Xanten Cathedral , sometimes called St. Victor's Cathedral , is a Roman Catholic church situated in Xanten, a historic town in the lower Rhine area, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is considered the biggest cathedral between Cologne and the sea. In 1936 it was declared a minor basilica by Pope Pius XI. Even though the church is called a cathedral, it has never been the seat of a bishop.
The cathedral owes its name to Victor of Xanten, a member of the Theban Legion who was supposedly executed in the 4th century in the amphitheater of Castra Vetera for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This Roman camp is near today's town of Birten. According to legend, Helena of Constantinople recovered the bones of Victor and his legion and erected a chapel in their honour. During a modern excavation the existence of a 4th-century cella memoriae was discovered; however, it was determined that it had not been erected for Victor but for two other male corpses that were placed in the crypt at a later date.
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