World Cultural Heritage St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim

The Cathedral and the former Benedictine Monastery Church of St Michael at Hildesheim have been included in the World Heritage List as outstanding testimonies to Romanesque religious art. They were thereby entrusted to the protection of humankind as a whole. This award was granted because, according to the evaluation by the three appraisers appointed by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), three of the selection criteria particularly apply to the two Hildesheim churches:

  1. The Cathedral and St Michael's each "represent a masterpiece of humancreative genius". This criterion mainly applies to Bishop Bernward's bronze castings in the Cathedral and to the painted ceiling of St Michael's.
  2. The two church buildings exhibited "an important interchange … on developments in architecture". This particularly applies to St Michael's.
  3. The two churches "bear an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition which has disappeared". Nowadays, among all those considered, the two monuments and their treasures convey the most comprehensive and immediate access to understanding the interior design of occidental Romanesque churches.
The art treasures particularly appreciated by ICOMOS are closely related to the person of Bishop Bernward (ca. 960 - 1022).

St Michael, view from southeast; (c) city of Hildesheim

Cathedral, view from northeast; (c) Hornemann Institut