The UNESCO World Heritage City of Quedlinburg

Between the castle hill and half-timbered houses - discover an exceptional example of a medieval town

By State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Collegiate church St. Servatius above the old town (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Gold, precious stones and ivory, filigreed on medieval reliquary boxes, shrines and gospels, enchant visitors to the Quedlinburg Cathedral Treasury. In the treasure chamber of the collegiate church high above the picturesque half-timbered town, one of the most historically significant treasures in Germany can be seen. Most of these are gifts from the Ottonian dynasty to Quedlinburg's ladies' monastery. A treasure of strong women.

Collegiate church St. Servatius from afar (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Collegiate Church of St. Servatius

Queen Mathilde had her son Otto I found the Ladies' Monastery in Quedlinburg in 936 in memory of her late husband Henry I, King of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The "Imperial Free Secular Imperial Convent of Quedlinburg" was an important community for unmarried noble women or widows. The ladies' convent existed on the Quedlinburg castle hill for almost 900 years until 1802. With secular privileges, the collegiate ladies were allowed to keep property or marry.

Collegiate church St. Servatius (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

In order to ensure the protection of the Ladies' Monastery, a patron was appointed by Emperor Otto I. In the 15th century, a collegiate governor was appointed for the first time to represent the interests of the abbess vis-à-vis the townspeople and the inhabitants of the collegiate area. There were a total of 25 collegiate governors in Quedlinburg over the centuries.

Collegiate church St. Servatius, interior (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Detail of a capital in the collegiate church St. Servatius in Quedlinburg (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Detail of a capital in the collegiate church of St Servatius in Quedlinburg

Collegiate church St. Servatius, interior (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

View of the interior of the collegiate church of St. Servatius with altar retable

Crypt of the collegiate church St. Servatius in Quedlinburg (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

The crypt of the collegiate church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg is a spacious hall crypt with rich architectural decoration. It is one of the most beautiful rooms of its kind in all of Europe. It was created in the course of the new construction of the church between 1070 and 1129, incorporating older components.

Crypt of the collegiate church St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, vault painting (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

The vault paintings were also created as early as the 12th century and are thus among the oldest surviving wall paintings in Germany. They depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as well as individual saints and historical figures, including a bishop and a male ruler, the latter inscribed as OTTO MAGNUS.

Crypt of the collegiate church St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, Abbess gravestones along the south wall (1070/1129)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

In addition to the tombs of the ruling couple, the crypt of the collegiate church contains a number of valuable abbess tombstones and unique late Romanesque vault paintings. The oldest tomb slabs were made already in the 1st half of the 12th century. They show the deceased emperor's daughters who presided over the monastery as abbesses (including Beatrix I, daughter of Henry III) - as full-length figures and are thus among the oldest surviving full-length grave slabs in Europe.

Castle Mount (1070-1129 (Collegiate church)) by unknownState Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

The 'Schlossberg' (Castle Hill)

The Castle Hill is an elevation of the Northern Harz foreland - southwest of the old town of Quedlinburg. It slopes in the south and east to the 'Mühlengraben' (millrace), which branches off from the Bode. To the west is the 'Münzenberg' with the 'Strohberg' (182.6 m) beyond it. To the east lies the 'Ochsenkopf'.

Castle Mount (1070-1129 (Collegiate church)) by unknownState Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

History was written on the 'Schlossberg', high above the city. The collegiate church, visible from afar, now houses the cathedral treasury. Precious items from the Middle Ages, which were once donated to the Quedlinburg Ladies' Monastery - and were thus also under the protection of the monastery's governor. The collegiate church with its unique high Romanesque crypt and its impressive stone carvings is part of the Romanesque Road in Saxony-Anhalt. The world-famous Quedlinburg cathedral treasure is exhibited in two chambers adjoining the chancel to the north and south. Accompanied by special exhibitions, valuable pieces are displayed here, such as the Servatius Reliquary from the 10th century, the Heinrich Comb made of ivory from the 7th or 8th century, and the Cana jar made of alabaster, the oldest exhibit from the 1st century.

During the Second World War, twelve selected pieces of the important cathedral treasure were stolen. It was not until 1993 that ten of the pieces made their way back to Quedlinburg and have since been on display again in the collegiate church. In addition, the exhibition shows valuable carpets. Impressive is the knotted carpet of Abbess Agnes of Meissen from 1200, which is the most outstanding liturgical piece of equipment of the collegiate church of Quedlinburg.

Old town, half-timbered houses (13th - 20th century) by unknownState Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Altstadt

Quedlinburgs geschlossener mittelalterlicher Stadtgrundriss und der riesige Bestand an Fachwerkhäusern dokumentieren mehr als sechs Jahrhunderte Fachwerkbau in einer einzigartigen Qualität und Quantität. 

Old town, half-timbered houses (13th - 20th century) by unknownState Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

Über 2000 Bauten aus allen Stil- und Zeitepochen machen Quedlinburg zu einem Musterbeispiel der Entwicklung des Fachwerkbaus schlechthin.

Klopstock House (1560)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

In the Klopstock House, built in 1570, the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was born in 1724. Klopstock's work made him a founder of classical German literature and he was famous far beyond the borders of Germany. Attached to the museum in the Klopstock House are a library and an archive.

Lyonel Feininger Gallery Quedlinburg (1986)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

The Lyonel Feininger Gallery is a museum in Quedlinburg founded in 1986. It displays works by the New York Bauhaus artist Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), which were saved from destruction by the Nazis by Hermann Klumpp of Quedlinburg, a fellow Bauhaus student. The collection, one of the most extensive closed collections of prints, etchings, lithographs and woodcuts by the artist, documents his creative periods from 1906 to 1937.
In 2006, it was transferred to the sponsorship of the Moritzburg Foundation - Art Museum of the State of Saxony-Anhalt in Halle and was already included in the Blue Book as a Cultural Memory Site in 2003. As a result, the museum is now one of the cultural beacons in the new German states. The museum has been part of the Saxony-Anhalt Cultural Foundation since 2014.

City Hall (Early 14th century)State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Sachsen-Anhalt

The listed two-story Gothic building (left) is one of the oldest town halls in central Germany and its core dates back to the beginning of the 14th century. It was first mentioned in 1310. From 1616 to 1619 (Renaissance portal with city coat of arms) and from 1899 to 1901, alterations and extensions were made. The festival hall, completed in 1901, is particularly worth seeing (guided tours via the Quedlinburg Information Office).

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