Saint Mary Cathedral and the church of St. Michaelis were accredited to UNESCO world heritage as first buildings of Lower Saxony of historic importance and are listed as world heritage since 20 years. It is unique in Germany to appreciate two churches – which got in the meantime different denominations - at one place. Both churches have besides their sacral meaning an important historic importance. The Hildesheim cathedral and the former benedictine-church St. Michael exceptionally evince the religious art of the Holy Roman Empire.
The current appearance of Saint Mary Cathedral historical regresses to the 11th century and it historical belongs to the oldest church foundations in Lower Saxony. Built on the burnt down foundation walls of a Carolingian building from the 9th century, it was consecrated in 1061 by bishop Hezilo.
But the basic structure of the sacral-buildung was completely destroyed by a bomb attack on 22 March 1945. The reconstruction until 1960 was a remarkable accomplishment, but today it urgently requires a basic general restoration and a function-oriented restructuring.
Among other things the cathedral features on nonecurring origins about ecclesiastical history. Not only to name the cathedral with flanking well preserved buildings, but also one of the most important cathedral-treasures at all with its collection of romanic art, particularly bronze and fine iron work of unique quality about the world. Also there is an excellent documented historical tradition for all centuries.
The whole ensemble needs a basic restoration, as well as a function-oriented restructuring in some parts, to meet the requirements of the existing objects and to present them worthily to public.
As the patron of this enormous restoration-project I wish these support, which Saint Mary Cathedral deserves. The land of Lower Saxony is going to make every endeavor to support the diocese Hildesheim. I really hope, that we are going to be successful in funding this project and therewith to shine the unique building, which is so precious for manhood, in a new splender.
Hannover, April 2009
First minister of Lower Saxony