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Münster in Constance

The path leads us to the cathedral with its eventful past. On the ruins of a Roman fort, a cathedral church was built in the 7th century, which later underwent several changes and went through difficult times.

Unfortunately, half of the cloister was demolished.

Westfront Münster Constance

The Western Front.
The neo-gothic tower-pyramid dates back to 1853. Before that, the cathedral looked like the picture (detail) from 1819 shows.

Western front Münster Constance in 1819

Main portal of the cathedral in Konstanz

The wood carvings on the two doors of the main portal depict the life of Jesus in 20 stations. Above both doors, semi-circular reliefs show busts of St. Conrad (left) and Pelagius (right).

Cathedral of Constance, interior view

The Romanesque nave was vaulted in baroque style in 1679. Large parts of the present furnishings date from the 17th/18th century.

Goldscheibe aus dem 9./10.Jh. in der Krypta des Konstanzer Münsters

In the crypt (from the 9th/10th century) there are four gold discs (fire-gilded copper discs) from the outer wall of the choir The largest piece of this treasure, unique in the Christian world, called "Majestas Domini", dates from around the year 1000.

Pelagius copper disc

Pelagius copper disc

Pelagius grave

Pelagius grave in the crypt.


According to legend, Pelagius was a pious nobleman who suffered martyrdom during the persecutions under Emperor Numerian in 238.
Pelagius's bones were found in 904 by Bishop Solomon III. (term of office 890 - 919) during a pilgrimage from Rome to Constance. He gave other parts of the relics to the monastery in Bischofszell in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, which was then named after Pelagius. In the following two centuries Pelagius was one of the most venerated saints in the Alemannic region and the bishop's see of Constance became the destination of pilgrimages.

The relic of Constance lay in the crypt of the Constance Cathedral in a burial chamber which was connected to the main altar by a vertical shaft. For this purpose, the church owned a precious reliquary in the Middle Ages. It was regularly carried in processions. The relic and shrine were lost in iconoclasm around 1530 during the Reformation; they were probably thrown into the Rhine and the shrines melted down. Some parts of the relic may have been taken along by members of the cathedral chapter when they fled to Überlingen in 1527. They were brought back after the re-Catholization of the town in 1548. The reliquary exhibited today in the crypt is a simple stone coffin of unknown origin.

From the cloister you can reach the Mauritius Rotunda, a round building from 940 with a replica of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of Christ in Jerusalem, destination and starting point on the "Swabian Way" to Santiago de Compostela. One of the figures in the Mauritius Rotunda represents St. James.

Mauritius Rotunde James in the Mauritius Rotunda

He holds many walking sticks and shell-studded bags, which he distributes to the pilgrims who set off from here.

Pictures from Constance

  • Muenster
  • Weissenbergerstrasse
  • Council building
  • Imperia

St James' representations in Constance


At the grave of the canon Bernhausen in the cathedral is Jakobus and the holy Wolfgang represented, probably because the canon Bernhausen's first name was Wolfgang Jakob.

James in the Stephans church, Constance

James in the Stephans­kirche (St. Stephans church)

St Stephans church

Jakobus in der Dreifaltigkeitskirche, Constance

St James in the Trinity Church



The Schwabenweg (Swabian Trail) leads through the Schnetztor towards Switzerland.