Jesuitenkirche, Mannheim: High Altar and Pulpit

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 21 March 2010 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

This reconstruction of the original high altar was consecrated in 1997. It is viewed as 'inventive copy', as a perfect replica was considered impossible. The original was designed by Paul Egell and later brought to completion by Peter Anton von Verschaffelt. The pulpit was taken from a church in Heidelberg; on its ceiling a statue of St. Paul is looking into the nave.

Though this church has been almost completely destroyed during the bombings of 1943 and 1945, it still contains a lot of original Baroque art. This is due to the sacristan Brother Satyrus, who secretly established a chamber near the air-raid shelter for churchgoers, and hid most of the treasury of the Church therein. Less did he fear American and British bombers but the increading assaults of HJ (Hitler Youth) and the ongoing confiscations of clerical properties by the local NS government. This made him safe many unique treasures. Satyrus died in the bombings of '45. (Source)

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

The reconstruction and re-creation of the decorating objects are, without doubt, a work of love and passion! We, the viewers, cannot see what is copy and what is not....but anyone can admire the superb angle, the lovely light falling on the altar, as if to show that the Almighty is happy...even with an <inventive copy>.
YOU found here an excellent angle that leaves me speechless faced by such beauty!

21 Mar 2010 8:59am

@Japanalia: It's the scale of dimensions that was also quite remarkable: this altar measures 20m in height. That whole room is steeped in solemness.

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

Very good photo.

21 Mar 2010 11:04am

@António Pires: Thanks so much!

jim from sebastopol, United States

this is a beautifully photographed image. you caught a light filled chamber with perfection, preserving color and detail. 5 STARS!

21 Mar 2010 1:53pm

@jim: Many thanks, Jim!

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

I will repeat myself by saying again - OUTSTANDING .

21 Mar 2010 2:47pm

@MARIANA: Many thanks! You'll like Monday's shot too.

B.Held from Santa Fe, United States

very intense!

21 Mar 2010 4:18pm

@B.Held: I really like this church. :)

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

Like the background blog. Although Satyrus died his forthsight and hording saved treasures for future generations. There's a lot of light in this church which is unusual to my limited knowledge of these things. The gold and white is not to my taste but I can appreciate the beauty of the place. The dome is a great feature and is exposed well in your photo.

21 Mar 2010 9:17pm

@Philip: Thanks, Philip! These pure white designs often are being used in reconstructed Baroque churches. You must separate these designs from the 'purification' movement for Protestant (less Catholic) churches in the 1960s, where a lot of old historistic décors were replaced in favour of empty white walls. Some kind of modern iconoclasm, I would say.

Michael from Shell Village, United Kingdom

The lighting is very well controlled in this image, and shows the beauty of the church well. I like the decor, which gives it a look of a palace.

21 Mar 2010 9:36pm

@Michael: There was a great festive atmosphere, supported by this beautiful light. A lucky moment.

Christine Walsh from Astoria, NY, United States

Love the lightening, and St. Paul looking so tough up high.

22 Mar 2010 2:43am

@Christine Walsh: Don't mess with St. Paul! :-)

Laurent from Lyon, France

I really enjoy how you composed the picture with a side point of view drawing a diagonal. The light makes also a lot.
Very bieautiful.

22 Mar 2010 12:25pm

@Laurent: Thanks! I have to practice these non-symmetrical perspective much more often!

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

That guy doesn't look like he'd be very good with a sword.

1 Apr 2010 3:51am

@Twelvebit: Don't mess with ol' St. Paul!


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