A History of Romanesque Architecture

300 AD -1300 AD

High Romanesque 1200-1300 AD

1. France and Germany

Google Map 4


France, Fontevraud Abbey
1110 -1119

Photo PWikipedia

The abbey was originally the site of the tombs of King Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, their son King Richard I of England, their daughter Joan, their grandson Raymond VII of Toulouse, and Isabella of Angoulême, wife of their son King John. However, there is no remaining corporal presence of Henry, Eleanor, Richard or the others on the site. Their remains as they were, were destroyed during the French Revolution.

France, Boscherville, Abbey Saint-Georges
Norman 1113-1140

The Cathedral, photo
 by Stéphane Duval, Panoramio

In 1113 Guillaume de Tancarville decided to found an abbey to replace the existing collegiate church, with the agreement of Henry I Beauclerc (Duke of Normandy and King of England). He called upon the Benedictine monks of St. Evroult en Ouche. The building of this Romanesque church made of Caumont stone took place from 1113 to 1140.

The transept

The Norman builders aimed to have well-lit naves and they did this by means of tall, large windows, initially made possible by a wooden ceiling, which prevented uplift, although this was replaced by a Gothic vault in the 13th century.
Text and photo Abbaye-Sain

France, Vezelay Basilica Ste-Marie-Madeleine
1175 - 1200

The heaily restored Westwerk of the Cathedral

Vézelay's hilltop location has made it an obvious site for a town since ancient times. According to legend, not long before the end of the first millennium a monk named Baudillon brought relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene to Vézelay from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. In 1058 Pope Stephen IX confirmed the genuineness of the relics, leading to an influx of pilgrims that has continued to this day. Vézelay Abbey was the major starting point for pilgrims on the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important of all medieval pilgrimage centres. This was crucially important in attracting pilgrims and the wealth they brought to the town.

The inner west portal illuminated for a visit by Queen Elizabeth of England
Photo RWFG 1993

The Nave. - No photo will ever describe the effect this space has on the visitor.
Photo thais.it

The Benedictine abbey church of Ste-Marie-Madeleine (or Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene), with its program of imagery in sculpted capitals and portals, is one of the outstanding masterpieces of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture, though much of its exterior sculpture was defaced during the French Revolution. The monastic buildings were destroyed and sold at auction. The basilica itself was restored by Viollet le Duc in 1840, the same restorer who fixed up the cathedrals of Laon, Amiens and Paris's Notre-Dame.

The “Mystical Mill”

Daniel in the lion den

The four winds

Some of the capitals in the nave of the church

The fascinating capitals of the nave were probably sculpted by artists from Cluny. They depict Bible stories, ancient legends and mythological creatures, often nestled within delicately carved foliage.

The majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented. But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: the Mystic Mill shows Moses grinding grain (symbolizing the Old Testament) into flour (New Testament), which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

France, Poitiers, St. Pierre

Cathedral of Poiters photo brittany-ferries

Poiters Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Poitiers) is the seat of an Archbishop. Its onstruction began in 1162 by Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on the ruins of a Roman basilica, and work was well advanced by the end of the 12th century. It is built in the Romanesque and Early Gothic styles, the latter predominating.

Three Windows (12th-13th cent), photos therosewindow

Most of the windows of the choir and the transepts preserve their stained glass of the 12th and 13th centuries; the end window, which is certainly the first in the order of time, contains the figures of Henry II and Eleanor. The choir stalls, carved between 1235 and 1257, are among the oldest in France.

France Autun St. Lazare

The western end of the main nave of Autun with its many romanesque capitals

Work on the new cathedral of Saint Lazarus or St. Lazare began in around 1120 and advanced rapidly enough for the building to be consecrated in 1130. It was mostly finished by 1146, when the relics of Lazarus were translated from the old cathedral, Saint Nazaire. The Tomb of Lazarus, the shrine of the relics, was constructed in the choir in 1170-1180. The narthex or portico was not completed until the very end of the century.

The inspiration of the new building, both in layout and decoration, was Cluniac. The designs were the work of the bishop Etienne de Bagé, who was particularly influenced by the Cluniac abbey of Paray-le-Monial.

For a number of years after 1146 the two cathedrals operated in tandem, with Saint Lazare as the summer cathedral (from Easter to All Saints' Day) and Saint Nazaire as the winter cathedral. Saint Lazare was eventually confirmed as the one cathedral of Autun in 1195.

Autun Cathedral is a magnificent display of Romanesque Art and Architecture. The sculptures created by Gislebertus successfully integrate biblical iconography relating to the new and old testaments with ease and amazing artistic ability. The size and quality of the tympanum of the Last Judgement, and the lintel of the Temptation of Eve are impressive and exquisitely detailed pieces of art.

