The Essen cathedral treasury, which accrued from the Essen convent, is one of the most outstanding collections of religious artworks in Germany. Unlike other places, the treasury chamber is not just a museum but also the place in which the liturgical implements and objects are kept that are still used in the religious practise today. The collection is exceptional in its completeness because despite trials and tribulations of history only little has been lost.
Thus, the collection today encompasses artistically significant works of art created during the heyday of the monastery – in the 10th and 11th century – including unique works of art, such as four processional crosses, the Essen sword, the world's oldest lily crown, the cross nail reliquary, and the gospel of Abbess Theophanu. The seven-armed candelabrum, created around the year 1000, still stands in the Minister today. However, the most important work of art is the Golden Madonna, the oldest surviving fully sculptured figure of the Virgin Mary. Altogether these works of art form the world's most important collection of Ottonian-Salian goldsmith's work.