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Art historians like Peter Bömer glean some starting results from the Naumburger reliefs and sculptures: The works reveal a radically altered picture of Christ. Statues of the crucifixion depicted Jesus as a triumphant God well into the 12th century. In Naumburg, though, just one hundred years later, he has been changed into a suffering figure, and thus into a human God. The statues of the founders, on the other hand, occupy a place in the choir that would otherwise be reserved for holy figures: Their life-size figures tower four meters high, directly above the choir wall. Why such a prominent position? Art historian Sabine Treude searches for clues – delving through medieval documents as well as the specialist modern literature.
Experts in ChoirThe western choir of Naumburger Cathedral is world famous. Nevertheless, researchers still know very little about the circumstances surrounding its creation, the function it fulfilled, or its significance at the time. A group of eleven young researchers have now taken it upon themselves to find out.
Clues in StoneHow did the master builders of Naumburger Cathedral work, think and live 800 years ago? The building researchers scrutinize every detail and come up with some surprising answers.
Human Gods, Godly FoundersTwelve benefactors, known as the founders, donated the funds to build the Naumburger Cathedral – that was in the 11th century, though. Why, then, did the builders put up such splendid statues to them some 200 years later?
Detective Work on the Stone ShieldEnigmatic letters on a golden background: Could the painted name of one of the founders be covering an inscription? An infrared test will reveal if this is the case.
Strong WallsThe town’s highest church spire was not built by the Naumburg Cathedral founders – but by its citizens. They wanted to demonstrate their growing claim to power. Historians are investigating the role the buildings of Naumburg played in the politics of the time.
Pioneer Work on PigmentsWhat sort of paints did the old masters use? Non-invasive methods using modern laser equipment are able to find this out.
The Mysterious MasterHis name is unknown but his works are world famous: The artist who created the Naumburg sculptures and reliefs was the master of his epoch. But where did he come from? Art-historians search for clues.
An Old Outstanding BillBuilding Naumburg Cathedral must have cost a fortune. Where did the money come from? An historian stumbles across centuries-old account books.
Sacral Tourist Attraction What do visitors already know about Naumburg Cathedral? Two tourism researchers analyze the image the church has – and develop concepts that will enable visitors to continue admiring the Cathedral in all its splendor, while at the same time protecting the building fabric.
Old Mystery, New Perspectives Piece by piece, the members of the Naumburg Research Group are putting the puzzle together – and their fascination for the magnificent church and its valuable treasures grows with every new finding.
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*) Das Projekt
Naumburg on the Saale is the site of one of the most important buildings of the early German Gothic period: Naumburg Cathedral. The western choir with its founder statues and the rood screen which served to separate the choir from the nave is world famous. But where did the 13th century Naumburg Master who created the fascinating stone sculptures come from? How was the building and the art work it contains financed? And what do visitors to the Cathedral today find most interesting? The eleven young researchers organized in the Naumburg Research Group are trying to find out more about the origin and function of the Naumburg western choir and what it signified in those days long ago.
The founder figure Reglindis is used as an emblem by the eleven members of the Naumburg Research Group. The young researchers organized in the group are drawn from no less than six different disciplines: Art technology and conservation sciences, natural sciences, building history and building archaeology, art history, medieval history / regional history, as well as economic geography and tourism research. All for one and one for all, they are joined in investigating the secrets of Naumburg Cathedral.
The founder figure Reglindis stands for eleven young researchers of the Naumburg Kolleg, who investigate the secrets of Naumburg Cathedral.