Lutheran church of St. Mary (Marienkirche) with two gothic towers is considered the highest in Bielefeld. Its construction at the foot of the Sparrenburg fortress began in 1293. The church acquired its final appearance only by the 15th century. It was at the same time that local noblemen began being buried here. Their medieval tombstones have been preserved till our days. Two 78-metres-tall spires that can be found on any postcard with Bielefeld views have been constructed after the World War II to replace the destroyed ones. It was at that time that an organ and four massive bells were mounted in the church.
Since the 15th century there is a unique piece of art kept in Marienkirche – the Bielefeld altar of St. Mary (Bielefelder Marienaltar). It is painted by an unknown artist and shows scenes dedicated to Heaven and Earth, God and Man, Christ and Mary. This altar is recognized as one of the most valuable samples of medieval art in Germany. Two fragments of the altar – Flagellation and Crucifixion – are today kept at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.