Naumburg Cathedral had to close to visitors for a total of four months last year due to the Corona virus pandemic. For Vereinigte Domstifter, which finance much of the work from visitor income, this meant massive losses. The financial losses for the foundation in 2020 are close to half a million euros. The staff of the Visitor Centre had to be put on short-time work. "We are in a difficult situation as a foundation right now," emphasises the foundation's director, Dr Holger Kunde. "We have huge losses due to the closure, and at the moment there is still uncertainty as to how long this will last, that we cannot open. This is a great burden for all the staff. We are pinning our hopes on the lockdown and the vaccinations taking effect soon and getting the pandemic under control. However, we are dependent on government aid in any case,", Dr Kunde continues.
Despite the long closure, 98.321 people visited Naumburg Cathedral in 2020. Especially in the summer months, many individual tourists from Germany came to the cathedral. "The fact that we were able to welcome so many visitors to the cathedral, and you have to consider that there were hardly any tour groups, shows us the attraction of Naumburg Cathedral and the potential that the World Heritage Site has in the future," says Dr Holger Kunde about the visitor figures.
In 2020, the service In 2020, the service for guests was also expanded even further: The cathedral shop was designed more attractively and with new products, the guided tour offers for groups were revised and there were new projects for children and adults in the KinderDomBauhütte. The cathedral's website was redesigned and the social media channels were expanded, so that an active exchange with people interested in the cathedral could be maintained even during the lockdown. In addition, an online donation site was designed where various donation projects around the cathedral can now be supported very easily.
In the West Choir the extensive restoration of the stained glass windows has been completed and the windows now shine in new splendour. The work on the windows in the East Choir will also be finished soon, so that this will also be visible again without restrictions.
The Vereinigte Domstifter will, however, continue to be involved in many construction projects However, the United Cathedral Foundations will continue to be busy with many construction measures around the cathedral. The restoration of the façade of the East Choir made good progress in 2020 and is nearing completion. With funds from the foundation Deutschen Stiftung Denkmalschutz amounting to 75,000 euros, further areas such as the ballustrade, gargoyles and patron saint figures could be started. Furthermore, the renovations of the buildings Neuer Steinweg 1 and 2, Domplatz 1 and 1a and Domplatz 5, 6 and 20 are continuing or starting.
In 2021, the entrance area in the cathedral is also to be redesigned in order to make ticket sales and the cathedral shop more service-oriented.
A highlight is to be a grand ceremony in 2021, which will honour the completion of the restoration of the windows of the West and East Choirs.