Naumburg Cathedral

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Naumburg Cathedral
Naumburg Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul
Denomination Protestant
Diocese Bishopric of Naumburg-Zeitz (until 1615)
Province Evangelical Church in Central Germany
Bishop(s) Ilse Junkermann

Naumburg Cathedral (German: Naumburger Dom St. Peter und St. Paul), located in Naumburg, Germany, is the former cathedral of the Bishopric of Naumburg-Zeitz. The church building, most of which dates back to the 13th century, is a renowned landmark of the German Late Romanesque. The west choir with the famous donor portrait statues of the twelve cathedral founders (Stifterfiguren) and the magnificent Lettner, works of the Naumburg Master, is one of the most significant monuments of the Early Gothic.

The church was erected with the relocation of the Episcopal See from Zeitz in 1028, next to an old Parish church. Thus it is the proto-cathedral of the former Catholic Diocese of Naumburg-Zeitz. In the course of the Reformation, it became the see of the first German Protestant bishop, Nicolaus von Amsdorf in 1542. Upon the death of his Catholic "antibishop", Julius von Pflug in 1564, the Naumburg diocese was administrated by the Electors of Saxony and finally dissolved in 1615. Naumburg Cathedral remained an Evangelical parish church up to today.

Naumburg Cathedral is a part of the Romanesque Road in Saxony-Anhalt. Since 1999, 'The Naumburg Cathedral and the landscape of the rivers Saale and Unstrut – an important dominion in the High Middle Ages' are included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

Building history[edit]

Naumburg Cathedral, western towers and cloister courtyard
Margrave Eckard II and Uta, two of the twelve donor portraits

Naumburg Castle[edit]

Around 1000 AD, Margrave Eckard I of Meissen and the most powerful man on the eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire erected a residence on a roughly 25 metres (82 ft) high rock above the right bank of the Saale river, near the mouth of the Unstrut. The location for this castle, which was called neweburg that later became "Naumburg," was chosen for its advantageous proximity to the intersection of so many well-trafficked commercial highways on the historic eastern border of East Francia (Kingdom of Germany) with the lands of the Polabian Slavs that were incorporated into the Saxon Eastern March.

Eckard's sons, the Meissen margraves Herman and Eckard II, founded a small parish church in the western part of the area around the castle. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was first mentioned in surviving texts of the Merseburg bishopric chronicle in 1021. In 1028, after some encouragement from the brothers they won approval from King Conrad II and Pope John XIX to move the episcopal see from Zeitz to Naumburg on the grounds that the castle would provide more protection for the see than it could get in Zeitz.

Early-Romanesque Stage[edit]

Soon after the approval of the relocation of the Episcopal See, in the Spring of 1029, just to the east of the existing parish church the construction of the early-Romanesque Cathedral was begun. In 1044, during the reign of Bishop Hunold of Merseburg, the church was consecrated and the patron saints of Peter and Paul were designated, adopted from Zeitz Cathedral.

External links[edit]

  • [1] Images of some important art in the cathedral
  • [2] a small layout of the cathedral

Coordinates: 51°09′17″N 11°48′14″E / 51.15472°N 11.80389°E / 51.15472; 11.80389