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The Exhibition – 21. September 2018 to 13. January 2019

The 13th century “Hoher Dom” (lit: High Cathedral) – located in the centre of Paderborn – is the town’s landmark and the cathedral church of the archbishopric. As early as 799, Charlemagne had „a church of astonishing size“ built on the site. Since then the cathedral has been destroyed several times and rebuilt again and again.

Now the Paderborn Diocesan Museum is showing a large art and cultural-historical exhibition on Gothic architecture in Europe. Taking its starting point in Paderborn, the exhibition presents a fascinating panorama of an eventful period: beginning with the building process, and moving on through groundbreaking technical innovations to the exchange of cultural ideas, the exhibition examines the particular prerequisites of the innovative, international architectural and pictorial language of the Middle Ages and illustrates the interrelationships and effects of their origins.

Using first-class exhibits from all over Europe, the show illuminates the transnational phenomena of the Gothic period, which, emanating in France, changed architecture and art throughout Europe – even as far as local regions. On display are important architectural fragments, sculptures, plans of large cathedrals (including the oldest surviving architectural drawings, the so-called Reims Palimpsest), precious works of treasure art, and impressive 3D models.

Monumental sculptural ornamentation

The sculpture in the newly built cathedrals acquired a monumental format: it visualised feelings like sadness and joy, thereby reflecting a new relationship to reality and acting as a counterpart to the viewer. Highly famous works such as the Head with the Bandage by the Naumburg Master from the “Dom- und Diözesanmuseum Mainz” and unique works from the Louvre and the Musée Cluny in Paris, (which are also shown in the exhibition), are manifestations of this new expressive pictorial concept. The monumentality of the sculptural ornamentation in Paderborn Cathedral reflects the developments of the time.

Gothic en miniature – Micro-architectures in Gothic art

Scale drawings – as shown by important specimens from Ulm and Cologne – made it possible to transfer the decorative forms of monumental architecture accurately into other artistic genres and use them as ornamentation. The exhibition unit “Gothic en miniature” shows miniature architectures made of stone as well as extraordinary gems of ivory carving and goldsmiths‘ art from the leading studios in the High Gothic period in Paris. These include prominent items like the original fragments of the shrine of Saint Gertrud von Nivelles or the arm reliquary of Beatrix von Holte from the Essen Cathedral Treasury. Other works never before shown in Germany, include the unique reliquary of the Holy Sepulchre from the Treasury in Pamplona Cathedral.

The exhibition is being presented under the patronage of Hans-Josef Becker, Archbishop of Paderborn, and Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The exhibition is being held on the occasion of the anniversary year of Paderborn Cathedral. (

Information for visitors

Erzbischöfliches Diözesanmuseum und Domschatzkammer
Markt 17 · 33098 Paderborn · Germany

Tel. +49 (0) 5251 125-1400
Fax +49 (0) 5251 125-1495

Opening hours
  • Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 to 18.00
  • Monday closed
  • Every first Wednesday of the month until 20.00
Admission price per head:
  • Single ticket: Regular 9.00 €
  • Concessions (SGB II, SGB XII) 6.00 €
  • School and higher education students 6.00 €
  • Participants in a pre-booked guided tour 6.00 €
  • School classes in a pre-booked guided tours 2.50 €
  • Family ticket 15.00 €
  • Season ticket 30.00 €
  • In German, English and French 4 €
  • For children 2 €
Prices for guided tours (not including admission ticket)*
  • 90 minutes 80.00 €
  • Quick tour 60 minutes 60 €
  • Participation in public guided tours (per head) 5.00 €
  • Foreign language tours, plus 15.00 €
  • Tours for school classes 75.00 €
Tours can be booked at:

Tourist Information Paderborn
Marienplatz 2a   33098 Paderborn

Tel. +49 (0)5251 882980
Fax +49 (0)5251 882990

* The individual guide is responsible for the content of the guided tours. Individual additional services are possible at any time and must be negotiated by the group with the respective guide.

The Tourist Information Office in Paderborn is your contact point for tourist programmes, further information material on destinations in Paderborn and the Paderborn region and assistance in finding accommodation.

GOTHIC – all inclusive

Experience Gothic architecture with all your senses. Guided tours for blind and visually impaired visitors.

Guided tours in „plain language“ for people with learning difficulties and intellectual disabilities

You can find further information on “GOTIK – all inclusive” (german language) at

Tours of Paderborn Cathedral

  • Duration: 75 minutes. Price: 40.00 €, (max. 25 persons)
  • Dombüro Erzbistum Paderborn (mornings) +49 (0)5251 125-1630


Gotik. Der Paderborner Dom und die Baukultur des 13. Jahrhunderts in Europa, Christoph Stiegemann (ed.), 21,5 × 28 cm, ca. 550 pages, ca. 400 illustrations. Hardcover, Michael Imhof Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7319-0734-3

  • Museum price: 39.95 €
  • Bookshop price: 49.95 €

Other events during the exhibition

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive programme designed to cater for all ages. It includes guided tours, readings, workshops, varied museum educational events for children and young people, as well as programmes for school classes. Bookings can also be made for inclusive events.

Gothic Archtekture in Westfalia

From the 13th century onwards the Gothic style spread throughout Europe and even into the regions. Impressive evidence of this movement has been preserved throughout Westphalia and is awaiting your visit.

Nikolaikirche Obermarsberg: Heimatmuseum Marsberg, T. 02994 1566,; www.

Marienkirche Lippstadt: Tourismusbüro der Stadt Lippstadt:; Marienkirche Lippstadt:

St. Maria zur Wiese Soest: Evangelische Wiese-Georgs-Kirchengemeinde Soest; T. 02921 3440050;;

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