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Bamberg Horseman

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Bamberg Horseman

Bamberger Reiter

The Bamberg Horseman (German: Der Bamberger Reiter) is a life-size stone equestrian statue by an anonymous medieval sculptor in the cathedral of Bamberg, Germany.

Dating probably from the time before the consecration of the [1]

Being located in a church and showing a crowned yet unarmed man, it is believed that it represents a specific king, perhaps one who was a saint. A candidate is Saint Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor (973-1024) who is buried in the cathedral along with Pope Clement II, but he would likely have been depicted with Imperial Regalia. Another possibility is his brother-in-law, holy king Stephen I of Hungary (975-1038) who stops his horse and looks towards the tomb of Henry. Another theory favours Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor at the time, who financed much of the rebuilding of the cathedral.[2] Yet another theory, supported by Hannes Möhring of the University of Bayreuth, holds that the figure represents the Messiah according to the Book of Revelation (19:11–16).

It is considered the first monumental equestrian statue since classical antiquity, and also one of the first to depict a horse shoe. Beneath the horse's front hooves is one of the many sculptural representations of the Green Man. Kathleen Basford, in her study of these figures, calls this Green Man the "dark counterpart" of the horseman.

Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the would-be assassin of Hitler who was a member of the cavalry unit Bamberger Reiter- und Kavallerieregiment 17 (17th Cavalry Regiment).


  1. ^ P. Williamson, Gothic Sculpture, 1140-1300, 1995: pp. 95
  2. ^ W. R. Valentiner, The Bamberg Rider: Studies of Mediaeval German Sculpture, Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, 1956 online excerpts

Further reading

  • Basford, Kathleen. The Green Man, D.S. Brewer (2004) ISBN 0-85991-497-6.
  • Hannes Möhring. König der Könige. Der Bamberger Reiter in neuer Interpretation. Königstein im Taunus, 2004. Langewiesche-Verlag, ISBN 3-7845-2141-X.
  • Guido Dieckmann. Die Nacht des steinernen Reiters. 2005. Aufbau Taschenbuch Verlag, ISBN 3-7466-2119-4.

External links

  • Der Bamberger Reiter – Neueste Ergebnisse der Bauforschung am Bamberger Dom
  • stamp „Bamberger Reiter“
  • Fundstück Bamberger Reiter

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