Görlitz Cathedral

Görlitz, Germany

The cathedral of St. Jakobus (St. James) in Görlitz was built between 1898-1900 in neo-Gothic style as a parish church. It became a cathedral in 1994, due to the reorganisation of East German dioceses.

The neo-Gothic hall church in brick construction with the 68-foot tower stands on a hill and is therefore visible from afar. During the last days of World War II, the church was badly damaged by artillery fire. It was restored, with a simplified structure of the spire without spire lights. Only fragments of the original wall paintings and ornamental glazed tiles survived.



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Founded: 1898-1900
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Schicketanz (20 months ago)
Beeindruckender Bischofssitz der Diözese Görlitz
Andrea Lelková (2 years ago)
Krásné místo nejen pro věřící.
Rafał (2 years ago)
Wspaniała neogotycka katedra św. Jakuba, z pięknie brzmiącymi 4 dzwonami, organami oraz wspaniałym wnętrzem z trzema gotyckimi figurami - Matki Bożej, naturalnej wielkości figury św. Jadwigi Śląskiej oraz św. Jakuba Starszego Apostoła. Ostatnio katedra przechodziła gruntowny remont eleacji i wieży - przywrócono jej kształt sprzed II WŚ. Wspaniały oltarz główny jak i konfesjonały oraz witraże w prezbiterium. Na uwagę zasługuje też malowidło nad wejściem głownym - Narodziny Chrystusa i pokłon Trzech Mędrców.
Ryszard P (2 years ago)
Katedra swoją wielkością i usytuowaniem robi wrażenie na turystach, którzy bardzo licznie w grupach zorganizowanych i indywidualnie odwiedzają to miejsce . Bogaty i ciekawy wystrój . Stojąc na wysokiej skarpie jest dobrze widoczna z drugiej strony rzeki.
Krzysztof T. K (3 years ago)
Very beautiful church. Recently renovated.
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The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.