Religion Past and Present

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(185 words)

[German Version]

A cathedral is the main church of a bishop or archbishop (ecclesia cathedralis); the term is derived from the bishop's seat (cathedra). In the German-speaking area, cathedrals are also called Dom or Münster (minster), although they are not necessarily linked to an episcopal see. Originally, the bishop and canons lived at the cathedral; later, they usually lived in separate buildings on either side (Paris, Reims, Naumburg). The architectural prototype since 312/313 has been the Lateran basilica in Rome with its five aisles (Church architecture: II, 1.b); other ea…

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Nicolai, Bernd, “Cathedral”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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