"The consecration anniversary 'Consecrated for Eternity. The 1000th anniversary of the consecration of Merseburg Cathedral last year shone beyond Merseburg and the state borders and ensured high visitor numbers in the cathedral and will also help to draw more attention to Merseburg Cathedral, its city and indeed the entire region in the coming years," says the director of the Combined Cathedral Foundations, Dr Holger Kunde, looking back to 2021.
Due to the lockdown, Merseburg Cathedral could only receive visitors from 1 June 2021. The two exhibitions "Jahr1000Schätze im Merseburger Dom" (Year 1000 Treasures in Merseburg Cathedral) and "Die Rückkehr des Merseburger Domschatzes" (The Return of the Merseburg Cathedral Treasure) were open to the public from this date until 31 October 2021. Despite the shortened exhibition period, over 23,000 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to view the exhibitions from June to October, a high figure compared to previous years and in view of the pandemic-related restrictions on tourism.
In the past year, a total of 25.946 to Merseburg Cathedral, a significant increase compared to the previous year. The cathedral recorded a particularly high level of interest in October. Throughout the month, the original Merseburg spells were on display. In this month alone, almost 10,000 visitors took the opportunity to view the originals.
The consecration anniversary will also have an impact in the years to come. The excellent cooperation with the city of Merseburg and the Protestant parish of Merseburg is to be continued for future projects. Particularly with regard to the Merseburg Spells, which have been on the way to becoming a World Documentary Heritage since 2021, close cooperation between the city, the cathedral parish and the cathedral founders will be sought in order to convey the significance of the Spells to a broad public. The schools of Merseburg are also to be increasingly involved. The fountain on the cathedral square, which was restored for the festival year, will contribute to further enhancing the cathedral square. The redesign of the area around the fountain is a project for this year. The newly cast Friede bell, which has been ringing three times a day since 31 October, will also remain, thus relieving the historic bells of Merseburg Cathedral.
2021 was also the service further expanded for the guest: Admission tickets for the cathedral for guided tours and events, but also souvenirs can be purchased via a new online shop. In addition, the cathedral's website has been translated into English.