Erfurt Cathedral

Coordinates: 50°58′33″N 11°01′24″E / 50.9759°N 11.0233°E / 50.9759; 11.0233
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Erfurt Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Mary at Erfurt
  • Erfurter Dom
  • Hohe Domkirche St. Marien zu Erfurt
  • Propsteikirche Beatae Mariae Virginis
Erfurt Cathedral (left) and St Severus's Church (right)
50°58′33″N 11°01′24″E / 50.9759°N 11.0233°E / 50.9759; 11.0233
LocationErfurt, Thuringia
DenominationRoman Catholic
DedicationSt Mary
Functional statusActive
Groundbreaking12th century
Height81.26 m (266 ft 7 in)
Tenor bell weight11.45 t (11.27 long tons)
DioceseDiocese of Erfurt
ProvostGregor Arndt
Vicar(s)Bernhard Drapatz
Deacon(s)Matthias Burkert
Organist(s)Silvius von Kessel

Erfurt Cathedral (German: Erfurter Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Marien zu Erfurt,[1] English: Cathedral Church of St Mary at Erfurt), also known as St Mary's Cathedral, is the largest and oldest church building in the Thuringian city of Erfurt, central Germany. It is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt. The cathedral was mainly built in the International Gothic style and is located on a hillside overlooking the main town square (Domplatz, Cathedral Square),[2] directly next to St Severus' Church. As a unique architectural ensemble, both churches together form the city's landmark. Former German names include Marienkirche and Propsteikirche Beatae Mariae Virginis.


The site of the present cathedral has been the location of many other Christian buildings, for example a Romanesque basilica and a church hall. In 742, Saint Boniface erected a church on the mound where Erfurt Cathedral is now sited. In the mid-12th century, the foundations of the original church were used for a Romanesque basilica. In the early 14th century, the mound was enlarged to make room for St Mary's Cathedral.[3]

Martin Luther was ordained in the cathedral on 3 April 1507.[4]


The architecture of Erfurt Cathedral is mainly Gothic and originates from the 14th and 15th centuries. The building has many notable architectural features, including the stained glass windows and the interior furnishings. The central spire of the cathedral's three towers houses the Maria Gloriosa which, at the time of its casting by Geert van Wou in 1497, was the world's largest free-swinging bell. It is the largest surviving medieval bell in the world. It is known for the purity of its tone.[citation needed]

Relics and treasures[edit]

The cathedral houses many rare and rich furnishings and sculptures, including the tomb of the supposedly bigamous Count von Gleichen, accompanied by both of his wives, a stucco altar from around 1160, a bronze candelabra called Erfurter Wolfram, the oldest free standing cast work in Germany, and, out on the portal, statues of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.[5]: 50 


Strike tone
Bell location
1 Gloriosa 1497 Gerhardus de Wou, Erfurt 2,560 11,450 e0 +3 Middle Tower, lower
2 Dreifaltigkeit 1721 Nicolaus Jonas Sorber 1,940 4,900 g0 +12 North tower
3 Joseph 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1,840 4,600 a0 +8 South Tower
4 Andreas 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1,540 2,600 c1 +11 North Tower
5 Christophorus 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1,360 1,900 d1 +10 South Tower
6 Johannes Baptist 1720 Nicolaus Jonas Sorber 1,190 1,000 e1 +7
7 Cosmas und Damian 1625 Jakob König, Erfurt 750 200 des2 Middle Tower, upper
8 Cantabona 1492 Hans Sinderam 650 300 g2
9 Engelchen about 1475 Claus von Mühlhausen, Erfurt 550 125 as2
10 Namenlose 1475 Meister Peter 500 75 b2
11 Wandlungsglocke 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 550 100 f2 Dachreiter (Hochchor)
12 Paulusglocke 2009 Br. Michael Reuter, Maria Laach 390 42 d3
I Martha 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda e2 Lantern
II Elisabeth 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda gis2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official website, retrieved 15 June 2018
  2. ^ Stade, Heinz, et al. (2015) Erfurt: eine Stadt in Wandel, Leipzig: Edition Leipzig
  3. ^ Christoph Engels, (2010) '1000 Sacred Places', Tandem Verlag GmbH, p 55
  4. ^ Lull, Timothy, Nelson, Derek (2015) Resilient Reformer: The life and thought of Martin Luther, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress
  5. ^ Schmidt, Martin (2019). CityTrip Erfurt, Weimar. OCLC 1158500991. Retrieved 15 February 2022.

External links[edit]