The Catholic Cathedral of Limburg, also known as Georgsdom or Limburger Dom in German after its dedication to Saint George, is located above the old town of Limburg in Hesse, Germany. Its high location on a rock above the Lahn provides its visibility from far away. The building is one of the most accomplished buildings of the late Romanesque style.
The first church on the "Limburger Rock" was built in 910 by Konrad Kurzbold. Inside today's cathedral, the outline of the former church still can be found.
The date of placing the foundation stone is unknown. However, investigations of the wood used inside the Dom give information about the period in which it was built. According to estimates, construction began about 1200, maybe as early as 1190. The consecration was in 1235 by Theoderich von Wied, the archbishop of Trier.
The church of St. Georg was upraised in 1827 to be the Cathedral of the new diocese of Limburg. The first bishop of Limburg was Jakob Brand (1827 to 1833). The diocese has currently about 700,000 Catholics and is one of the younger dioceses. On Friday, February 2, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the age-related resignation of former Bishop Franz Kamphaus. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was named new bishop on November 28, 2007, and took office on January 20, 2008.
The polychrome external plaster of the Dom, consisting of white, red, ochre, black and some green, has been restored from 1968 to 1972 following original remains, which had been removed during restoration works in 1872 to 1873. This explains, why the Dom has been portrayed in rock-colour after that time.
The outside measures 54.5 m long, with a width of 35.4 m; rather moderate for a cathedral. Yet, the structure is richly divided and it has seven spires. The seven is a symbol for the sacraments. The tallest are the towers on the West side with a height of 37 m which form a distinct "twin-tower façade".
Such twin-tower facades are often found in the Rhineland, for example in Xanten, Andernach or Koblenz. The most eye catching stylistic element is a huge round window, revolved by eight small rosettes, which makes the West front a clear centre. The rosette symbolises the four Evangelists. Despite the existing symmetry of the twin-towers, there are rich variations in forms, constructions such as round or pointed arches pilaster strips, small pillars, archivolts, windows and blind arches.
The sharp "crossing tower" overtops all other spires with a height of 66 m and forms the centre of the building.
In the inside of the Dom (nave and choir) the unornamented buttress are striking, whose abutments of the vaults span to the ceiling. Inside the aisle galleries, additional struts are hidden. The relatively simple interior is shaped by its narrow but high central nave.
- "Limburg Cathedral (Limburger Dom), Germany". www.sacred-destinations.com. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- History and facts about the Limburg cathedral
- The Ecclesiologist, by Cambridge Camden Society, Ecclesiological Society
- Remarks on church architecture, by John Louis Petit