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Collegiate Church of St. Servatius - Quedlinburg


The protected part of Quedlinburg covers more than 80 hectares. UNESCO declared it to be an outstanding example of an European city of medieval origin which has preserved through the centuries its precious architectural heritage of romanesque and half-timbering buildings in exceptional quality. Quedlinburg was at the heart of the East Franconian Empire at the time of the Saxon dynasty of the Ottonians. It became a prosperous trading centre from its inception in the tenth century. The collegiate church of St. Servatius on a hill above the old town is a romanesque masterpiece, and it also houses a famous church treasure.


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    History

    • Duke Heinrich von Sachsen (“der Vogler”) was elected King of the East Franconian Empire in 919. After that he had Quedlinburg developed into one of the Reich’s most important imperial palaces. Shortly after the first mention of “Quitilingaburg” in 922, the royal castle was probably erected. The king was buried in the castle chapel in 936. The very same year his widow Mathilde established an endowment for ladies of rank on top of the hill, which was run by her. In 961 she ordered the conveyance of the relics of patron saint St. Servatius from Maastricht. The foundation owned additional donations in terms of relics to Mathilde’s son, Kaiser Otto I. However, the office of first abbess was first held in 966 by Mathilde’s granddaughter, who had the same name. The king’s widow was buried in 968 next to her husband. For more than 100 years only daughters of the ruling royal dynasty were to become abbesses in Quedlinburg.
       
      The foundation was imperial, secular and under the immediate jurisdiction of the emperor. It served for the education and provision of daughters of higher nobility. Equipped with rich estates, the institution soon rose to become one of the most important and distinguished foundations in the Reich. Around the year 1200 it reached its economic climax and had its greatest size. In the late Middle Ages the foundation lost importance and power, and in 1539 it was transformed into a Protestant secular endowment for ladies of rank. The Electorate of Saxony was bearer of the foundation’s provostry, but sold it to Brandenburg in 1697, which caused the foundation to lose its territorial independence in the end. In 1802 it was dissolved; the last abbess resigned her office in the following year. The former collegiate church became the Protestant parish church; the foundation buildings were acquired by the State of Prussia. In 1928 the city of Quedlinburg obtained the castle and established the museum, which opened in 1929.

      922 castle buildings with chapel, King Heinrich I buried there in 936
      936 endowment for ladies of rank established, Ottonian collegiate church built
      around 930 “Confessio” erected
      around 990-1021 church rebuilt
      1070 fire, high-Romanesque new building, consecration in 1129
      around 1340
      Gothic chancel
      1539 changed into a Protestant endowment for ladies of rank
      1802 foundation dissolved
      1863 - 1882 renovation, towers reconstructed
      1936 - 1941 transformation into a Nazi shrine
      1947 - 1959 restoration
      1993 treasure vault reopened
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    Architecture and Furniture

    • Architecture

      The former collegiate church of St. Servatius is among the most important high-Romanesque buildings in Germany.

      Proof of the former castle chapel of Heinrich I could be established archaeologically. It consisted of a rectangular hall with a three-aisled mortuary chapel adjoining in the east. On its remains the first church of the endowment for ladies of rank was built: a large hall with side extensions with galleries on the upper floor. The so-called Confessio, which was excavated in the crypt, was presumably built in connection with the documented conveyance of relics in 962/964. Abbess Mathilde ordered the building of the three-aisled basilica-like nave, which was consecrated in 997. Before she died in 999 the construction of the crypt’s west sections, the building of the chapel of St. Nicolai in vinculis on the south transept, and the erection of the west front, which probably had a square central part and stair turrets at the sides similar to Gernrode, began as well. Until the final consecration in 1021 the transept and east sections were also finished.
      A fire damaged the church in 1070, which was rebuilt after that in today’s high-Romanesque form. The building was not completed until its consecration in 1129: A flat-roofed cruciform basilica with Saxon alternation of pillars and columns was built.
      Around 1340 the Gothic rebuilding of the east closure structure followed. After some alterations the extensive restoration of 1863-1882 aimed at a considerable reconstruction of the Romanesque building.

