St. Sebastian Cathedral

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Saint Sebastian Cathedral
Towers in 1927

The Sankt Sebastian Church ( St. Sebastian Cathedral ) in Magdeburg is a Roman Catholic cathedral church consecrated to St. Sebastian in Magdeburg's old town . It is part of the Romanesque Road .

Building history

Central nave


The foundation stone was laid around 1015 by Archbishop Gero , who was buried in the church after his death in 1022. It was founded as a collegiate foundation . In addition to St. Sebastian, the monastery was originally dedicated to John the Evangelist and St. Fabianus . After obtaining the head relic of St. Sebastian, the other cartridges lost their importance. On the occasion of the approach of Henry IV's army , the relic was carried along the border of the Archdiocese of Magdeburg . In later years there was a procession with the relic from the cathedral to the St. Sebastian's Church on January 20th . After several structural extensions, the Romanesque church building burned down in 1188 and 1207.

Gothic conversion

In the first half of the 14th century the church was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The old choir, probably from Gero's time, was torn down and replaced by a new, larger one. At the beginning of the 15th century, the nave was redesigned with the aim of building a late Gothic hall church. The Romanesque floor plan was retained. On May 17, 1489, the church was consecrated again by Archbishop Ernst after the renovations were completed .

St. Sebastian from the southwest

During the siege of the city of Magdeburg by Moritz von Sachsen in 1550, cannons were placed on the church towers for defense.


In the course of the Reformation , the canons of St. Sebastian renounced the Catholic faith in 1558. Saint Sebastian became Protestant. In 1573 the monastery was converted into a Protestant monastery. On the 1st Sunday of Advent in 1573, the cathedral preacher Siegfried Sack held the first Protestant service. From 1573 to 1609 Georg Rollenhagen held the office of preacher to Saint Sebastian.

Destruction in the Thirty Years War

When Magdeburg was stormed in the Thirty Years War on May 10, 1631, the church burned down. It was still in ruins in 1642 . In 1663 the choir was rebuilt and a wooden ceiling in the form of a vault was added. The first service took place only 61 years after the destruction in 1692. A cloister originally located north of the church fell into disrepair and was then used as a cemetery. The street name cemetery, which existed until after the Second World War, testifies to this .

Detail view of the east side
Repair of the church towers in 1952

There were also burials of respected citizens inside the church.

Use as a magazine

From 1756, there were initially no more services. The church served as a magazine . At the end of the 18th century, the Geros tombstone disappeared from the choir. During the French occupation, the monastery was dissolved in 1810. The building served the French military as a blacksmith's shop and warehouse for beer , brandy and salt . From 1823 the church was owned by the city of Magdeburg and was used as a wool warehouse.

Renewed religious use

The choir of the church found a religious use again between 1845 and 1854 by the German Catholics . In 1873 Saint Sebastian became the parish church of the Roman Catholic community. It was renovated and new stone vaults were built. From 1878, services were held again in the church.

After the Second World War

During the Second World War , during the air raid on Magdeburg on January 16, 1945 , the church was also damaged. The damage to the nave was repaired as early as 1946. Since the other inner-city churches were badly damaged, they were first used jointly by the various denominations . The towers were repaired later.

From 1949 Saint Sebastian served as the episcopal church of the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Paderborn . Extensive restorations took place in the years from 1953 to 1959 and 1982 to 1991. A bishop's crypt was newly laid out.

Choir window by Alois Plum

In 1994 Magdeburg became an independent Catholic diocese again . Saint Sebastian became the cathedral of the newly established diocese of Magdeburg and the seat of the Magdeburg cathedral chapter . In 2005, further construction work on the cathedral was completed.

The interior was redesigned, a covered cloister was added as well as a sacristy and a chapter cemetery. The altar island was partly redesigned, a new popular altar was erected, in this there is a tooth relic of St. Sebastian, which comes from the skull relic of the Benedictine Abbey in Vienna and was sent for the consecration of the altar. During the construction work, a youth room was built over the existing flower sacristy and confessional chapel . In 2007, Cathedral Chapter Ulrich Lieb inaugurated a room in the west portal, which serves as a silent memory of deceased children.


The owl organ

In 1958 the A. Schuster & Sohn company (Zittau) built an organ with 47 registers, 3 manuals, electro-pneumatic action and a free-standing prospectus with little reference to the factory layout. The wind chests - with the exception of the positive one - all on one level took up almost the entire area of ​​the intermediate tower structure. After the main work had become unplayable in the 1980s, it was brought back to full playability in the late 1980s.

This work gave way to an organ built in 2005 by the Eule company as Opus 637 . The instrument was largely arranged in the Central German Classical and Central German Romantic styles, supplemented by a few stops in the French symphonic style. It has 56 stops on three manuals and a pedal .

