Monastery of our Lady

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Monastery of Our Lady

   

Monastery of our LadyThe Monastery of Our Lady is considered the oldest surviving building in Magdeburg. It dates back to the 11th/12th century and has nearly remained unscathed throughout the centuries. History ascribes the foundation of the monastery to Archbishop Gero of Magdeburg who suffered a tremendous defeat during a military campaign against the Polish Duke Boleslav the First. However he was saved from being slaughtered and later founded the monastery to thank God for his rescue. The small wooden church which marked the beginning of the monastery, was later destroyed by heavy thunderstorms. The monastery buildings in their present guise were inspired by Archbishop Werner (1063-1078) and erected in Romanesque style. In the 13th century, the Romanesque monastery church, dedicated to St. Mary, was vaulted in early Gothic style whereas the High Romanesque architecture of the church's exterior was preserved as it was, except for a few changes. Only after 1188 was the chapel added between the High Choir and the southern cloister walk. The northern aisle with its splendid barrel vaults formerly hosted the winter refectory, the Cloister walkkitchen and the pantry, and today it is a popular venue for exhibitions. The summer refectory and in particular the well-preserved four aisle cloister walk deserve a special mention as it is considered the most beautiful cloister walk in Romanesque style on German soil. In the 18th and 19th century, the monastery's Pedagogium made a name for itself as an excellent college. It was secularised in 1834, transformed into a high school and became part of the Cathedral College in 1928. The library is home to a marvellous collection of books from the 15th to the 20th century. St. Mary's Church was transformed into the Georg Philipp Telemann concert hall and was opened to the public in 1977. It is no wonder that the Monastery of Our Lady has become a highlight and the centrepiece of the Romanesque Road which leads through Saxony-Anhalt. In addition, the monastery hosts the Magdeburg Art Museum featuring a fine collection of contemporary sculptures

 

  

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