Station: [101] Victor at the Bannita

  • Viktor an der Bannita

Gold-plated armour, shield and banner with the sign of the cross: This is a special soldier; St. Victor*, the patron of Xanten Cathedral. Legend has it that Victor was a Roman soldier and Christian. Because he refused to make a sacrifice to the Roman gods, the emperor had him and his 330 companions slaughtered close to Xanten. Later St. Helena arranged a stately funeral for these witnesses of faith. Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine, who acknowledged the Christian faith as religion. Initially, a small memorial building was erected over Victor’s grave, later this was replaced by a chapel, then by increasingly larger churches and finally today's cathedral. In the cathedral crypt, a grave, foundations and stone tables from Late Antiquity can be seen. In fact, the archaeological finds and the legend are contradictory. Nevertheless, the centuries-long tradition of veneration remains of great importance in Xanten. Even the city name “Xanten” can be traced back to “Ad sanctos” – “Near the Saints“. For today’s Christians they can provide examples, like the victims of National Socialism, for whom a memorial was erected in the crypt. [Short Pause] Victor stands here on the former courthouse square, called Bannita. The word is derived from “ban”, the old word for excommunication, which could be imposed here, i.e. exclusion from the church community. From this place, one has a fantastic view of the old monastery complex: to the left you can see the monastery school and the chapter hall. To the right is the winery, the grain and wine store. Today, the Xanten Monastery Museum is accommodated in these rooms.