Material Culture, Art and the Elites at Hildesheim; Medieval Histories

Germany – St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim

The Cathedral and the Church of the Abbey in Hildesheim are rightly famous. Not only the architecture, but also the interior design create the idea of “total works of art”. The question is in which way this came about? And what role the elites played?

Hildesheim holds two world famous treasures – the Cathedral and the Abbey Church. Both listed as UNESCO World Heritage, they are some of the most impressive examples of what in German is called a “Gesamtkunstwerk” or “total work of art”. Not only the architectural heritage, but also the objects of art, created by and for these churches, witness to the conscious intent of the elite, as well as the intellectual context, in which they were commissioned.

For the last two years, a research project funded by the German Federal Government has united the efforts of medieval historians and art historians at the Universities in Kiel, Potsdam, Osnabrück and Bonn as well as the Dommuseum in Hildesheim to uncover the social context of Hildesheim between 1130 and 1250.

Source: Material Culture, Art and the Elites at Hildesheim – Medieval Histories

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