The present cathedral replaced an older church of the twelfth century. It was commissioned by Duke Sigismund and built by Jörg von Halsbach. Construction began in 1468 and the two towers were completed in 1488. The church was consecrated in 1494. However, the famous domes that surmount each tower date back to 1525. Their design was copied from the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, of Byzantine inspiration, contemporaries thinking it was a representation of Solomon's Temple, and it was inspired by Breydenbach's engravings from his book Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam which were widely used from 1486, as well as from the famous Nuremberg Chronicle of Hartmann Schedel published in 1493.
The cathedral suffered very serious damage during the Second World War - the roof collapsed and one of the towers was damaged. The restoration, begun at the end of the conflict, was completed in 1994. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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