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Reliquary of Emperor Henry II


Picture: Reliquary of Emperor Henry II

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 Residence. It has been displayed in the Treasury since 1958.

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


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