Church buildings are important testimonies of cultural heritage that shape the image of cities and villages. As a result of current social changes, many church buildings in Europe can no longer be operated and maintained by church institutions. They are sold, rented, converted. The topic is complex and has so far been discussed mainly at local and regional level. For the first time, the Herrenhausen Symposium brings together experts from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain with the aim of exchanging experiences, expanding the field of vision and developing new perspectives in European comparison. 

The target audience are persons responsible in church, monument preservation and politics, academics, members of educational institutions and all those interested in the topic. The symposium addresses an expanded public, convinced that churches are public buildings that ultimately belong to the public. An important aspect of the symposium is the involvement of young scientists and young professionals as well as society stakeholders or volunteers that are active in this field.

The symposium will be held in German as well as in English. All presentations will be translated, from English in German and from German in English. 

Program: A detailed program could be found under downloads.

Session I: The Perspective of Culture Studies, Ritual Studies and Theology
Session II: The Architectural and Urban Development Perspective
Session III: The Monument Protection Perspective
Session IV: The Perspective of Process Planning
Session V: The Perspective of Real Estate Business
Session VI: The Perspective of the Public
Session VII: The Perspective of the Rural Areas


  • "Kirche von morgen im Dialog planen. Möglichkeitsräume im Roderbruch", Results of a workshop with students of architecture and theology
  • "Fluch und Segen. Kirchengebäude im Wandel", 17 projects of the Museum der Baukultur Nordrhein Westfalen, Gelsenkirchen
  • "Land und Leute. Die Kirche in unserem Dorf", Wüstenrot Stiftung, Ludwigsburg