Frankfurt Cathedral

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Cathedral (Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus, St. Bartholomew's Imperial Cathedral) is the largest religious building in Frankfurt and a former collegiate church. As former election and coronation church of the Holy Roman Empire, the cathedral is one of the major buildings of the Empire history and was mainly in the 19th century a symbol of national unity.

The present church building is the third church in the same place. Since the late 19th excavated century buildings can be traced back to the 7th century. The history is closely linked with the General history of Frankfurt and the Frankfurt old town because the cathedral had an associated role as religious counterpart of the Royal Palace Frankfurt. The St. Bartholomew's is the main church of Frankfurt and was constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries on the foundation of an earlier church from the Merovingian time.

From 1356 onwards, emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were elected in this collegiate church as kings in Germany, and from 1562 to 1792, emperors-elect were crowned here. The imperial elections were held in the Wahlkapelle, a chapel on the south side of the choir built for this purpose in 1425 and the anointing and crowning of the emperors-elect as kings in Germany took place before the central altar–believed to enshrine part of the head of St. Bartholomew – in the crossing of the church, at the entrance to the choir.

In the course of the German Mediatisation the city of Frankfurt finally secularised and appropriated the remaining Catholic churches and their endowments of earning assets, however, leaving the usage of the church buildings to the existing Catholic parishes. Thus St. Bartholomew's became of the city's dotation churches, owned and maintained by the city but used by Catholic or Lutheran congregations.

St. Bartholomew's was seen as symbol for national unity in Germany, especially during the 19th century. Although it had never been a bishop's seat, it was the largest church in Frankfurt and its role in imperial politics, including crowning of medieval German emperors, made the church one of the most important buildings of Imperial history.

In 1867, St. Bartholomew's was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in its present style. During World War II, between October 1943 and March 1944, the old town of Frankfurt, the biggest old Gothic town in Central Europe, was devastated by six bombardments of the Allied Air Forces. The greatest losses occurred in an attack by the Royal Air Force on March 22, 1944, when more than a thousand buildings of the old town, most of them half-timbered houses, were destroyed. St. Bartholomew's suffered severe damage; the interior was burned out completely. The building was reconstructed in the 1950s.

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Details

Founded: 1867
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nuno Barreiros (3 years ago)
one church you must see, as for the panoramic view, even though it's not the tallest building in the city, it's 66 meters tall so you'll have a very nice view of the city. But beware the climb to the top is narrow and there is only 1 stopping point in the middle.
Alexander Halim (3 years ago)
Frankfurter Dom or Frankfurt Cathedral is a catholic church at Old Town Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt Cathedral, officially Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew is a Roman Catholic Gothic church located in the centre of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. It is the largest religious building in the city and a former collegiate church. The height is 95m.
Radi Droid (3 years ago)
Peaceful place. Nicely preserved. Worth visiting.
Θοδωρης Νακος (3 years ago)
Very beautiful cathedral in the center of the old city of Frankfurt. Its far away from the crowds. It is a very peaceful and beautiful sight to see.
Sofia Smith (4 years ago)
Beautiful cathedral in the center of the old city of Frankfurt but away from the crowds. It has some cool info about the churches history and the area around it over the years. Was very peaceful and a beautiful sight to see.
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