Reliquary of Emperor Henry II (oak, gold parcel-gilt,
precious stones, rock crystal, pearls, silk;
height 43 cm, width 36 cm); probably Metz or
Reichenau, around 1010
This cruciform reliquary is one of the finest examples of the goldsmith's art in Europe around 1000. The inscription states that the reliquary, made to house four pieces of Christ's cross, was presented to Bamberg cathedral by Emperor Henry II. In 1803 bishoprics and monasteries in Bavaria were dissolved and, as a result of the secularisation of Church property, the reliquary – now missing its relics – passed to the Reiche Kapelle (Ornate Chapel) in the Munich Residenz. It has been displayed in the Treasury since 1958.
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