One of the most important architectural landmarks in Schleswig-Holstein, the Schleswig Cathedral towers over the city of Schleswig. It was established as a Romanesque basilica in 1134, built using granite, brick and tuff from the Rhine, before being reconstructed as High Gothic hall church from the 13th century. It was here that the Danish King Niel’s headless body was laid out after being pulled from the Schlei by local fishermen and it’s believed that he still haunts the cathedral to this day.
In 1888, a Gothic revival western tower was added at the request of King William II of Prussia and its viewing platform now offers commanding panoramas across the city of Schleswig, the Schlei and the charming fishing village of Holm. In addition to climbing to the viewing platform, guided tours also enable visitors to see the bells that are located just above.
Access to the cathedral is through the 12th-century Romanesque Petri Portal that’s flanked by a weathered sculpture of a lion while the interior includes the 14th-century Altar of the Magi in the southern choir and a 15th-century bronze baptismal font by Ghert Klinghe in the high choir. The three-winged cloisters at the northern end of the nave are decorated with restored frescoes from the cathedral’s earliest years that depict the life of Christ and a variety of mythological creatures. Also of note is the oak wood-carved Brüggemann-Altar that dates to the early 16th century and features biblical scenes and a depiction of Adam and Eve.