With its cloister and the surrounding curia buildings it forms one of the outstanding architectural ensembles of central Germany.
The story of the construction of Naumburg Cathedral began with the relocation of the bishop’s seat from Zeitz to Naumburg in 1028. The subsequent building, which was largely constructed in the first half of the 13th century and extended to the east in the 14th century, contains the crypt of the first cathedral (1160/70). The three-part crypt underneath the east chancel is the oldest preserved section of the cathedral, and exerts a very special effect as a result of the incorporation of the crypt from the previous building. A Romanesque crucifix (from around 1160/70) can be admired in the eastern extension to the crypt. The east rood screen created in around 1230 is the oldest preserved example of a hall rood screen.
Naumburg Cathedral is world famous in particular for the works of the Naumburg Master, a German architect and sculptor whose name is unknown. He was inspired by the Gothic cathedral architecture of France, and his first major work was the western rood screen of Mainz Cathedral. The Master made his way to Naumburg in the mid-13th century, and was responsible here for the planning, configuration and execution of the west chancel. The successful combination of the architecture, statues and glass paintings here is one of a kind. The reliefs of the Passion on the west rood screen and the twelve larger-than-life-sized statues of the cathedral's founders are particularly fascinating because of their unequalled realism and individual expressiveness. The figure of the founder Uta casts thousands of visitors under its spell every year.
The statue of St Elisabeth of Thuringia in the St Elisabeth chapel on the ground floor of the north-west tower should also be highlighted. This is assumed to be the oldest representation of the saint in stone (after 1235). During the year celebrating St Elisabeth’s 800th birthday (2007) the Leipzig artist Neo Rauch created three designs for windows in the St Elisabeth Chapel, which show scenes form the saint’s life.
In the west cloister, further treasures from the Middle Ages and Renaissance are presented to the public in the Naumburg Cathedral treasury vault. With an area of approximately 285 m² this is one of the largest Romanesque vaults in central Germany, where altars, panel paintings, sacred sculptures, documents and manuscripts are on display.
On the south-west side of Naumburg Cathedral is the extensive cathedral garden, which was redesigned as recently as 2011. The garden is just under a hectare in size and brings together old pond systems, bastions of the medieval immunity wall and the gardens of the former canons’ houses. Within the garden, in the unique “Garden of the Naumburg Master”, the native flora which would have served as a model for the sculptor when he created the friezes and keystones of the west rood screen grow in a natural setting.
In the northern part of the cathedral garden is the “KinderDomBauhütte”, which uses a variety of projects to introduce children to the world of a medieval workman’s hut.
Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sun/church festivals 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Mon-Sat 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sun/church festivals 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Special opening times
24 December 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
31 December 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Restrictions possible due to weddings, baptisms or concert rehearsals