Xanten Cathedral

Xanten, Germany

Xanten Cathedral (Xantener Dom) is considered the biggest cathedral between Cologne and the North sea. The cathedral owes its name to Victor of Xanten, a member of the Theban Legion who was supposedly executed in the 4th century in the amphitheater of Castra Vetera for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This Roman camp is near today's town of Birten. According to legend, Helena of Constantinople recovered the bones of Victor and his legion and erected a chapel in their honour. During a modern excavation the existence of a 4th-century cella memoriae was discovered; however, it was determined that it had not been erected for Victor but for two other male corpses that were placed in the crypt at a later date.

The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid in 1263 by Friedrich and Konrad von Hochstaden. Construction lasted 281 years and was finally finished with the dedication of the Holy Spirit Chapel in 1544. The cathedral contains a five-aisle nave built in the Gothic style. In contrast to many other cathedrals of the period, St. Victor's lacks an ambulatory. Instead a twin pair of chapels is connected to the choir similar to that seen at the Church of Our Lady in Trier. Along with the monasterial library of the Cathedral houses one of the most important religious libraries of the Lower Rhine.

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Address

Kapitel 19, Xanten, Germany
See all sites in Xanten

Details

Founded: 1263
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carla van der Meijden (4 months ago)
Impressing Dom!
Willem Hut (12 months ago)
See and believe and be impressed
Emerson (14 months ago)
Beautiful landmark with parking place from a short walking distance.
Jan L (2 years ago)
Best church in town.
Jan L (2 years ago)
Best church in town.
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