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UNESCO World Heritage Naumburg Cathedral

UNESCO World Heritage Site Naumburg Cathedral - Aerial view

Impressive architecture and art

2020, Charlotte Tennler, United Cathedral Founders


In the cathedral, visitors are particularly fascinated by the figures of the founders in the west choir, which were created by an unknown stone sculptor almost 800 years ago. They are taken by the variety of emotions of the figures: strong, fun-loving, melancholic, sensitive, proud, courageous and witty, the donors appear - overwhelming when you consider that they were carved out of stone around 1240 and yet seem so alive. One figure in particular stands out: Uta von BallenstedtUmberto Eco called her "the most beautiful woman of the Middle Ages", she appears proud but also mysterious.

The two rood screens in Naumburg Cathedral, which separate the choirs from the nave, are also impressive. Two preserved choirs in one church are unique in the world! And they still show today how the church was used in the High Middle Ages. In former times the east choir was the central room for the liturgy of the high collegiate clergy. The works of art in the cathedral, dating from the Romanesque and Gothic eras, allow the visitor to experience medieval liturgy in a way that is hard to find elsewhere.

It is also extraordinary how modern art is integrated into Naumburg Cathedral, placed in such a way that it fits in and stands out at the same time. On the one hand, there are the windows in the Elisabeth Chapel, designed by the Leipzig painter Neo Rauch. The windows depict scenes from the lives of the saints and are painted in a striking red, giving the chapel a particularly warm atmosphere, especially on sunny afternoons.

Sacral treasures of the cathedral and the cathedral treasure vault

Alongside other modern works of art, such as the glass art by Günter Grohs in the Cathedral treasure vaultThe bronze handrails by Heinrich Apel leading to the east choir are also impressive. Rich in detail, the works of art tell their own stories. Saint Francis and the Animals" shows the monk Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds. "The Narrow Path to Paradise" depicts man's arduous journey to paradise.

In the cathedral treasure vault the sacral treasures of the cathedral are staged. More than 30 exquisite treasures of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance fascinate visitors here, such as the Johanness Bowl from the early 13th century, the altar wing created by Lucas Cranach and the unique Naumburg Pietà.

The permanent exhibition in the cathedral area makes it possible to trace the creative path of the Naumburg Master from France to Germany. It offers insights into the work and career of the sculptor-architect. Valuable originals, artistically crafted duplicates of the Bamberg Horseman or the Mainz west rood screen, church models and manuscripts illustrate the special features of the Naumburg Master and his roots in French cathedral art.

In the almost one hectare Cathedral Garden it is possible to escape the hustle and bustle of the surroundings for a while. Idyllic ponds and blossoming nature between historic walls and bastions encourage you to pause and dream.

The Children's DomeBuilding Lodge at Naumburg Cathedral introduces children, teenagers and adults to the fascinating world of 13th century masonry huts. They slip into the role of a stonemason, glazier or master builder and embark on an exciting search for traces in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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