Bardowick Cathedral

Kirchenbüro Bardowick
Beim Dom 9
D-21357 Bardowick
Tel. +49 4131 121143
Fax +49 4131 1205007

Opening Hours:
daily, 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. (in Summer to 5:00 P.M.) apart from when services are being held in the cathedral.

can be requested from staff in the cathedral.
The Building:
The collegial church is mentioned for the first time in 1146. Dating back to Heinrich the Lion's time, the legendary ruler first funded construction of the church, only later (in 1189) to destroy it! Only traces of this first church on the site remain; for example, gypsum blocks that today form part of the tower base of the cathedral's west-wing.
Construction work began on the three aisle Brick Gothic hall church at the end of the 14th century. The baptism banks were installed in 1367; the outstandingly-preserved Gothic choir bank dates to 1486-87; the high altar was conceived shortly thereafter, at the end of the 15th century. Above the southern portal is a lion made from oak, with goldleaf trimming decorating the lead covering.

St. Nicholas' Court

Opening Hours:
the church is only occasionally open; however, the nearby "Frauenhouse" (literally, "Female House" or "House of Women") is open daily.

The Building
The hospital still known as St. Nicholas' Court is first mentioned in written-sources dating to 1251. The hospital, designed to house leppers from the nearby town of Lüneburg was built far from the city gates, on the southern edge of the Bardowick township, itself comprised of many hamlets. After the gradual tapering off of the leprosy risk, the hospital became a retirement home. The still contoured annex borders an oak-lined courtyard on its eastern side, with the Ilmenau River just a stone's throw away. In the centre of an annex marked by its huge trees is St. Nicholas' Chapel, whose roofing and entrance portal evinces a construction date of around 1310, with the portal still standing today.
In the first quarter of the 15th. century, the western tower was built; the completed Brick Gothic building was renovated in 1435. The cathedral's vaulted sacristy with its organ pipes dates to ten years later (in 1445). In 1316 the oldest infirmery of the St. Nicholas' Court (called the "Männerhaus", and designed for male patients) was installed.
The companion "Frauenhaus" (for female patients) was built between 1720 and 1721. Both buildings evince the typical structure of a hospital building, with small rooms leading off from a long hallway. Notably, large kitchens in both infirmary houses have been preserved. On rambling flatlands nearby stand the "Provisorat", a timber-framed house dating to the 17th century and the so-called "Organist's House", a 16th century transversal Brick Gothic building, with the building's timber framed structre being installed in 1672. The sealed-off nature of the annex, the degree of preservation of the site, the vegetation on-site and its location on the river provide visitors today with a unique glimpse of a medieval hospital facility. Further information about the history of the annex is available in documentary films playing in two cells of the "Frauenhaus" that have remained almost untouched since the Middle Ages. The oldest infirmary on the site is the Männerhaus, dating back to 1316.