Friday, 22 January 2010

Magdeburg Cathedral - The English Connection

English newspapers this week carried stories about the discovery of the body of Editha (also Eadgyth, Edgitha, Edgith or Edith) in the Magdeburger Dom. She was the sister of Athelstan, King of England, and a grand-daughter of Alfred the Great of Wessex. I'm a 'Moonraker' (that means I'm from Wiltshire) I knew about Athelstan's connection with Malmesbury but completely failed to make the connection with Editha when I was told, back in 1976, that she was buried in Magdeburg. It was a fascinating tour led an older member of the congregation who clearer loved the church and its history and was able to talk about her father's involvement in hiding the memorial to those who fell in WW1 created by Ernst Barlach (Ehrenmal für die Gefallenen des Ersten Weltkrieges).  My visit was with a group from the Diocese of Worcester They have a link - Partnerschaft - with the Evangelischen Kirchen in and around Magdeburg -find out more from News of the Magdeburg link It was this visit that got me started on learning German.

I'm still puzzled about why this story was news this week. You can find reports about this on German sites a good year back for example Mutmasslicher Sarg der Königin Editha endeckt - Weiterer Sarkophag unter dem Edithagrab im Magdeburger Dom entdeckt

You might also be interested in an English language report Did Editha, queen of Otto I, suffer a genetic disorder? posted last August on the Passionate About History blog

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