Tasks & Statutes
Promotion of church, culture and science
In accordance with the statutes of the United Cathedral Foundations, the activities of the foundation are aimed at "promoting the churches in its possession to the best of its ability and to safeguard and take care of the cultural assets, facilities, buildings and other property belonging to the church and originating from church property".
Important cultural institution in Saxony-Anhalt
By preserving and communicating their outstanding legacies, the United Cathedral Foundations make a significant contribution to Saxony-Anhalt's reputation as a cultural state. Two cathedrals (one of which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2018), two parish churches and a monastery church, which are among the most important sacred buildings in Germany, testify to the rich architectural heritage of the foundation, along with numerous other building ensembles of the highest monumental value.
The cathedral treasures in Merseburg and Naumburg offer a fascinating insight into the precious furnishings of the two bishop's churches with high-ranking works of art and rare sacred objects. In addition, the abbey libraries and archives, which have grown up on site since the Middle Ages, preserve a unique treasure of written tradition from over 1,500 years. Meanwhile, more than 180,000 guests from all over the world visit this unique cultural heritage in the centre of Germany every year.
Promoter of Church, Art and Science
The deep ties to the spiritual roots of the United Cathedral Foundations are still vividly evident in the 21st century. At the churches owned by the foundation in Merseburg, Naumburg and Zeitz, there is a thousand-year-old tradition of worship and pastoral care. The preservation of the places of worship and the promotion of an active congregational life are among the most important goals of the foundation's work.
From time immemorial, important churches have also been the bearers of high quality contemporary art. It is therefore a natural concern of the Foundation to involve contemporary artists of high national and international repute, such as Neo Rauch, Michael Triegel, Thomas Kuzio and Heinrich Apel, in the design of its church rooms and associated buildings.
Cathedral monasteries were also places of education in the Middle Ages. The cathedral schools established in Merseburg and Naumburg as early as the 11th century live on today in both cities as cathedral grammar schools, with which there is still close contact in the area of school ceremonial and concrete educational projects. The traditional connection of the cathedral monasteries to the three important central German universities in Halle, Leipzig and Jena, in the geographical centre of which the foundation's sites are located, is the basis for a dense network of cooperation with these centres of research and education. The European Romanesque Centre research institute is located in the enclosure of Merseburg Cathedral.
Since the High Middle Ages, the cathedral chapter has adopted its own statutes, which are laid down by a resolution in the chapter meeting. The text of the statutes is confirmed by the state government of Saxony-Anhalt. The currently valid statutes of the United Cathedral Foundations were adopted in the cathedral chapter meetings on 19 February 2020 and 10 December 2020. It was confirmed by the State Chancellery and Ministry of Culture of Saxony-Anhalt on 28 July 2021.