THE THREE MAGI

In the story of the Nativity they are the most fairy-tale like characters of all: The Magi, the Three Wise Men from the East. In the 3rd century, a comprehensive legend formed around them, their number, the fact that they are kings and – in the 6th century – even their names: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world was built in their honour: Cologne Cathedral. Legend has it that their bones rest here in the Shrine of the Three Kings, the largest example of European gold work of the Middle Ages. The latest findings of the many parallels between historic facts and mediaeval legends make it all the more exciting. With elaborate re-enacted scenes, we dive into a lost world and visit places that are intricately bound with the legends of the era, like Babylon, the wealthy desert city of Palmyra and the Ethiopian Highlands. How did the fragments of silk from Palmyra come to be in the Shrine of the Three Kings? Historians reconstruct the route travelled by the relics from remote Palmyra through Constantinople and Milan before arriving in Cologne on the Rhine.

History / Religion
Length: 45’ HD
Film by Martin Papirowski
Co-Production: Film Produktion Stein and Men@Work Media Services for WDR, 2012
Original title: Die Heiligen Drei Könige