Germany and the Low Countries
416. Speyer Cathedral. Begun 1030
416. Speyer Cathedral, from the
Speyer Cathedral, Interior
German Romanesque architecture, centered in the Rhineland, was equally
conservative, although its conservatism reflects the persistence of
Carolingian-Otto-nian rather than earlier traditions. Its finest
achievement is the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, begun about 1030 but
not completed until more than a century later. It has a westwork (now
sheathed by a modern reconstruction) and an equally monumental eastern
grouping of crossing tower and paired stair towers (fig. 416). As on
many German facades of the same period, the architectural detail derives
from the First Romanesque in Lombardy (compare S. Ambrogio), long a
focus of German imperial ambitions. However, the tall proportions are
northern, and the scale is so great as to dwarf every other church of
the period. The nave, one-third taller and wider than that of Durham,
has a generous clerestory, since it was planned for a wooden roof. Only
in the early twelfth century was it divided into square bays and covered
with heavy, unribbed groined vaults akin to the Lombard rather than the
417. Tournai Cathedral.
The impressive eastern end of Speyer Cathedral is echoed in a number of
churches of the Rhine Valley and the Low Countries. In the Cathedral of
Tournai (fig. 417), it occurs twice, at either end of the transept. The
result is the most memorable massing of towers anywhere in Romanesque
architecture. Originally, there were to have been four more: two at the
west facade (later reduced to turrets) and two flanking the eastern apse
(replaced by a huge Gothic choir). Such multiple towers had been firmly
established in medieval church design north of the Alps since the time
of Charlemagne (see fig. 382), although few complete sets were ever
finished and even fewer have survived. Their popularity can hardly be
accounted for on the basis of their practical functions (whether stair
towers, bell towers, or watchtowers). In a way not easily fathomed
today, they expressed medieval man's relation to the supernatural, as
the ziggurats had done for the ancient Mesopotamians. (The story of the
Tower of Babel fascinated the people of the Middle Ages.) Perhaps their
symbolic meaning is best illustrated by a "case history." A certain
count had a quarrel with the people of a nearby town, led by their
bishop. He finally laid siege to the town, captured it, and, to express
his triumph and humiliate his enemies, he lopped the top off their
cathedral tower. Evidently, loss of tower meant loss of face, for towers
were considered architectural symbols of strength, power, and authority.
417. Tournai Cathedral. Nave,
1110-71; transept and crossing,
417. Tournai Cathedral,
The Bamberg Cathedral (German:
Bamberger Dom, official name Bamberger Dom St. Peter und St. Georg) is a
church in Bamberg, Germany, completed in the 13th century. The cathedral
is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat
of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
The cathedral is a late Romanesque
building with four imposing towers. It was founded in 1004 by the
emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on May 6, 1012. It
was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081. The new cathedral, built
by St. Otto of Bamberg, was consecrated in 1111, and in the 13th century
received its present late-Romanesque form.
The cathedral is about 94 m long, 28 m
broad, 26 m high, and the four towers are each about 81 m high. Of its
many works of art may be mentioned the magnificent marble tomb of the
founder and his wife, the empress Cunigunde, considered the masterpiece
of the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider, and carved between 1499 and
Another treasure of the cathedral is an
equestrian statue known as the Bamberg Horseman (German: Der Bamberger
Reiter). This statue, possibly depicting the Hungarian king Stephen I,
most likely dates to the period from 1225 to 1237.
Bamberg Cathedral is typically German
in appearance with a transept and short chancel, and a second apse
projecting from the eastern end, the main door being at the side. The
paired towers flank each end of the building and have later copper
The cathedral was founded in 1004 by the emperor Henry II, and was
consecrated in 1012. During the next two centuries it was burnt down
twice. The building we now see is a late Romanesque building with four
big towers. It has a choir at both ends. The east chancel is dedicated
to St. George. This symbolizes the Holy Roman Empire. The west chancel
is dedicated to St. Peter symbolizing the Pope.
Bamberg Cathedral, Interior
Bamberg Cathedral, Cunigunde and Heinrich II
carved in the entrance porch.
Bamberg Cathedral, The Bamberger Reiter.
Cathedral of St Peter (German:
Wormser Dom) is the principal church and chief building of Worms,
Germany. Along with Speyer and Mainz, it ranks among the finest
Romanesque churches along the Rhine. This magnificent basilica, with
four round towers, two large domes, and a choir at each end, has an
imposing exterior, though the impression produced by the interior is
also one of great dignity and simplicity, heightened by the natural
color of the red sandstone of which it is built. The Catholic
Prince-Bishopric of Worms ceased to exist in 1800.
