St. Victor Cathedral
The spiritual center of the city
The mighty Gothic St. Viktor Cathedral dominates the cityscape of Xanten. The west façade with the towers still comes from the style epoch of the Romanesque period. You enter the five-aisled basilica through the south portal. Inside the cathedral you can expect rich art treasures:
+ High altar with reliquary
+17 significant restored altars
+ Glass windows
+ Sculptures on the pillars
+ Carvings of the choir stalls
+ Panel paintings
Origins and history
"To the saints" - "ad sanctos" the origins of Xanthen go back. Legend has it that the Roman legionary Viktor and his companions died in the 4th century as Christian martyrs, to whose memorial site the faithful soon made a pilgrimage.
Chapels and first church buildings were built over the grave Victor. In the 8th century a monastery was founded in honor of Victor. A Carolingian church was built in the 9th century, which was replaced by successor buildings. In addition to the monastery, a settlement developed with traders and craftsmen, from which the city of Xanten emerged.
Friedrich von Hochstaden, Probst of Xanten and brother of the archbishop of Cologne, laid the foundation stone of the present cathedral in 1263. In the crypt you will find the supposed tomb of the ancient martyr Victor and his companion. In 1966, the crypt was extended in memory of the Christian resistance fighters in the 3rd Reich.
The atmospheric cloister surrounds a green courtyard with a 14th-century high cross.
March 4, 2019
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