Xanten Cathedral in Germany (Topic)

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Xanten Cathedral in Germany

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Xanten Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral in the German city of Xanten, which has been called the Little Papal Basilica since 1937.   The cathedral was consecrated in honor of the martyr Victor Ksantensky, revered by Catholics and Orthodox. According to legend, Victor was a soldier of the Thebaid Legion and was executed in the 4th century for refusing to sacrifice to pagan deities. Later, the relics of Victor were found by Empress Elena, and a chapel was built especially for them. In the 6th century, a chapel was built over this chapel, and in 752 - the first church. Gradually, a monastery grew on the basis of this church.

At the dawn of the 9th century, a new church was built here, which very soon, in 863, was destroyed by the Normans. A century later, the church was re-erected, now in the Romanesque style. It was twice significantly damaged by fires (in the XI and XII centuries) and was restored. In 1213, during the reign of Otto IV of Braunschweig, the church was expanded. 50 years later, the foundation stone of the Xanten Cathedral takes place. Construction work was finally completed by the middle of the 16th century.

The cathedral remained independent from the archbishop and local secular authorities until 1802, when it was secularized. In 1857-1868. large-scale restoration work was carried out. In 1936, a new crypt was built, consecrated by Cardinal Clemens August von Galen. During the bombing at the end of World War II, the cathedral was badly damaged, but most of the values were evacuated in advance and therefore survived. Restoration work continued until 1966. Urns with the ashes of concentration camp prisoners and other victims of the war were placed in the expanded crypt of the cathedral.

  Among the shrines, artistic and historical values kept in the cathedral, it is important to note such as the main altar, made in 1529, chest with the relics of St. Victor, made in 1128, sculptures of the XIV century (Saints Victor and Helena, St. Martin, Pope Cornelius, Church Fathers). Also of interest is the Episcopal Library, founded in 1547. Many treasures previously stored here are housed in several museums in Brussels, Cologne, Bonn, Munster and Paris.


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Topic: Xanten Cathedral in Germany.Xanten Cathedral in Germany

Author: Kelly Costine