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Stempel, Walter / Tieben, Karl-Heinz
Wesel’s St.Willibrord Cathedral
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Aims and Scope
Saint Willibrord’s Cathedral was built in the late Gothic style common in the Lower Rhine region. Nearly four hundred sacral buildings in that style, evidencing the influence of Dutch architecture, were erected between 1400 and 1550 on both sides of the Rhine and along the Rur, Maas and Issel rivers. Among this ensemble, Wesel’s main church stands out for its majestic size and the quality of the construction materials. It should have been even more impressive but various architectural devices, such as the great vaulted nave, were left unbuilt after advent of Protestantism in the region in the 16th century, as the congregation henceforth required a more austere church. Nonetheless, the stately Saint Willibrord’s church is among the most outstanding examples of the late Gothic style in northwestern Germany.