Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


23.9.07
  Some Romanesque Churches at the Weser

The first one is in a village called Vernawahlshausen (not only Wales has long names), built in early Romanesque style about 1100. It's a simple, rectangular building with no aisles. The half timbered tower was added in 1744.

Village Church Vernawahlshausen

When the chuch underwent restoration work in 1955, some Gothic and Romanesque mural paintings were discovered which the Landgrave Moritz of Hessen, a stout Calvinist, had covered with a layer of white paint in the 17th century.

Descent from the Cross, Romanesque mural

The next one is the Abbey Church in Lippoldsberg. It was built in a more elaborate design, a nave and aisles basilica style church with transept, choir and apsis; finished about 1150. The material used was yellow-grey sandstone, and the exterior has undergone major sandblast cleaning last year.

Abbey Church Lippoldsberg

The abbey at Lippoldsberg played an important role in the 12th century and held a famous library.

Lippoldsberg is the first Romanesque church in northern Germany to have been built completely using a cross-grain vault structure. In other churches from the time, cross grain was used partly, while other parts had a wooden cassette ceiling.

The Nuns' Crypt in Lippoldsberg

This one is interesting, because it's not an underground crypt like in most Mediaeval churches, but a so called high crypt which is distinguished from the main nave by its lower vaults. The nuns' gallery from where they participated in the service is above the crypt.

Major restoration work is going on inside, so I could not take a decent pic of the naves; they're stuffed with scaffoldings and other building materials. But I'm glad this treasure will regain its former beauty.
 
Comments:
Beautiful buildings.
For me, the towers detract.
 
I love old churches. Those are beautiful, especially those arches. That's when they knew how to build churches, unlike today where they're all horrible modern houses of bland.
 
Beautiful buildings, i'm glad they're getting restored (hopefully to their former glory).
 
So would the vaulting have been painted back in the "old days"?
 
Bernita,
they do distract, but it's a difficult decision to get rid of Baroque stuff which also is part of our architectural history. They often do it inside the churches, but esp. in case of Vernawahlshausen, the tower has become part of the village outline for a long time now, and the citizens voted to keep it the way it is.

Thank you, December and Ann.

Constance,
those churches were more colourful in the inside than we are used to today (much like Greek statues) but we can't say for sure what exactly the paintings were like except in those cases where remains have been found. And white walls and pillars are a lot better than those 19th century pseudo historical stuff that fortunately gets eliminated in most places these days.
 
Lovely pictures. Can you explain to me what a cassette ceiling is? (Or if it's in an earlier post, point me in the right direction!). I haven't caught up yet.
 
Something like the inside shot in this post.

I should post a glossary of architectural words; I'm so used to them since childhood when my mother who was very interested in that stuff, taught me everything about cross grain vaults, akanthus capitals and Lower Saxonian pillar change. :)
 
Many thanks. So how does it stay up if it isn't vaulted and doesn't have supporting pillars? I guess the grid structure does something clever, but how does it work? Apologies if this is a dumb question.
 
Good question, Carla. I know some things about the history of architecture, but nothing about maths and statics, alas. Maybe Constance has an idea?
 
Great photos. I had to smile about the scaffolding. Hubby and I seem to always time our visits to historic sites when the scaffolding is out. I'm glad that we're restoring many of our old buildings though. I think it's important.
 
Lol, they pursue me this year, too. A few days later I visited the cathedral in Königslutter, and guess what happened? Half of the building was inaccessible because of renovation going on. ;)
 
Your blog's a great way to track down all sorts of enchanting places I never would have known about otherwise and have some sort of history to them too. Thanks.
 
Post a Comment

<< Home


Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Germany

I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


e-mail

Twitter