Limburg Cathedral - one of the most accomplished buildings of the late Romanesque style

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Limburg Cathedral
Limburg Cathedral

[ source: Wikipedia]

Perched on a scenic promontory above the Lahn River in the Rhineland, the Limburg Cathedral can be seen from far and wide. This Catholic cathedral, also known as the Georgsdom, is located in Limburg, Hesse. Although not large in size, the Limburg Cathedral is one of the most stylistically dvanced structures from the last Romanesque period. The first church on this site was constructed in 910. The church is unusually located on the edge of the town along an important trade route, as opposed to the town center, because of its early role as a castle church. The current church, which was built over the foundations of the older one, was dedicated in 1235, and the earliest parts of the cathedral date from ca. 1200. Having acquired wealth and status during the Crusades, the Limburg merchants provided the funding for this church.

The Limburg Cathedral was originally dedicated to two saints, George and Nicholas, and each one had his own specially dedicated altar in the church. The cathedral began it history as a monastery church, but later it was elevated to cathedral status in 1827. The interior of the Limburg Cathedral was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War by Swedish troops. A late Baroque renovation in 1749 resulted in the alteration of numerous interior features. In the late 1800s, a restoration of the interior produced the creation of an idealized Romanesque interior that bore little resemblance to the original features.

Although the exterior of the cathedral reflects a Romanesque influence, the high, well-lit interior space shows a direct influence of the newly emerging Gothic type of architecture. The church has seven spires, the tallest of which is 37 meters. The prominent rose window over the main portal depicts the four Evangelists. The cathedral contains a variety of medieval frescoes and sculpture. The frescoes date from 1220-1230, and some of the statuary is also quite early. Of special interest is the late Romanesque baptismal font from 1230 and the tomb of the original church's founder with its sculptural details from the 11th and 13th centuries.

Over the course of time, the Limburg Cathedral had up to 28 altars, which were privately funded. The funding tied to each altar enabled the creation of a new clerical position, insuring the ongoing mission and work of the church.

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Rachel Hildebrandt

This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.

Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Domplatz, 65549 Limburg, Germany

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