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Romanesque in Alsace
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Otfried von Weissenburg

The Benedictine abbey in Wissembourg was founded as early as the 7th century and became the richest abbey in Alsace through donations of land. In 974 the abbey was elevated to imperial status. The monk Otfried of Wissembourg worked here in the 9th century. Otfried wanted to prove with his "Gospel Book", begun in 863 and completed in 871, that artistic poetry was also possible in the vernacular. The work, a rhymed, epic gospel harmony in the South Franconian dialect, describes in five books the life of Jesus on the basis of all four gospels. Otfrid is regarded as the "progenitor of German literature". He introduced the Romanic end rhyme instead of the Germanic staff rhyme. At the Zehntenscheune, Place du Saumon, a relief shows Otfried reading in the Gospels.

The town of Weissenburg developed on the river Lauter from a settlement around the monastery. 1306-1697 it was a free imperial city. It belonged to the Zehnstädtebund of Alsatian imperial cities.

The Romanesque monastery church was built in the 11th century. In the 13th century the church was largely demolished and rebuilt in Gothic style. Only the Romanesque tower has survived. The construction of a cloister was also begun. It is a pity that it was never finished, because what you see is very beautiful.

The serious, frontally depicted head of "Christ of Weissenburg" dates from around 1065 and can now be admired in the Frauenhausmuseum (French Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame) in Strasbourg. It is a fragment of an older window from 1070, one copy of which can be found in the modern stained glass window of the chapter house and another hanging as a picture in the sanctuary (September 2015).

Pictures of the church St. Peter and Paul

  • Church of St. Peter and Paulseen from the town hall square
  • The abbey was founded in the 7th century by East French aristocrats
  • The abbey church is predominantly Gothic (13th century)
  • View from southwith Romanesque tower
  • Tower from the 11th centuryRest of the early Romanesque site
  • View from the northOnly an unfinished Gothic cloister remains of the old Wissembourg monastery.
  • cloister
  • cloister
  • Romanesque chapter house (1060)was later used as a chapel, today as a room for exhibitions.
  • chapter housenote the window
  • modern window in the chapter houseIt is a copy of the glass window fragment "Christus vom Weissenburg" from the year 1070.
  • interior viewSt. Peter und Paul
  • ChoirStained glass window from the 14th century and a copy of Christ of Wissembourg.
  • Organ in one of the most splendid baroque casings in AlsaceThe organ was restored to its original state in 2010/12.
  • organwas originally built in 1766 and is the work of organ builder Louis Dubois.
  • Holy grave (14th-16th century)
  • Heiliges GrabDetail
  • 11 meter high Saint ChristopherFresco from the 14th century.
  • rose window14. Jhd.