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Walled-in saints

On the Gouvernementsberg (government hill) in Magdeburg, sculptural fragments in a dry-stone wall were discovered by chance during demolition work in September 2003. A total of twelve sculptures and one relief could be reconstructed from the 34 larger fragments. On the basis of their design and shape, they could be dated to the late Gothic period between 1370 and 1380. The originally completely coloured sculpture fragments were built into a stone wall of the 18th century. The figures show different stylistic influences and derive from local sacral buildings. The reason for this could have been the Reformation iconoclasm of 1524 in Magdeburg, during which ideological zealots deliberately damaged and destroyed the sculptures of Catholic churches and monasteries. There, the images of saints served to illustrate the doctrine of the faith.


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