The Romanesque Road is one of the most famous tourist routes in Germany. Over a total length of more than 1,000 kilometres, it connects 88 Romanesque buildings (dome, churches, monasteries and castles) in 73 towns in Saxony-Anhalt. Similar to an eight, the Romanesque Road is divided into a north and south route, with the state capital Magdeburg forming the centre. Quedlinburg is represented by four central buildings: the two visitor magnets St. Servatius and St. Cyriacus and the Church St. Wiperti.
Church St. Wiperti
The area around today’s Church St. Wiperti was originally the royal court and thus the nucleus of Ottonian rule. Around 950 a cross-shaped basilica was built here and supplemented in 1020 with the crypt that is still preserved today. In the middle of the 12th century, the church was destroyed and rebuilt. The crypt remained intact.
For a few years now, ultra-modern church windows from the glass workshop of Frank Schneemelcher have been giving a very special accent. The windows have often been compared with those of Marc Chagall in the Frauenmünster in Zurich. The historical burial sites in the vicinity of St. Wiperti are a special attraction. This type of crypts is hardly to be found north of the Alps.
Collegiate Church St. Servatii
The church of the former abbey is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Germany. The original castle chapel of Henry I was superseded by the first church of the Ladies' Abbey, which was destroyed in a fire in 1070. Already in 1129, the new Collegiate Church was consecrated. In addition to the burial sites of Heinrich and his wife Mathilde, the unique medieval knotted carpet and the famous Ottonian Cathedral Treasure are particularly noteworthy. Stolen in 1945, most of the pieces came back to Germany only in 1993 and have been on display ever since.
More information: » St. Servatii
Collegiate Church St. Cyriacus
The Collegiate Church of St. Cyriacus in Gernrode, first mentioned in 961, is considered to be almost the only completely preserved building in Ottonian style. It was the church of the Women’s Abbey founded by Margrave Gero and existed until 1616. A highlight, the Holy Sepulchre, is located in the south aisle. Although its exact dating is disputed, it is the oldest and best preserved Holy Sepulchre in Germany. In the late Middle Ages, it was the centre of the liturgical Easter celebrations.
More information: » St. Cyriacus
Monastry Church St. Mary
On the still-preserved walls of the Church of St. Mary on the Münzenberg in Quedlinburg you can see all the elements of an Ottonian basilica with apse, transept, three-aisled nave and west building.
Founded in 986, the Benedictine monastery existed until 1536 and was used for secular purposes in the following centuries and rebuilt with twelve residential buildings.
The preserved parts of the building, numerous finds of half-columns, capitals and reliefs from St. Mary's convey a vivid picture of medieval architecture.
In 1994, Professor Siegfried Behrens and his wife purchased one of the houses in which substantial parts of the monastery church have been preserved. By means of further purchases, exchange and patient negotiations, they gradually brought together the remaining areas of the church, so that now you can visit the Western Crypt, the Eastern Crypt, parts of the central and side aisles, the nuns' empore and the archaeologically secured medieval burial sites in front of the southern side aisle.
In 2006, the Behrens couple contributed three of their houses with the essential remains of the monastery church to the foundation “Klosterkirche St. Marien auf dem Münzenberg” (“Monastery Church of St. Mary on the Münzenberg”). The foundation is administered by the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz and supports the maintenance and expansion of the museum from the proceeds of the foundation’s assets and donations.
More information: » Monastry Church St. Mary
In addition, in Quedlinburg’s immediate surroundings there are other highlights on the Romanesque Road. These include St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Halberstadt, Falkenstein Castle in Pansfelde and Michaelstein Monastery in Blankenburg.
All further information about the Romanesque Road with all its monuments can be found at: www.strassederromanik.de