The Naumburger Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, located in Saxony Anhalt, Germany, is an important architectural work of the Late-Romanesque as well as the Early- and Late-Gothic. Especially interesting are statues of the twelve cathedral founders (Stifterfiguren) and the magnificent Lettner of the western choir, works of the Naumburg Masters. The church was erected with the transfer 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. After the Reformation, in 1542, it became the see of a Protestant Bishop, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, until 1548, then the Catholic Bishop, Julius von Pflug, returned, but when he died, in 1564, it lost its function as episcopal see and fell under the control of the Electorate of Saxony. It remains an Evangelical church today.
The Naumburg Castle
Around 1000 AD, Eckard I the Margrave of Meißen and the most powerful man on the eastern border of the Holy Roman Empire erected a roughly 25 meter construction on the left bank of the Saale 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.
His sons, Hermann 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 in the Merseburg Bishopric's Chronicle in 1021. In 1028, after some encouragement from the brothers they won approval from the 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.
The History of the Cathedral
The Early-Romanesque Stage
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 early-Romanesque Cathedral was begun. In 1044, during the reign of Bishop Hunold the church was consecrated and the patron saints of Peter and Paul were designated.