Only the ground plan and the lower part
of the western towers belong to the original building consecrated in
1110. The remainder was mostly finished by 1181, but the west choir and
the vaulting were built in the 13th century, the elaborate south portal
was added in the 14th century, and the central dome has been rebuilt.
The ornamentation of the older parts is
simple; even the more elaborate later forms show no high development of
workmanship. Unique sculptures depicting salvation stories appear above
the Gothic-era south doorway. The baptismal font contains five
remarkable stone reliefs from the late 15th century. The church's
original windows were destroyed by bombing in 1943; between 1965 to 1995
new windows were made by Mainz artist Alois Plum.
The cathedral is 110 m long, and 27 m
wide, or, including the transepts, which are near the west end, 36 m
(inner measurements). The height in the nave is 26 m; under the domes it
is 40 m.
Worms Cathedral, Germany
Worms Cathedral, Germany
Worms Cathedral, interior
The Lund Cathedral, Sweden
The Lund Cathedral, interior
The Lund Cathedral (Swedish: Lunds domkyrka) is the Lutheran
cathedral in Lund, Scania, Sweden. It is the seat of the bishop of Lund
of the Church of Sweden.
Lund was an important town long before there was a cathedral. Lund was
the site of the Skane Assembly (Danish: landsting) at St Liber's Hill
into the Middle Ages. It was also the site of a pre-Christian religious
A cathedral was built in Lund before
1085, but it is difficult to know if the present building was built in
the same place. In the gift letter of Canute the Holy, dated to May 21,
1085, there is a mention of a cathedral built during the 1080s. Canute
gave several properties that enabled the building of the cathedral.
However, sources indicate that Canute's cathedral is not the present
Lund Cathedral. The Cathedral School was established in 1085, making it
Denmark's oldest school.
King Eric I of Denmark went to Rome on
a pilgrimage and secured two important concessions from Pope Pascal II:
sainthood for his murdered brother, Saint Canute IV and the creation of
an archdiocese that included all of Scandinavia. Lund was named as the
headquarters. Bishop Asser Thorkilsson became the first archbishop for
all of Scandinavia in 1104 and the cathedral was begun sometime after he
took office. The building was constructed in the typical basilica style
with half-rounded arches supporting a flat timber ceiling. The cathedral
was constructed out of granite blocks. The high altar of the crypt was
consecrated in 1123. The cathedral and the high altar were consecrated
to St Lawrence on September 1, 1145 by Archbishop Eskil, Asser's
successor. Of the present church only the apse has remained unchanged.
Lund became the religious heart of Denmark and over the years many
monasteries, nunneries, priories sprang up around the cathedral.
Lund played a vital role in Denmark's
history from the time it was made a bishopric. It was the place of many
important meeting between kings and nobility. Valdemar II was crowned
there in 1202. In 1234 the church suffered an extensive fire. When the
church was rebuilt a lecture wall, new vaults and a new facade to the
west were added. Many valuable artistic additions were done to the
church in mediaeval times. In 1294 Archbishop Jens Grand was arrested in
the Cathedral. In the 1370s, magnificent gothic choir stalls where
installed in the church, and in 1398 a gothic, cupboard-shaped wooden
altarpiece was placed in the main chapel. An astronomical clock was
installed in the nave around 1424 and renovated many times. In the
1510s, during the reign of King John I, German artist Adam van Düren led
a major renovation of the church. In the crypt, van Düren created a well
decorated with interesting reliefs and a monumental sarcophagus for the
most recent archbishop of Lund, Birger Gunnersen.
Lund was an important cultural and
religious city in the Middle Ages, as attested by its large number of
churches and monasteries. The Reformation caused a dramatic decrease of
the influence of the church in the city and country. In 1527 the
Franciscan Monastery was forcibly shut down by a mob of townspeople who
had received permission to close the monastery. Franciscans were
especially hated because they lived by soliciting alms in addition to
tithes and other fees ordinary people had to pay to the church. Torben
Bille was the last Archbishop and struggled vainly against the Lutherans
until he was imprisoned in 1536. He was released the following year
after he submitted to the Church Ordinances. The cathedral was stripped
of statues, medieval artwork, side altars, and reliquaries.
After the Treaty of Roskilde, in 1658,
the Bishopric of Lund was transferred to Sweden.
An extensive restoration was done by
Helgo Zettervall in the late 19th century, when the towers got their
present appearance. Mosaic decoration was added to the interior of the
apse in the 1920s.