The cathedral treasury contains the treasure of the former women`s convent in Essen. Around the year 850 and together with members of his familiy, the Saxon nobleman Altfrid built a convent for noble women in the area of today`s minster.
For almost 1000 years, the religious community of women affected and even defined the history of Essen. After ist closure in 1802/3, the two associated churches, the minster and St Johann, were given tot he parish of the minster in Essen.
In 1958, the minster became the cathedral of the newly founded diocese Essen. That is also the reason for calling the treasure of the convent the „cathedral treasure“ nowadays.
In the course of the centuries, books, liturgical equipment, receptacles for relics, sculptures and paintings were crafted for the interior of the minster and as liturgical equipment for services and worship. The reason for the treasure`s fame is a group of distinguished and famous artworks from the 10th and 11th centuries. Among these artworks are the Golden Madonna and the seven-branched candelabrum the most important and prominent icons. They were crafted in the late 10th century (today, to be found in the church). Other outstanding works of goldsmith`s art are four crosses from the 10th and 11th centuries, the crown for the Golden Madonna and the Essen sword. This sword is part oft he city arms.