By the sixteenth century at the latest, the eastern pediment of Constance Cathedral was decorated with four cart-sized golden discs, recognizable from afar by boatmen on Lake Constance.
The largest disc, with a diameter of almost 2 m, was created in the eleventh century. It shows Christ as Pantocrator, accompanied by two angels.
The other three discs are only about half the size in diameter and are thought to be works by different anonymous masters. Two of these show busts of the patron saints of Constance Cathedral, Pelagius and Conrad, while the third disc features the image of an eagle, the symbol of St. John the Evangelist.
Disc featuring the eagle Photo: Konstantin Köhler
After their restoration in 1973, the artworks were placed in the Cathedral’s crypt (built around 900). Today, the eastern pediment is decorated with copies.