I Rückpositiv C – a 3
15th Principal 8th'
16. Bourdon 8th'
17th Salicional (from C) 8th'
18th Unda maris (from A) 8th'
19th Prestant 4 ′
20th Flauto dolce 4 ′
21st Nazard 2 23
22nd Duplicate 2 '
23. Tierce 1 35
24. Larigot 1 13
25th Mixture IV 1 13
26th bassoon 16 ′
27. Cromorne 8th'
II main work C – a 3
1. Praestant 16 ′
2. Principal 8th'
3. Flûte harmonique 8th'
4th Dumped 8th'
5. Viol 8th'
6th Octave 4 ′
7th Pointed flute 4 ′
8th. Fifth 2 23
9. Super octave 2 ′
10. Cornett V (from f) 8th'
11. Mixture major IV – V 2 '
12. Mixture minor III 1 13
13. Trumpet 16 ′
14th Trumpet 8th'
III Swell C – a 3
28. Viola d'amour 16 ′
29 Hollow flute 8th'
30th Cor de nuit 8th'
31. Fugara 8th'
32. Aeoline (from C) 8th'
33. Voix céleste (from G) 8th'
34. Flûte octaviante 4 ′
35. viola 4 ′
36. Nazard harm. 2 23
37. Octavine 2 ′
38. Tierce harm. 1 35
39. Piccolo 1'
40. Progressio harm. III-V 2 23
41. Bombard 16 ′
42. Trumpet harm. 8th'
43. Basson-Hautbois 8th'
44. Voix humaine 8th'
45. Clairon harm. 4 ′
Pedals C – g 1
Large pedal
46. Pedestal 32 ′
47. Violon 16 ′
48. Principal 16 ′
49. Bass flute 8th'
50. trombone 16 ′
Pleno pedal
51. Sub bass 16 ′
52. Octavbass 8th'
53. cello 8th'
54. Octave 4 ′
55. Trumpet 8th'
56. Clairon 4 ′
  • Coupling : I / II, III / I, III / I 16 ′ mechanical, III / II, III / II 16 ′, I / II 16 ′ via coupling bar, I / P, II / P, III / P mechanical.
  • Playing aids : typesetting system with decimal system (10,000 combinations, electronically locked works with storage medium USB stick, system Fa. Heuss), sequence switching forwards and backwards, register crescendo as a roller, register shackle (can be used as prolongement or loops), coupler for (system Owl), tremulants adjustable in speed and intensity, console design based on F. Ladegast rounded register graduation.
  • Secondary register: Vox strigis (voice of the owl, I. Manual)

There is also a choir organ in the church, which was initially installed on the west wall of the north transept and moved to the high choir in 2004. Its construction was started in 1992 by A. Schuster & Sohn, Zittau, dragged on for several years and was completed in 2004 by the Schuster successor company Welde. The organ with mechanical playing and stop action has 20 stops on two manuals and a pedal.

Cantor and organist: cathedral musician Matthias Mück (since 2000)


In the south tower there is a four-part chime made of steel bells from the Bochum Association from 1955. The chimes are: a 0 –c 1 –d 1 –f 1 . The largest bell weighs 2.8 t and has a diameter of 1.98 m.

Bishops, clergy and parish structure

Since the re-establishment of the Magdeburg diocese in 1994, the St. Sebastian Cathedral has been the seat of Bishop Leo Nowak , who retired in 2005, and since 2005 of Bishop Gerhard Feige . The board of directors of the municipality and the municipal association Magdeburg-Mitte is Provost Josef Kuschel, cathedral chapter , supported by the subsidiary (cooperators) and a deacon .

On May 2, 2010, the St. Sebastian cathedral parish was established from the Magdeburg Mitte community of municipalities founded on April 1, 2006 . At the same time, the existing parishes Propstei St. Sebastian, Parish St. Norbert , Magdeburg-Buckau, Parish St. Adalbert , Magdeburg Reform and Parish St. Johannes-Baptist , Magdeburg-Südost were dissolved and integrated into the new parish as sub-parishes. On August 1, 2010, the leadership of the parish was transferred to Provost Reinhold Pfafferodt, who is also the cathedral priest. In addition to Pfafferodt, a cooperator (Chr. Kobert), a deacon (W. Gerlich) and a community officer (Sr. Teresa) are active in the pastoral care of the parish (as of May 23, 2019). The St. Marienstift Chapel also belongs to this parish today.

See also


  • Christian Forster: The collegiate church of St. Sebastian in Magdeburg and its cloister . In: INSITU. Zeitschrift für Architekturgeschichte 6 (2/2014), pp. 169–176.
  • Hans-Joachim Krenzke: Churches and monasteries in Magdeburg . City Planning Office, Magdeburg 2000.
  • Gottfried Wentz / Berent Schwineköper : Germania Sacra. The dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Magdeburg, Part 1: The St. Moritz Cathedral Monastery in Magdeburg. Berlin 1972, and part 2: The collegiate donors St. Sebastian, St. Nicolai, St. Peter and St. Paul and St. Gandolf in Magdeburg. Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-11-001811-X , pp. 590-650.

Individual evidence

  1. More information about the organ on the website of the organ builder.
  2. ^ Bells plenum Catholic high cathedral St. Sebastian in Magdeburg on YouTube .

Web links

Commons : St. Sebastian Cathedral (Magdeburg)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 52 ° 7 ′ 35.2 ″  N , 11 ° 37 ′ 54.2 ″  E