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Ev. St. Mary`s Cathedral and former Premonstratensian Monastery - Havelberg

Havelberg was mentioned for the first time in 948 in a document as a diocesan town, but the construction of the Dom St. Marien cathedral and the premonstratense monastery which is a part of it began only in the XIIth century. Today the cathedral, consecrated in 1170, is the most characteristic building of Havelberg. It has Gothic and Romanesque elements; the later are the reason why the “Road of the Romanesque Period” passes through the town. The Paradiessaal and the cathedral cloister have excellent acoustic and have often been concerts venues. Also very interesting is the 100 years old Prignitz-Museum.

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    • Chronological table

      The Episcopal residence was probably built on the site of an important Wendish sanctuary and accordingly controversial in the early times: In 983 it was destroyed by the Liutizen during the great uprising of the Slavs. Christianisation of the area east of the river Elbe came to a halt. Bitter fights took place again in 1136/1137, until in 1147 in the course of the Wendish Crusade the subjection of the Slavic tribes was completed. After that Bishop Anselm was able to return to Havelberg from his provisional residence in Jerichow, and he could reclaim his diocese. Under his direction the erection of the cathedral church was started in 1149/1150. A cathedral chapter, whose the members lived according to Premonstratensian rules, was assigned to the church. It was settled by canons from the monastery Unser Lieben Frauen in Magdeburg. In addition to that Anselm took care of the bishopric’s secular settlement, by obtaining support for the colonists from King Konrad III. As early as 1170 the cathedral was consecrated by Archbishop Wichmann of Magdeburg.
      From the 13th century on the bishops themselves had been residing in the city of Wittstock an der Dosse (Brandenburg), which belonged to them, and not any longer in Havelberg. In the 14th and 15th centuries the bishopric experienced an economic growth, which was largly due to the pilgrimage to the Holy Blood in Wilsnack. At the end of the Middle Ages the margraves of Brandenburg, who acted as the chapter’s protectors, tried to increase their influence. Finally Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg dissolved the Premonstratensian chapel in 1507 and transformed it into a profane chapel.
      In 1561 the Reformation was enforced in the cathedral church; the bishopric, however, formally existed until 1571. Its estate was merged with the electoral domain later. Not until 1819 was the now Protestant cathedral chapter dissolved. The cathedral church and the former Premonstratensian enclosures remained together with numerous formerly adjacent buildings (provostry, deanery, brewery and kiln floor, cathedral hospital, cathedral school and the canons’ domiciles). The unique complex on top of the Bischofberg is now the dominant factor of the city of Havelberg.

      946 Foundation of the bishopric of Havelberg by Otto I
      983 Devastation of the Episcopal residence by the Liutizen, bishop goes into exile
      nach 1146 Bishop’s return to Havelberg
      um 1150 - 1170 Romanesque cathedral is built
      um 1200 belfry enlarged
      1279 fire, then until 1330 Gothic reconstruction
      um 1400 rood screen installed
      1507 Dissolution of the Premonstratensian cathedral chapter
      1840 - 1842 and
      1885 - 1890
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    Architecture and Furniture

    • Slightly younger are parts of the pews as well as three sandstone candlesticks (end of the 13th century). The church’s most precious adornment is a rood screen decorated with figures, which was made in the late 14th and early 15th centuries and shows an extensive account of the Passion. In addition to that the medieval glasswork has survived. The oldest panes were made around 1320-1330, others in the early 15th century and around 1470. They mainly show scenes from the lives of Christ and Mary. Additional panes were made in the late 19th century in the course of the renovation.

      Other pieces are modern, such as for instance the baptismal font from the Renaissance period (1587/88) and the Baroque altar from 1700. On the basis of numerous tombs the history of the bishopric of Havelberg and its cathedral can be followed from the 13th century on.

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    Regular guided visits

    • Admission Fees / Guided Tours

      Cathedral Tour: 1,50 Euro / Person

      Cathedral Tour with organ music: 2,50 Euro / Person

      Organ Tour: 50,00 Euro, max. 15 pers.


      Visitors for Cathedral Tours must register at (arrange by ) the cantor, Gottfried Förster

      Tel: 039387-89380


Domplatz 1
39539 Havelberg
039387 89380‎


Propsteiplatz 1
39539 Havelberg
+49 39387 79104

Tourist Information:

Uferstrasse 1
39539 Havelberg
+49 39387 79091

Highlight Cathedrals

Opening Hours:

May to September

9.00 - 18.00

April and October
Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00 - 18.00

November to March:

10.00 - 16.00

 Ev. St. Mary`s Cathedral and former Premonstratensian Monastery - Havelberg

Ev. St. Mary`s Cathedral and former Premonstratensian Monastery - Havelberg

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