UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site Hildesheim Cathedral Treasury

The Hildesheim cathedral treasury is one of the largest and most important church treasure troves in Europe. The treasures collected here over more than a thousand years are testimonies of lived faith. Together with
St. Michael’s Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral, the cathedral treasury was declared a UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site in 1985.


As works of art and historical documents, the Hildesheim Cathedral treasury is of inestimable value. The collection especially owes its outstanding importance to the wide array of magnificent items donated by Bishop Bernward, and Bishop Eduard Jakob Wedekin’s passion for collecting (1796-1870) in the 19th century. That’s why today, we can look back on complete documentation of liturgical instruments and manuscripts right up to the early Middle Ages.

  • Foundation reliquary

    The foundation reliquary, also called Lipsanothek, is directly related to the legend of the diocese’s foundation. That’s because the capsule which the chaplain of Emperor Louis the Pious had forgotten and was then unable to remove from the bush is probably the silver capsule of this reliquary. Scientifically, the container has been dated back to the 9th century, i.e., Carolingian. The base and mounting support originate from the 13th and 14th centuries. The original of the reliquary is kept in the cathedral crypt, a copy is in the cathedral museum. Even today, the foundation reliquary is ceremonially handed over to each new bishop on the day of his inauguration.

  • Great Golden Madonna

    The so-called great golden Madonna belongs to the outstanding testimonies of fully three-dimensional figures in the early Middle Ages and was probably donated by Saint Bernward. It was created in the early 11th century. Mary holds the Christ Child in her lap. The core of this figure is made out of wood and it is covered with flat rolled, richly ornamented sheet gold.

  • Disk Cross

    The cathedral treasure in Hildesheim has altogether three disk crosses, which were all individually designed. They are made out of gold-plated copper sheet, are richly decorated and set with rock crystals. A respective thorn indicates that the crosses were actively used in liturgy. This tradition continues up to this very day. With its three models, the cathedral museum has the largest ensemble of disk crosses in Europe.

  • Golden Chalice and Paten of Bishop Gerhard

    The chalice and paten are some of the best goldsmith works from the 14th century in Germany. Seven scenes from the life of Jesus are engraved as medallions at the base of the chalice, which are also framed by precious stones and gems. And the upper outside surface of the chalice, framed in arcades, also shows Christ with his disciples at the Lord’s Supper. The outer surface of the paten is decorated as a circular medallion in each case with the symbols of the four evangelists. The fifth somewhat larger medallion in the middle depicts the Lamb of God. This golden chalice is still used in the liturgy at every priestly ordination.

  • Reliquary of the Cathedral Patrons (so-called Steinberg tower reliquary)

    At the beginning of the 15th century, Hildesheim Cathedral steward Lippold von Steinberg had this sculpturally challenging, hexagonal tower reliquary designed. It is clearly identified as his donation in an inscription. The tower reliquary consists of a pedestal with three tapering levels in which Mary, apostles, saints, worshippers and martyrs are depicted. All cathedral patrons are included in this reliquary.

  • The Eagle Lectern

    The eagle with the dragon in its fangs is another example of Hildesheim’s importance as a location for high-quality medieval art and casting handicraft. The bronze casting created in 1230/40 is interpreted as a symbol of Christ triumphing over Satan. The original is in the cathedral museum, a copy is in front of the high altar and serves as an ambon.


You can visit the Hildesheim Cathedral Museum during the following times:

  • Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
  • Monday day of rest
  • The Cathedral Museum remains closed on 12/24 and 12/31.

More information is provided on the Hildesheim Cathedral Museum’s website.

Contact and Directions

Cathedral Museum Hildesheim


Telephone: 05121 - 307 760

Web: https://www.dommuseum-hildesheim.de

Adress for your navigation device:

Domhof 18-21, 31134 Hildesheim

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