Church of the Week: Gottesdienstblatt Jesuitenkirche, Mannheim, Germany

The lovely Robin and I visited this Jesuit Church in early November as part of our short but rewarding walking tour of Mannheim. It is said to be the largest church in Mannheim and the most important baroque church in southwest Germany. It is rich in elaborate Baroque furnishings, like the gates that form the central entrance to the portico (below).

Designed by Italian architect Alessandro Galli da Bibiena, it was built between 1733 and 1760 as the court church of Electors Karl Philipp and Karl Theodor.

The marble pilastered interior is in a late baroque style and early classical design. The high altar (below) depicts the Mission of St. Francis Xavier to India.

During the Second World War, the church suffered severe damage from British and American air attacks, especially the choir and the dome. After the war it was decided to rebuild the church in its historical style with the use of original parts in the reconstruction of the altar and the electoral pews.

Everywhere you turn in the church, there are amazing sights to see, from the pulpit (above), created in 1753 and brought here from the Carmelite convent in Heidelberg after World War II, to the organ case (below), built according to a design of the elector’s court sculptor Paul Egell. It survived the bombing and the small damage it suffered was repaired in 1952.

The confessionals (above) were also reconstructed after the war.

We brought home a recent bulletin from the church, which can supposedly accommodate three thousand worshipers, but unfortunately we can't read it since it's printed in German. But there is no doubt that it is the most beautiful Baroque church we've ever visited.

No comments:

Post a Comment