Marco Trüeb, Basel
On 11 October 1019, a sacred building which is today known as the Heinrichs-Münster was consecrated in Basel. Alongside many bishops, the occasion was also attended by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II. the founder of the church.
To mark the 1,000th anniversary, a special stamp focusing on Henry II has been created. The motif is based on a photograph of his statue at the main entrance of the modern-day cathedral. The building originally founded by Henry in the 13th century can be seen on the left. This is a reconstruction based on the findings of recent architectural research. Of Henry’s cathedral itself, all that remains to be seen above ground today is a few light-coloured stone sections in George’s Tower. In the background of the stamp, an illustration can be seen. This shows the towers of the west facade of the modern-day cathedral, reconstructed in Gothic style after the earthquake of 1356. The sheetlet is adorned with beaver tail tiles, like those found on the cathedral roof. The diamond-shaped pattern is typical of medieval roofs. In addition to many other activities marking the 1,000th anniversary of Basel cathedral, a comprehensive monograph of this significant church building is being published.
Sheetlet of 8 stamps
Henry II lived from 973 or 978 to 1024. In 1014, he and his wife, Cunigunde of Luxembourg, were crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Empress by Pope Benedict VIII in Rome. The Pope presented him with a golden orb adorned with a cross – the earliest evidence of the “globus cruciger”. As Henry and Cunigunde’s marriage was childless, he was the last emperor from the Ottonian dynasty. After inheriting Basel from Rudolph III, the King of Burgundy, Henry II patronized the city, which had a population of around 2,000 at that time. He incorporated it into the Holy Roman Empire and bestowed land, estates and liturgical gifts on it.