Brandenburg Cathedral

Brandenburg Cathedral is situated on an island between the lake Beetzsee and the River Havel. The architectural ensemble consisting of the Cathedral, the conclave, the Curia and adjoining buildings continues to characterise the so-called Cathedral Island, the oldest part of the painstakingly restored city of Brandenburg. It was here that King Otto I founded the Diocese of Brandenburg in the year 948. Construction of today’s cathedral began in the mid- 12th century. Around the middle of the 15th century its Gothic reconstruction was complete. The origins of the precious artwork range from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The Cathedral’s History

Foundation charter for the Diocese Brandenburg Magdeburg from 1 October 948


In the year 948 King Otto I founded the diocese for the Slavic mission. The attempted mission failed in the year 983. 

Foundation charter for the Cathedral Chapter Brandenburg Magdeburg between March and May 1161


The foundation of the Cathedral Chapter marks the reinstitution of the diocese. Four years later the cathedral is erected.  

Sepulchral stele, middle of the 12th century, Bernburg sandstone

Mid-12th Century

The stele was discovered in the Petri Chapel and is considered to be one of the earliest items documenting Christianity in Brandenburg.  

Gravestone of Peter von Thure, † 1282


The oldest gravestone today stands in the northern transept. The halo indicates the significance of the deceased.

Twelve-year-old Jesus preaching in the temple, Lenten veil, around 1290  


The Brandenburg Lenten veil is the pride of the Cathedral Museum. On a surface of nine square metres it tells the life story of Christ.  

Bohemian altar around 1380 from the life of Petri


The Bohemian altar originates from the time in which Bohemian King Karl IV became Margrave of Brandenburg.  

Altar of the Holy Cross, panel painting, late 15th century

Late 15th century

The altar shows a crucifixion group in the middle and the two cathedral patrons on the wings.

Epitaph for Adam von Königsmarck, † 1632. Marble and alabaster 


The epitaph from the workshop of Magdeburg artist Christoph Dehne is a masterpiece of Mannerism.

View and floorplan of the cathedral, around 1705


The image was taken from the Knight Academy’s armorial. The Knight Academy was a school founded in 1705 at the Cathedral. 

The Cathedral organ was created by the organ builder Joachim Wagner


The organ was intoned in 1725. It is one of the few organs by Wagner to have been preserved in its original state.

Stained-glass rose window in the Cathedral’s western portal, first half of the 19th century  

19. Jh.

The rose window can be traced back to a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who restored the Cathedral between 1833 and 1836.

Paul von Hindenburg as Cathedral Dean, around 1925


In 1920 Paul von Hindenburg became Cathedral Dean. When he later became President of the German Reich he kept the post but allowed someone to act in his place.

View of the nave, 1947


On the right-hand side the boarded up pulpit can be seen. The anti-aircraft defence systems enabled the cathedral to remain virtually undamaged throughout the war.

Reinforced pulpit pillar in the nave of the cathedral, 1963  


To mark the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the laying of the foundations, the structure of the arcade pillars was reinforced.

Procession from the Cathedral to the newly opened Cathedral Grammar School


In 2006 the Cathedral Grammar School was opened. The nursery school, primary school and grammar school altogether house around 800 children.  

Northern wing in 2009, following refurbishment


The refurbishment of the northern enclosure was completed in 2009. During the work, Gothic paintings were uncovered on the upper floor. 

Doorway to the building site


The refurbishment and maintenance of the building’s fabric and its artworks count among the most crucial undertakings of the Cathedral Foundation. 

Impressions – a virtual tour