St. Peter's Cathedral (Regensburg)


January 24, 2022

St. Peter's Cathedral (Regensburg), more often only Regensburg Cathedral is the most important church in the city of Regensburg and the cathedral church of the Regensburg diocese. Together with Cologne Cathedral, it is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Germany, forming part of the old town complex, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 845, the baptism of fourteen Czech princes took place here. This church, the episcopal chapter and the diocese of Regensburg were of fundamental importance for the beginnings and development of the Czech Church and its administration.


The first Christian church stood north of the Roman castle of Castro Regina, and east of the present cathedral, on the site of the later Niedermünster, perhaps as early as the 4th century, and the missionary of St. Erhard of Regensburg. It was a hall building with a rectangular choir with a floor plan of 21.5 x 8.6 meters. It has not been known for a long time, part of the cloister was discovered by archaeological research from 1924-1925 and other masonry was discovered in 1990. The Dome of Caroline was founded by Duke Tassilo III. Bavarian from the Agilofing family as the second Regensburg church west of the previous church, already on the site of today's cathedral. It was a three-nave basilica with a semicircular apse, atrium and baptismal chapel of St. Jana. The extension of this building to the west created the Oton building with a western choir from the 10th century. This church burned down in 1152-1176. Fragments of masonry have been preserved, part of the so-called Donkey Tower and the Chapel of All Saints. The Gothic dome was announced in reports from 1250-1264. On June 30, 1254, the old cathedral was consecrated and Pope Innocent IV. he called the believers for a visit and financial support with an indulgence letter. New construction soon began, starting with the chapter hall of the cloister. The dome does not stand exactly on the foundations of the old building, the perimeter walls are shifted about two meters to the southwest. In 1273 there was a fire again. Nevertheless, the first altar of the new dome was consecrated on June 30, 1276. In 1341 the construction of the south tower began, after 1381 also the north tower. In the years 1400-1514, at least five members of the Roritzer family, builders and stonemasons worked on the construction. In 1450-1460, the towers were connected by a western facade and construction continued in the interior with a dome at the intersection, which was completed in 1486. ​​In 1525, the entire construction was completed. The baroqueization of the dome began under Bishop Albert IV. of Törring (1613-1649) by two marble altars and continued from 1697 by the baroque vaults of the dome with stucco and frescoes by the Carlone brothers. Gradually, the entire interior of the church was changed, a bar, an organ and an oratory were built, choir pews and new altars were built, at the end of the 18th century the dome had 17 baroque altars, the painting was tuned to yellow tones and gilded columns. The neo-Gothic completion according to the principles of purism began in 1828, when King Ludwig I of Bavaria ordered new glass paintings for the dome. In the years 1828-1841, a neo-Gothic reconstruction followed according to the plans of the architect Friedrich Gärtner. The baroque dome, baroque altars, stucco, the baroque choir partition and oratories were removed. Although most of the dome is built of limestone, the extension was made of greenish dark sandstone. The completion of the two western towers took place between 1859 and 1869. From 1923, repairs were led by the state dome construction smelter. The building and its statics were damaged during the bombing of World War II. In the years 1954-1958, both western towers had to be statically secured and repaired. A genital reconstruction followed.


It is the only three-nave basilica with a two-tower in the façade on the west side, with a pentagonal end with a choir and a complete external support system in southern Germany, built exactly on the model of classical French cathedrals. A large part of the stonemasons has also been preserved

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