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Erfurt Cathedral

Photo © Alexander Johannes. View all images in our Erfurt Cathedral Photo Gallery.
Photo © Tschaut Marcus.
Photo © Holger.
Photo © Melanie Bateman.
Photo © GFDL.

Erfurt Cathedral (German: Dom, Mariensdom, or Domberg St Marien) is an impressive Gothic cathedral with some Romanesque parts situated on a hillside in Erfurt. Inside are many important art masterpieces.

History

Most of the Dom is Gothicand dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, but the lower parts of its huge towers are Romanesque and belonged to a church built on this site for Bishop Boniface in 742.

On April 3, 1507, Martin Luther was ordained a priest in Mariensdom (see Luther in Erfurt and The Luther Trail).

What to See

The wide stairs that lead dramatically from the Domplatz to the main entrance of the cathedral provide a good view of the 14th-century Gothic presbytery, which is supported by a massive fortress-like substructure known as the Kavaten (late 13th century).

The choir and transepts were built on top of the Kavaten in the mid-14th century in a pure High Gothic style, and the highly decorated triangular porch was added soon after. The porch features vivid statues illustrating the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.

The Dom was completed in the 15th century with the addition of the spacious hall nave, whose very German appearance contrasts with the French influence evident elsewhere.

The Dom's central tower houses the Maria Gloriosa bell, cast by Gerhard Wou in 1497. It was the largest bell cast during the Middle Ages and, at 2.5 m (8 feet) in diamater, it is still the world's largest medieval free-swinging bell. Guided tours provide a closeup view of the great bell, but before you take to the stairs, note that the tower does not offer a view over the city.

The interior has well-preserved Gothic decorations and rich furnishings. Of particular note are the 14th- and 15th-century stained glass windows, which are one of the most impressive sets in Germany.

Also of note are the Gothic choir stalls (1370), "Wolfram," a Romanesque (c.1160) bronze candelabra shaped like a man, and a stucco altar of The Enthroned Madonna with Saints (mid-12th-century).

Items of interest in the nave include a small altar of The Madonna and Child with SS Catherine and Barbara by Lucas Cranach, and the tomb of the supposedly bigamous Count of Gleichen and his wives.


Quick Facts on Erfurt Cathedral

Site Information
Names:Erfurt Cathedral
City:Erfurt
State:Thuringia
Country:Germany
Categories:Cathedrals
Faiths:Christianity
Styles:Gothic
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Erfurt, Germany
Coordinates:50.975866° N, 11.023664° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Erfurt Cathedral

Below is a location map and aerial view of Erfurt Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Erfurt Tourism Office
  2. The Rough Guide to Germany 6.
  3. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Germany

More Information

Article Info

Title:Erfurt Cathedral
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:03/29/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/erfurt-dom-cathedral/germany/erfurt-dom-cathedral
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