Dom St Viktor

Cologne & Northern Rhineland

The crown jewel of Xanten’s Altstadt is the Dom St Viktor, which has Romanesque roots but is now largely Gothic. It is framed by a walled close, called an ‘Immunity’, which can only be entered from the Markt. The soaring five-nave interior brims with treasures, reflecting the wealth Xanten enjoyed in the Middle Ages. Foremost is the Marienaltar, halfway down the right aisle, with a base featuring an intricately carved version of the Tree of Jesse by Heinrich Douvermann (1535).

The candelabrum in the central nave, with its Doppelmadonna (Double Madonna, 1500), is another masterpiece. A stone sarcophagus in the crypt holds the remains of St Viktor, the Roman martyr who became Xanten’s patron saint. Look for the preserved original statues behind glass outside.

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