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The Roman Catholic[1] Parish church Saint John the Baptist (French: Église paroissiale Saint-Jean Baptiste), formerly Collegiate church Saint Florentius (Collégiale Saint-Florent) is the main church of the small city of Niederhaslach in Alsace. The building is widely considered one of the finest and most ornate examples of Gothic architecture and Gothic art in the Bas-Rhin departement of France.[2]

Niederhaslach Church
Église paroissiale Saint-Jean Baptiste
Collégiale Saint-Florent
Niederhaslach Church full frontal.jpg
Location Niederhaslach
Country France
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
History
Founded 1274
Architecture
Heritage designation Monument historique
Designated 1846
Architect(s) Gerlach von Steinbach
Style Gothic architecture
Completed 1385
Specifications
Length 51.1 m (168 ft)
Height 42 m (138 ft)

Contents

HistoryEdit

The church, which was originally dedicated to Florentius of Strasbourg, bishop of Strasbourg from 618–624, was built from 1274 on as a replacement for a building from the 7th century that had been the shrine since 810 (by order of bishop Ratho) of relics of the Saint.[3] The new church was under construction until 1385: a fire on 4 June 1287 that destroyed everything but the choir as well as the accidental death of the architect Gerlach von Steinbach (the son of Erwin von Steinbach) in 1330 had slowed down its completion. The church was plundered during the German Peasants' War in 1525 and on 6 June 1633, it was burned by Swedish mercenaries during the Thirty Years' War.[3] The building was neglected during the following two centuries and even served as a slaughterhouse in 1744.[3] The French Revolution, however, spared the church, but dissolved the chapter to which it belonged.[4] The church was thoroughly restored from 1853 to 1887 by architects Émile Boeswillwald[5] and Charles Winkler, and again from 1990 to 2006.[6]

Niederhaslach's church is listed as a Monument historique since 1846 by the French Ministry of Culture.[7]

FurnishingEdit

Stained glass windowsEdit

Niederhaslach's church prides itself with one of the most complete and well preserved/restored collections of medieval stained glass windows in Alsace after Strasbourg Cathedral.[2] The nave and choir display a large number of windows from the 13th and 14th century, remarkable for their shining nuances of blue and red and the number and variety of represented human figures. They represent the life of Jesus and Mary as well as of John the Baptist. The most famous window, being the most original in its design, is the one showing the predication of John the Baptist, the central figure being displayed life-sized.[8] The façade shows a rose window of the year 1325.[3]

SculpturesEdit

Outside

Inside

  • Representation of the Holy Sepulchre (14th century); tombstone of Gerlach von Steinbach (1330)
  • Keystones of the Gothic vault
  • Late medieval tomb of bishop Ratho
  • Choir stalls (1691)
  • Reliquary of Saint Florentius (1714)
  • Life-sized group of statues "Crucifixion scene" (1740)

Pipe organEdit

On the inside of the façade is a pipe organ from 1903.[9]

GalleryEdit

DimensionsEdit

The known dimensions are as follows[3]

  • Height of spire: 42 metres (138 feet)
  • Length of central nave: 26.25 metres (86.1 feet)
  • Total length: 51.1 metres (168 feet)

Sources and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Niederhaslach – Église catholique Saint-Jean Baptiste (in French)
  2. ^ a b HB Kunstführer Straßburg - Colmar - Elsaß, 1986, ISBN 3-616-06520-8 (in German)
  3. ^ a b c d e Niederhaslach, sa collégiale, anonymous publication (Authors: "J.S. - P.M.") of the Association des Amis de Saint-Florent, 3rd trimester 1994. (in French)
  4. ^ Niederhaslach (in French)
  5. ^ Emile Boeswillwald (1815-1896) (in French)
  6. ^ La nef remise à neuf, Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 3 March 2006 (in French)
  7. ^ (in French) French Ministry of Culture database entry
  8. ^ A view of the window
  9. ^ The Rinkenbach pipe organ (in French)

External linksEdit