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St. Maria zur Höhe
Soest Feud
Soester Fehde
Soest city law
Soester Stadtrecht
Hanseatic League
Northrhine Westphalia
Nordrhein Westfalen
plate cross

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Soest - Hohnekirche

Soest - Hohnekirche
With a population of about 10.000 Soest was the most important town in Westphalia within the 11th and 12th century.

The "Soester Stadtrecht" ("Soest city law") is the oldest city law, documented in German territory. Soest was one of the most important Hanseatic cities in medieval times. During the "Soester Fehde" ("Soest Feud") it liberated itself from the Bishop of Cologne, who controlled Westphalia.

During and after the Thirty Years' War, Soest suffered a tremendous loss population and influence. At the lowest point in 1756, it had only 3,600 citizens.

Soest has still a couple of wonderful medieval, Romanesque churches, built with the regional greenish sandstone. The "Hohnekirche" (officially "St. Maria zur Höhe") is one of them. The church was built in its present form from 1180 and is one of the oldest hall churches in Westphalia. It replaced an older church here.
This giant triumph-cross is a very unique piece of art here. This "Scheibenkreuz" ("plate cross"), created ~1200, is the only one in "mainland" Europe and the oldest. Something similar can be found almost only on the island of Gotland in Sweden. However, these crosses are younger.

Here nail marks exist, so originally Christ body was nailed to the cross. The plate cross, made of spruce and pine, has a height of 3.89 m and diameter of 2.72 m.

Soest has had a very strong position within the Hanse League so there were for sure ties to Northern Europe, where this cross may have been created. A recent renovation prooved, that the wood originated in Northern Europe.

A closer look.

 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Wonderful details.
Thank you for the info.
16 months ago.

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