Alsace 101: Gothic Architecture
October 24, 2018
Alsace 101: Gothic Alsace
Alsace’s religious buildings reflect a long history as a melting pot but also tell tales of its architectural heritage, especially in the many fine examples of Gothic design dotted throughout the region. Here are a few to add to your itinerary (a more detailed list can be found at the Alsace tourism site):
Place de la Réunion, Mulhouse
Neo-Gothic Protestant church built 1858 to 1868 on the site of a 12th-century church and containing stained-glass windows from the original, said to be some of the most beautiful in the Upper Rhine.
Place de la Cathédrale, Strasbourg
Built between 1015-1439, the cathedral boasts a nearly 466-foot-high spire, which made it the highest edifice in Christianity until the 19th century. Highlights include: highly sculpted façade, stained-glass windows dating from 12th to 14th centuries, a rose window and Renaissance-era astronomical clock.
St. Thiebaut Collegiate Church
Place Joffre, Thann
One of the most ornate Gothic churches in the Upper Rhine, decorated with more than 500 figures relating biblical stories. The three decorated tympanum over the doors are unique in France. The stained glass windows are nearly 50 feet high.
St. Peter and St. Paul's church
Avenue de la Sous-préfecture, Wissembourg
Completed in the 14th century, this is the second largest church in the Bas-Rhin department and features a Romanesque bell tower dating from 11th century, and a fresco of St. Christopher, which at 36 feet high, is the largest painted human figure on French territory.
Collegiate Church of St. Florentius
Place de l'Eglise, Niederhaslach
Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, this has been an important pilgrimage site since 810. A French “Monument Historique,” it houses the relics of St. Florentius, the Bishop of Strasbourg from 618–624. The gargoyles on the exterior are said to represent the diseases people came seeking protection against.