Erfurt

Erfurt’s cathedral is the most beautiful Church in the City and it is unique in Germany. St. Mary's Cathedral was and is Thuringia's main Catholic Church. After World War II, it attracted many Pilgrims and after Germany's reunification, it became Diocesan Church of the Erfurt Bishopric.

A short history of the cathedral
742 St. Boniface ask Pope Zachary to recognize the bishoprics of Wuerzburg, Bueraberg (later Fulda) and Erfurt. The church of St. Mary acquires diocesan status.
 752 Bishop 
Boniface has a minster constructed on today's cathedral hill
1153 Collapse of this "major ecclesia", whose size and appearance remain a mystery.

Erfurt’s cathedral is the most beautiful Church in the City and it is unique in Germany. St. Mary's Cathedral was and is Thuringia's main Catholic Church. After World War II, it attracted many Pilgrims and after Germany's reunification, it became Diocesan Church of the Erfurt Bishopric.

A short history of the Cathedral

742 St. Boniface asks Pope Zachary to recognize the bishoprics of Wuerzburg, Bueraberg (later Fritzlar) and Erfurt, and the Church of St. Mary acquires diocesan status

752 Bishop Boniface has a minster constructed on today's cathedral hill 1153 Collapse of this "major ecclesia", whose size and appearance remain a mystery

1170 The new church is ready

1182 The church is consecrated on June 20

1201 Southern tower completed

1237 Northern tower completed

1253 The consecration, mentioned for this year probably applies only for the construction work done

1290 Consecration of the first extension east of the Romanesque sanctuary pre-1307 Central tower completed

1329 Cavata constucted to support the high chancel

1329-1337 Roof raised over transept and western end of the Romanesque part

approx. 1330 triangle portal added north of the northern transept

1349 Foundation stone laid for today's high chancel

1353 Consecration of crypt beneath high cancel

1370/72 Consecration of high chancel by Bishop Friedrich Rudolf of Stollberg

1455 The western part of the Romanesque basilica is demolished and the work    begins on the Late-Gothic hall-type nave

1465 The new nave is completed

1697-1707 The Baroque high alter is finished and is installed

1828 Large restoration and alteration project begins

1868 The Late Gothic nave roof is rebuilt

1968 The Neo-Gothic roof is removed and replaced by a new roof in Late Gothic style

1979 Work begins on the renovating of the masonry and preserving the medieval stained glass in the high chancel

The Gloriosa (of Erfurt Cathedral) is the outstanding specimen among the older bells to have survived. This is one of the finest achievements of European bell-casting and one of the largest bells to emerge from the Middle Ages , being about 2 meters high and 2.57 m across.


After bell with the same name had either burst or been consumed by flames, the fifth recasting was undertaken in July 1497 by Gerhardus Wou de Campis, a bell and cannon maker from the Netherlands. The casting was done in the space between the cathedral and St. Severus. It is one of the most perfect examples we know, not only by virtue of its fine, full resonance, but also of its frieze of rosettes and vine leaves between plain rings, its style of lettering and the two identical reliefs of the Virgin with in an aureole. A crack appeared in its side and sound bow in 1984, so that it had to be welded on site in 1985 by using a complicated specialist technique. welding did no last for long and soon after the crack appeared again. The new repairs were very costly because the bell had to be removed. Most of he money was raised by donations and finally in 2004 the bell was back in is place.

The other bells
The bells dedicated to St-Joseph and St Christopher were lost as a result of requisitioning during the two world wars, but recast in 1961/62 under the same names. The older bells which have survived are: Trinity (by N.J. Sorber, 1721), John (N.J. Sorber, 1720), Cosmas and Domain (Jakob Koenig, 1625), Cantabona (1492).


Sound of the great bell Gloriosa

Sound of all the bells of the cathedral