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


23.10.07
  Heiligenstadt - St. Mary Church

I got another church. *grin* It's fun collecting them.

St Mary Church (Marienkirche) Heiligenstadt is less famous than fe. Königslutter orSpeyer, but it's a very pretty one. The building is a three nave Gothic hall church, that means the aisles have the same height as the nave, different from the basilica type with the lower aisles which was prevalent in the Romanesque style. There is no transept.

St. Mary Church, Heiligenstadt

Heiligenstadt is a small town in Thuringia, centre of the Catholic enclave called Eichsfeld. I had been there shortly after the frontier was opened, and things have changed a lot since then. The old houses in the centre and the churches have been renovated, and the place looks really pretty.

In the Middle Ages, Heiligenstadt belonged to the archbishopric of Mainz (which is interesting, because Mainz is pretty far away), and archbishop Siegfried II granted Heiligenstadt the rights of a town in 1227. It is centre of the Eichsfeld since 1540.

St Mary Church, south side

The oldest part of the church is the Westwerk with its two towers, erected about 1300. The naves date from the end of the 14th century, and the high choir to the east is the youngest part, built about 1420.

There must have been an older building, because a St Mary Church is mentioned in a chronicle from 1239 as the church of the town comunity.

There is quite some light inside, because St. Mary is a hall church with aisles and nave the same height, so the light can come in through large windows at the aisles instead of smaller clerestories in the upper part of the nave.

St Mary, Heiligenstadt, interior - the shot was taken with a wide angle objective

The white paint adds to the effect as well. The paint was added during the 1970ies restoration, based on some traces of old colours, while the 19th century neo-Gothic decorations got ereased.

If you look closely, you'll see that the bundled pillars are not much different from St.Martin, but to enhance the hall effect, the choir was rebuilt in the late 14th century in a larger scale and to the same height as the nave and aisles.

View towards the choir ceiling which is painted as well

I experimented with wide angle shots in that church. I'm really looking forward to the new computer and the photo edition programs which should give me some tricks to deal with the 'falling' effects of the pillars.
 
Comments:
Okay, first I would heave a cow through the transcept window with a trebuchet, then a barrage of flaming arrows through the hole, and by the time my cavalry...

What? We aren't storming the church, just admiring it?

My bad. :)
 
Gabriele

Nice photos. The interior would be nice where it is allowed.


Constance

A cow though the transept window, sounds like modern US church architecture; not an assault. :- )
 
Wonder if there was a climbing/repair purpose to the ripples on the tower angles?
 
It's very lovely - all those straight lines! Our church is 10th century with amalgamations of 17th and 18th century add-ons. It was made out of a softer rock too, so it's slowly crumbling like a stale cake.
This church looks like it will still be standing 2000 years from now!
 
Lol Constance, looks like I have to find another castle for you to storm. Let's see if the weather will play nice this weekend.

Hank,
I have some pics of the interior as well, but I don't want to cluster my posts (I usually have 2-4 pics per post, that's a good number for reading and scrolling).

Bernita,
I think it's just decoration.

Sam,
this one has left pretty much as it is - or restored to its old form. But we do have historical buildings with features from several centuries as well, and somehow Baroque ornaments don't fit Romanesque churches. But it's historical as well, and you can't just destroy those pudgy angels. :)
 
Hank, I fear you may be right!

Gabriele, maybe I should just chill out with a nice sonnet or two. *g*
 
Interesting and good photos. My friend from Mainz is arriving here Saturday night en route to Chile.
 
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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.

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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.


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