      Drastic measures were taken in 1936-1941: The collegiate church was changed into a Nazi shrine and called “König-Heinrich-Dom” (King Henry Cathedral). In this connection the “Romanesque” chancel apse within the Gothic choir walls was newly built from 1939 to 1941. After it was damaged during the war the church was restored to a large extend from 1947 to 1959.


      Design

      The splendid high-Romanesque architectural decoration with external cornice-work and friezes as well as inerior capitals is owed to influences from Upper Italy.

      The main portal at the north wall is referred to as oldest German columned portal. The north portal to the crypt, from the time around 1320, is particularly richly decorated.

      The crypt itself, the place of remembrance of the founder and abbesses, keeps important parts of the church’s Ottonian and Romanesque decoration. This includes the “Confessio”, a horseshoe-shaped recess with rich stuccowork on the walls from a time before 968. Next to it  the stone sarcophagus of Queen Mathilde and the lead coffin of her granddaughter abbess Mathilde stand. Tombstones of abbesses from the 11th-13th centuries stand by the sidewalls, among them extraordinary stucco plates from the early 12th century. The vault of the three-aisled room shows an important decoration with stucco and an extensive series of pictures from the late 12th century. The interior of the church is younger. The winged altar-piece in the chancel, which was created in the late 15th century, came from the Augustinian church in Sangerhausen. Parts of the magnificent cathedral treasure are kept in the so-called “Zitter”, the Romanesque treasure vault, inside the north transept. This includes over 50 medieval works of art-relics, manuscripts, and vestments, among others the “ampull of Cana” (1st century A.D.), the “comb of Heinrich I” (7th-10th century), the Servatius reliquary (around 870/1200), the gospel of Samuhel (9th century), and five fragments of a knotted carpet (around 1200).

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    Regular guided visits

    • Guided tours:

      German and English speaking available

       

      Public guided tours:

      Daily in different time in German

       

      Group Guided tours:

      by arrangement with the Visitors Service
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    Audioguide

    • A fascinating Journey through the Middle Ages and the Beginnings of Europe

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    • 0 Romanesque Art in Saxony-Anhalt

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    • 1 Welcome to St. Servatius Church

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    • 2 Introduction to the convent

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    • 3 Building History of the Collegiate Church

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    • 4 Capitals and Friezes

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    • 5 The treasury

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    • 6 Heinrichs Comb

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    • 7 Servatius reliquary

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    • 8 Oriental flacon

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    • 9 Samuels Gospel

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    • 10 Servatius crook

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    • 11 Otto and Adelheid

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    • 12 Box of Heinrich

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    • 13 Canas jar

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    • 14 Destiny of the treasure

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    • 15 Reliquary shrine

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    • 16 Wooden mosaic

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    • 17 Box with coat of arms

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    • 18 Evangelistarium of St. Wiperti

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    • 19 Crypt and memoria

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    • 20 Crypt and paintings

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    • 21 Tapestry

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    • download zip

Object

Schlossberg 1
06484 Quedlinburg
Deutschland
+49 3946-70 99
E-mail
Website

Organization:

Schlossberg 9
06484 Quedlinburg
Deutschland
+49 3946-70 99
E-mail
Website

Tourist Information:

Markt 2
06484 Quedlinburg
Deutschland
+49 3946-90 56
E-mail
Website


Highlight UNESCO Churches

Opening Hours:

May to October
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00h - 18.00h
Sunday: 12.00h - 18.00h

Closed on Monday

 

November to March
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00h - 16.00h
Sunday: 12.00h - 16.00h

 

April
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.
00 - 17.00h

Sunday: 12.00h - 17.00h
Closed on Monday

 

Admission fees:

Adults: 4 €
Reduced rate: 3 €

 

Combined Ticket (Cathedral and city Castle Museum): 6 €

Reduced rate: 3 €

School class: 1 €/Person




Collegiate Church of St. Servatius - Quedlinburg

Collegiate Church of St. Servatius - Quedlinburg