Güstrow Cathedral

Güstrow, Germany

Güstrow Cathedral is a Brick Gothic Lutheran cathedral initially completed in 1335. It is the oldest extant building in Barlachstadt Güstrow. The church was originally dedicated by the Bishop of Kammin. The cathedral's charter was removed in 1552, and the cathedral fell into disuse and was used to house vehicles for 12 years. In 1568 it began to be used as an evangelical palace chapel and resting place for Güstrow's aristocratic house, maintaining this honour until 1695.

The Güstrow Cathedral attests to the influence of several different styles: began as a Romenesque building it was completed as a Brick Gothic site. The cathedral is home to a multitude of artistic treasures spanning a historical period lasting from the Late Romantic epoch through to the Early Modern period. Amongst the most well-known are a Late Gothic winged altar made by Hinrik Bornemann, a monument to Duke Ulrich designed by Phillip Brandin and an apostle figure conceptualised by Ernst Barlach, known as 'the Waverer'. The latter was dedicated to the war in 1927; was denounced as 'degenerate art' in 1937 and was melted military for use during the Second World War. In 1953, the 'Waverer' was remolded, and was replaced in the cathedral, hanging above a 18th century cast-iron baptism font.

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Domplatz 2, Güstrow, Germany
See all sites in Güstrow

Details

Founded: 1335
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rene Janke (3 months ago)
Tolles Gebäude außen wie innen unbedingt sehenswert, wenn man in Güstrow ist.
Laura wieso (5 months ago)
Eine wunderschöne Kirche und Andacht (vor allem schön gewärmt für diese Wintertage). Der "schwebende Engel" von Ernst Barlach ist kaum zu übersehen
Thomas Bartz (6 months ago)
Mega.. Muss man gesehen haben
Annelie Fritsche (7 months ago)
Als Güstrowerin finde ich unseren Dom sowieso schön,aber was die Kirchgemeinde mit "Güstrow schwebt" auf die Beine gestellt hat ist einfach unbeschreiblich! Ich war mit meiner Familie am 3.10.18 zu Kunst und Genuß und bin auch jetzt noch restlos gefangen von der Atmosphäre. Tolle Eindrücke,super Musik uns Klasse Menü. Danke!
Matthias Schollmeyer (2 years ago)
'Must-see' in Güstrow
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.