A Tale of Three Cities
Between Jerusalem and Gerusalemme – Gernrode of (St.) Scholastica
The twelfth century Holy Sepulchre chapel of Gernrode is renowned in literature as the earliest existent copy of Christ’s sepulchre in German-speaking lands; however, the first (and most numerous) written sources relating to the chapel, go back to the fifteenth century. Combining textual and visual sources, the paper examines the later history of the chapel, exemplified by the 1489 Jubilee celebration at the convent, initiated by Abbess Scholastica of Anhalt. On this occasion, the chapel, known as “Iherusalin”, functioned as a station in a virtual visit to the main churches of Rome. Apart from providing an instance of the richness of late medieval symbolism, the interchangeable identity of Gernrode as both Jerusalem and Rome is discussed in relation to fifteenth century female monastic devotion.
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