Station: [104] Market / St. Norbert’s Fountain / Michael’s Gate

What a fantastic view! Two directly adjacent market places – the “Small Market" close to the city hall and the linear “Great Market” bounded by merchant’s houses. The market square is over 1000 years old and was never built on. The St. Norbert‘s Fountain is almost new. On a pedestal in the centre of the bowl stands the bronze statue of St. Norbert of Xanten. According to old tradition, initially he was educated and appointed to the canonry at the Xanten Monastery. However, after experiencing a religious transformation, he changed his life and, in 1126, founded the Order of Canons Regular of Prémonstré in France that still exists today. Since his fellow canons were not interested in his reform ideas, disappointed he left Xanten, turning his back on the cathedral, as the decorative sculpture in the fountain clearly shows! Ultimately, Norbert was appointed Archbishop of Magdeburg and is therefore portrayed with a mitre and crosier. To reach the cathedral from here, the path leads through St. Michael's Gate. Until 1802, the area around the church was subject to its "own law". This area, called “Immunity”, was surrounded by walls and ditches and could only be accessed via two gates; one in the north and one in the south. This situation can still be clearly traced today. The Dionysius Chapel, in which Norbert of Xanten lived for a while in seclusion, is located in the St. Michael’s Gate. In the Monastery Museum, which from here lies behind the cathedral, you can learn more not only about Norbert, but also about Xanten. For example, you can study the original 1228 charter granting City status to Xanten.