Found project: Mainzer Dom


    Project : Mainzer Dom

    Language variant : Mainz Cathedral

    Architect : Willigis (comm. (1st building phase))

    Completion: 1239 (consecration – current building)

    Locality : Mainz

    Country : Germany

    Building style : Romanesque

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    The progress of Romanesque in Germany can be followed in the three great Imperial cathedrals along the Rhine: Speyer, Mainz and Worms.

    Mainz goes back even earlier than Speyer (1030–1060), but the first building was burnt down on its dedication day in 1009. The reconstruction, partly determined by the old foundations, went on through the 11th century, and the church did not reach its present form until 1137.

    Here the westwork (large tower-like structure at the west end) has become transformed into another transept with an apse beyond, so that one end matches the other. (To make it more confusing still the orientation is also reversed, so that the ritual east end is at the west.)

    Mainz therefore has two sets of transepts, one with attached towers, and two octagonal crossing towers (both entirely rebuilt). The east end has two more lateral apses, forming a trefoil plan, an originally Italian idea much taken up in Germany.

    The “dwarf gallery”, a miniature arcade running round both apses, also derives from Italian models. Internally, the elevation has the same blank wall areas (probably intended for painting) as Speyer.

    Mainz, the second of the great “Kaiserdome” after Speyer, has been subjected to much more rebuilding. It was altered in the 12th century and the two crossing towers are 18th- and 19th century “restorations”.

    Sutton, Ian: Western Architecture, A Survey from Ancient Greece to the Present, Thames and Hudson, London 1999, pp. 44–46.

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen



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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
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    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
    Mainzer Dom
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Mainzer Dom
    Mainzer Dom
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski