Alfred Ehrhardt: The Bernward Column of Hildesheim.
Photography and film 1964

May 6 to September 9, 2006

The Bernward column stands in the Hildesheim Cathedral today. The column and the Bernward door belong to the monumental cast-bronze works which Bernward as Bishop of Hildesheim (993-1022) originally made for the Michaelis Church, which he had built. Both the column and the door are made of hollow cast bronze.The column is 3.79 metres high up to the shaft and weighs 7 tons. It is decorated with a relief band that winds around the column like a spiral. It goes up in eight turns and represents the public life of Jesus Christ in 24 connected scenes: based on the four rivers of paradise, the pictural story begins with the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan and follows the path of annunciation, which lasted three years, "up to Jerusalem", where Jesus is arrested and sentenced to death. The passion of Christ is illustrated on the Bernward door. The cap was built later. The original, which was melted down in 1676, bore a large bronze cross with the figure of the crucified Jesus, in which relics were kept and which was destroyed by iconoclasts in 1544. The Bernward column and the Bernward door were added to the list of the UNESCO cultural heritage in 1985.

 

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