The Catholic Erfurt Cathedral is a 1200-year-old church located on Cathedral Hill of Erfurt, in Thuringia, Germany. It is of an International Gothic style, and is also known as St Mary's Cathedral, and is located, uniquely, on a hillside.
It is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt.
The site of the present Cathedral has been the location of many other Christian buildings, for example a Romanesque basilica and a church hall. Martin Luther was ordained in the cathedral in 1507.
Saint Boniface erected a church in the year 724 on the mound which the Erfurt Cathedral now sits. The foundations of the original church were used for a Romanesque basilica in the mid 12th century. The mound was then enlarged in the early 14th century to make room for the St. Mary's cathedral.
The Wise and Foolish Virgins
The architecture of the Erfurt Cathedral is mainly Gothic and stems from around the 14th and 15th centuries.
There are many things of note as far as the architecture is concerned, not least the stained glass windows and furnishings of the interior of the cathedral. The central spire of the three towers that sit aloft the cathedral harbours the Maria Gloriosa which, at the time of its casting by Geert van Wou in 1497, was the world's largest free-swinging bell. It is the largest existing medieval bell in the world. It is known to have purity and beauty of tone.
Relics and treasures
The cathedral houses many rare and rich furnishings and sculptures, including the tomb of the bigamous Count von Gleichen,
accompanied by both of his wives, a stucco altar, a bronze candelebra of Romanesque antiquity called Wolfram, the oldest free standing cast work in Germany, and, out on the porch, several statues of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.
The Altar within the Cathedral.
1 Gloriosa 1497 Gerhardus de Wou, Erfurt 2.560 11.450 e0 +3 Middle Tower, lower
2 Dreifaltigkeit 1721 Nicolaus Jonas Sorber 1.940 ≈4.900 g0 +12 North tower
3 Joseph 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1.840 ≈4.600 a0 +8 South Tower
4 Andreas 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1.540 ≈2.600 c1 +11 North Tower
5 Christophorus 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 1.360 ≈1.900 d1 +10 South Tower
6 Johannes Baptist 1720 Nicolaus Jonas Sorber 1.190 ≈1.000 e1 +7 South Tower
7 Cosmas und Damian 1625 Jakob König, Erfurt 750 ≈200 des2 Middle Tower, lower
8 Cantabona 1492 Hans Sinderam 650 ≈300 g2 Middle Tower, upper
9 Engelchen um 1475 Claus von Mühlhausen, Erfurt 550 ≈125 as2 Middle Tower, upper
10 Namenlose 1475 Meister Peter 500 ≈75 b2 Middle Tower, upper
11 Wandlungsglocke 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda 550 ≈100 f2 Middle Tower, upper
12 Paulusglocke 2009 Br. Michael Reuter, Maria Laach ≈39 ≈42 d3 Dachreiter I Martha 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda e2 Lantern
II Elisabeth 1961 Glockengießerei Schilling, Apolda gis2 Lantern