The Cathedral of Saints Maurice and Catherine, view from the east. The striking Cathedral of Saints Maurice and Catherine is the most famous symbol of Magdeburg. From whichever direction you approach the city, the first thing you see is its almost 100-metre-high towers and powerful body. Inside, there are countless details to discover, each with its own story.
The cathedral owes its existence to an endowment by King Otto the Great in 937. In 1207, the Romanesque building was destroyed in a devastating fire in the city. Archbishop Albert had the cathedral built in its present form on the same spot – using many of the columns which had not been destroyed, and in the style of the newly emerging French Gothic architecture. He was thus the architectural pioneer of the era in Germany.
Over the full 300 years of its construction, many other pieces were added of global artistic renown, such as Saint Maurice or the ten sculptures of the “Wise and Foolish Virgins”. And in the north tower, the huge bells – the heaviest of which weighs 9 tonnes – leave visitors feeling tiny by comparison. The arduous climb is rewarded with an incredible view.