Friday, June 28, 2013

Erfurt Cathedral

Also known as St. Mary's Cathedral, the present Gothic style building is from the 14th or 15th century.

The western facade of the cathedral was decorated in 1870 with a mosaic of the Madonna by Salviati after a design by August Theodor Kaselowsky of Berlin. The triangular picture was 19.5 feet wide and 27 feet high. The Madonna was in the "conventional blue and red", while the Christ child was draped in a white robe. The blue background was adorned with golden stars and an 8 inch elliptical halo surrounded both figures. All of the tesserea, except the stars which were produced locally, were made in Venice.

Undated, color postcard illustrating the mosaic.

1955 photo from the Federal Archives of Germany

Archive photo of the rear of the Cathedral from 1957.

Color photograph from late 1960s

A similar view taken in 2005.

Because of leaking, the neo-Gothic roof of the Cathedral was replaced in 1968 and the gable with the mosaic was removed. The mosaic itself was placed in storage. It was temporarily removed in 1992 to be photographed and cataloged. The cost of restoring the mosaic was found to be prohibitive and it was returned to storage.

Murray, John. "Handbook for North Germany and the Rhine." 19th ed. London: 1877, 277.
The Architect and Contract Reporter. "Mosaics in Germany." Vol 5. London: April 8, 1871. 182.
Wikimedia Commons from the German Federal Archive
Sascha Klauer's flickr Photostream
Erfurt Guide
Wikimedia Commons from the German Federal Archive
gerhard LIEB's Picasa Webalbum
motiv 42

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