Münster Dom Embroideries

Embroidered cope in the Treasury of the Dom of Münster, Germany. Presented in 1923. Embroidered cope in the Treasury of the Dom of Münster, Germany. Presented in 1923. From Jaszai 2000, p. 107.

The Roman Catholic dioscese of Münster (Germany) was established in AD 804 and the building of the present Dom (cathedral) was commenced in the early thirteenth century. The Dom and its contents were badly damaged in the Second World War (1939-1945), and as a result it does not have the wide range of textiles and related items that can be found in other European cathedrals.

However, there are various relevant pieces that can be highlighted, including several copes and chasubles dating from the fifteenth century onwards. Unfortunately, they are (by May 2015) not on display in the Dom's small museum, but they are included in Jászai (2000).

Of particular note is a cope dating from 1480/1516, which is associated with Eric von Saxe-Lauenburg (1472-1522), bishop of Münster. The cope includes an embroidered orphrey with six embroidered scenes down the front opening and one scene at the back of the neck. The front panels depict the Annunciation, the Nativity of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, the Circumcision of Christ, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and Jesus in the Temple. The neck panel depicts the death of Mary. The orphrey may be from Brussels (Belgium) and is worked in multi-coloured floss silk.

An embroidered chasuble of note dates to AD 1727 and is registered as item no. 192 in the Dom Inventory of 1736. The garment is associated with Franz Ludolph von Landsberg, who ordered the garment from Rome. The ground material is a red velvet, heavily embellished with gold thread embroidery. The designs include scrolls and stylised foliage of various kinds.

Another chasuble to be highlighted dates to 1922 and was donated to the Dom by the family of Theodor Wieschebrink. The chasuble was designed by Augustin Pacher, Munich. There is a cross with central medallion depicting Mary with Christ Child. They are surrounded by angels. At the base of the cross are medallions enclosing the emblems of the four evangelists (eagle, lion, bull, human head). The main designs are embroidered in multi-coloured silks, while the background is decorated with scrolls made from couched gold cord.

In addition to these garments, there is an elaborate, embroidered antependium that was donated to the Dom in 1681 by Wilhelm von Fürstenberg. It depicts Mary, Queen of Heaven, surrounded by angels, roses, buildings, coats of arms of various doms, emblem medallions, foliage scrolls, and so forth.


  • JÁSZAI, Géza (1991). Die Domkammer der Kathedralkirche St. Paulus in Münster. Münster.
  • JÁSZAI, Géza (2000). Der Dom zu Münster und seine Kunstschätze, Bönen: Dialogverlag Münster (esp. pp. 68, 101, 104, 107).


Last modified on Friday, 09 June 2017 17:43