The Naumburg Cathedral and the landscape of the rivers Saale and Unstrut an important dominion in the High Middle Ages
Saxony-Anhalt State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments Manuel Roberto Guido
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The Naumburg Cathedral is a structure that has remained to a great extent unchanged in its late Romanesque/early Gothic use of forms. Its main construction period extends from 1213 to approximately 1250. As far as its architectural typology is concerned, it towers each on the eastern and western choir. The upper choir connects to the relatively short main building towards the east that is still completely under the influence of the late Romanesque period. It closes with a high Gothic polygonal choir. Research looks upon the late Romanesque east rood-screen as being the oldest hall rood-screen preserved in its complete form on German soil. A further choir was added to the main building around 1250 to approximately 1260 in the west that ends in a 5/8 polygon. It is connected to the middle vessel by means of a wall rood-screen that presents an artistic achievement of the highest order combining architecture, vegetable architectural ornamentation and figural sculptures (especially the six relief images from Christ's suffering). The cycle of the figures of the 12 founders are lined in a row on shoulders in the harmoniously proportioned choir room. This is the outstanding work of an artist whose name is not known, but who is designated as the Naumburg Master. Presumably, the overall conception of the west choir as well as the great architectural quality of the rich decoration of the sculptures may also be traced back to this master. The original glass panes of the west choir are among the most valuable of German medieval stained glass windows. The Naumburg Cathedral was secularised after the introduction of the Reformation and administered by administers. Today, it is in the possession of the Lutheran Chapterhouse and is used for church services.