hospitals in Worms, in the prison in Darmstadt-Eberstadt or for nuns and in spiritual retreats.

Maintenance of the friary church

The interior of the church has been renovated and an organ has been installed. The building’s old structure will be preserved in the future so that the Dominican Friary of St. Paul can remain a special place to see in Worms for many visitors to the city.



Dominikanerkloster St. Paulus
Paulusplatz 5
67547 Worms

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Opening hours

 9 - 6 pm

guided tours

Besichtigung des Paulus Kloster
Besichtigung des Paulus Kloster


Visits are possible, but visitors must first make an appointment by telephone. Please note that it is not possible to offer visits to the friary regularly or frequently as it is used as a living and working space. The collegiate church, however, is open to visitors all day.


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