Patrons sought and found

Sculptor Tillmann Richter will create the new patrons of Naumburg Cathedral based on the originals.

The patron saints of Naumburg Cathedral, St. Peter and St. Paul, stood on the east choir for centuries and thus shaped the image of the cathedral. In 2021 they were taken down in the course of renovation work, because the centuries have left clear traces, both figures were badly damaged.

But of course Naumburg Cathedral cannot do without patron saints. Duplicates are to be placed in the places of the weathered originals. For this purpose, a competition has been announced to attract the best sculptors. By the end of August 2023, the participants had each sculpted a head of the patron saint. At the end of September, a top-class jury decided on one of the sculptors: Tillmann Richter from Großenhain will make Peter and Paul anew for the east choir from shell limestone.

The jury consisting of Karsten Böhm from the State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments; Bernhard Schellbach, sculptor from Dessau-Roßlau; Susanne Haupt from the Lower Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments of the Burgenlandkreis; the cathedral architect Regine Hartkopf and the director of the United Cathedral Foundations, Dr. Holger Kunde had particularly demanded a closeness to the originals in the task for the production of the duplicates and placed great emphasis on the artistic expressiveness. Tillmann Richter's design fulfills both of these points. He based his work primarily on historical photographs and sketches of the patron saints on the east choir, but he also drew on the works of the Naumburg master. The jury praised his worthy contribution and is looking forward to the implementation, which will take place in his workshop in Großenhain.

Second and third place in the competition went to Johannes Traub from Halle and Frank Schauseil from Dresden.

The stone for the patron saint is now being examined by Tillmann Richter; it is shell limestone from Italy. The Mitteldeutsche Kieswerke around Dr. Tonndorf donated the limestone for the construction project.

To finance the project, which will cost a total of 200,000 euros, the United Cathedral Foundations have launched a donation project. Every donation helps to bring the new figures to the east choir so that they can stand protectively on the cathedral for centuries to come.

Abbey director Dr. Holger Kunde is extremely pleased that the new patron saints are now taking shape and that an experienced sculptor could be won, because they have a great significance for Naumburg Cathedral, says Dr. Kunde: "The cathedral is dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. And not without reason they were gathered in life size on the east choir, of course, to convey their blessing in the direction of the city and so the cathedral freedom and the civic city also always have the watchful eye of Peter and Paul on them, so it is a hallmark of this cathedral that these two apostle princes are present."

In 2025, the patron saints should then be completed and lifted back up onto the east choir.

More information about the donation project can be found here:

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