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The Wandering Vault

In the middle of the twelfth century, the so-called Angevin Gothic style was developed in the southwest of France. Its main feature is the dominical vault, which unifies dome and ribbed vault. The corner stones of the arches are positioned rather high.

This type of vault only became popular in its region of origin, and in Westphalia – thousands of kilometers to the northeast.


IMG 5746
                                    Münster Cathedral

In search of an explanation, Westphalian historians came across the founding father of the dynasty of Lippe. Bernhard II was a faithful follower of Henry the Lion, who, after the loss of his duchies, went into exile to his father-in-law, the ruler of the Angevin Empire. Bernhard was supposedly part of his entourage. >>The Lion.


Nicolai Church, Lemgo


Immediately after his return, Bernhard founded Lippstadt in 1184 or 1185, and shortly thereafter also Lemgo. In addition to that, he was involved with the foundation of Marienfeld Abbey.

With an apparent interest in building projects, it is not unlikely that Bernhard, impressed by the Gothic churches found in southwestern France, brought the dominical vault back to Westphalia via French building masters, who he employed at the beginning of the thirteenth century.




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