Detail of the Christ Column (Christussäule), a monumental bronze column commissioned by Abbot Bernward around 1015 for St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim. The design of this unique object is based on Trajan's Column in Rome, replacing scenes of military victory with triumphant episodes from the life of Christ, primarily miracles. There are 24 scenes in all, beginning at the bottom with Christ's baptism in the Jordan River and ending with his Triumphal Entry at the top. The capital at the top is a 19th-century copy. Originally, the column was topped with a cross, but that was melted down in 1543 after the Reformation.