The Temptation of Eve 

The Dream of the three Magi

Washing the Feet of Christ

The Flight to Egypt
Gislebertus' sculptures

Stoning of St. Stephen

Montoire-sur-le Loir, Chapelle St Gilles

Built by Benedictine monks in the 11th century, the poet Pierre de Ronsard was Prior here from 1566-1585. The representation of Christ in Majesty in a double mandorla, surrounded by angels is the best preserved of the murals, and is thought to date from c. 1180.

St. Gilles Frescoes: Christ in Majesty
and surounding Angels (1180)
Photo flickr

France, Loir Valley, Lavardin St. Genest

St. Genest the Nave, photo  standarchitecture.org.uk 

The church Saint-Genest contains beautiful frescoes. Despite its archaic architecture and sculptures, it would be a homogeneous building from the end of 11th century if it was still the original priory of a church.

Outside, two reliefs: Christ in glory on the bell tower and probably an Ascension of Christ above the north door. Carved stones and mysterious graffiti are distributed around the walls of the church. The windows of the north aisle and apse are richly decorated.

The Passion of Christ, photo fart-roman

France, Loir Valley, St-Jacques-des-Guerets

The nave and its frescoes

St.-Jacques-deGuerets, lying on one of the traditional pilgrimage route to Santiago da Compostella, across the river from the partly troglodyte hillside of Trôo, is a small church celebrated for its Romanesque frescoes and western arch. Next to St. Gilles in Montoir and St.Genest in Lavadin it is the third Romanesque pilgimage church with remarkable frescoes fom the 12th century.

Christ in Majesty in the apse, a Last Supper below
photos art-roman

France, Saône-et-Loire, Gourdon Notre-Dame de l'Assumption
12th cent

Le Église Notre-Dame de l'Assumption

The Église Notre-Dame de l'Assumption (Church of the Assumption of Our Lady) in Gourdon is an attractive Romanesque parish church of the 12th century. Standing atop a hill in the center of the Burgundian village, it has a pale-pink interior with restored Romanesque frescoes and charming carved capitals.
Text and photo Sacred Destinations

The 12th century frescoes in the apse

The Nativity
photos  art-roman.net

France, Brioude, Basilica St-Julien
6th,12th, 14th, 16th cent

The empore above the entrance
photo little drummerboy, Panoramio 

Frescoes on the ceiling of the empore
photo Wikimedia

The Basilica Saint-Julien in Brioude was a collegiate church constructed between 1100 - 1180. The architectural structure is influenced by the Romanesque churches of Notre-Dame-Du-Port in Clermont-Ferrand (70kms north) and Saint-Austremoine in Issoire (30kms north), planned and constructed within the same century. The building of the former collegiate got demolished after the French Revolution, the structure of the church (though remodeled in some parts over the centuries) was left intact. Even the crossing tower is still in the original state.
Brioude was a center of pilgrimage very early, as already within the 4th century a martyrion existed over the grave of St. Julien. This building was replaced by an early basilica, that was visited and described by Gregory of Tours (538-594) in, who wrote about a pilgrimage undertaken yearly from Avernis (Clermont-Ferrand) to Brioude. Later this was a stopover for pilgrims to Santiago (Via Podensis).
From worldflicks

Brioude also has some modern stained glass widows, Photo Baron Renouard

France, Orcival, Eglise de Notre Dame

Orcival Nave and Crossing, photo pbase

Orcival the Madonna, photo RWFG

Notre Dame d’Orcival is one of the most important Romanesque churches in the Auvergne. It was built in the early 12th century. Its building is uniform and has almost not changed over the years, and since it was already large no extensions were needed. However, decorations inside the church have all disappeared except for the celebrated Romanesque Madonna.
From feresdomes.sancy

France, St. Nectaire

The Cathedral in is mountainous setting

Little altered, St. Nectaire is one of the purest Romananesque churches in the Auvergne. Dominating the small village of St-Nectaire-le-Haut in the Auvergne region of southern France, Saint-Nectaire Church dates from the 12th century. It contains a fine set of Romanesque capitals and a treasury of medieval art.

The interior is an attractive space with many details of interest. The nave is supported by round columns with carved capitals, some retaining traces of original paint. Among the subjects depicted on the capitals are the Temptation of Christ; Moses being saved from crocodile-infested water by Pharaoh's daugher; a donkey playing a lyre and a man riding a goat; and St. Baudime slaying a wild bear.

At the back of the nave is the original narthex, the only one to survive in the region, which has a tall upper gallery. The end walls of each transept have an unusual feature: a triangular arch between two rounded arches, representing the Trinity.
Text and photo Sacred Destinations

France, Issoire St. Austremoine

The nave looking east, photo art-history-images

The Abbatiale Saint Austremoine in Issoire, Puy-de-Dôme, the mountainous center of the Auvergne is a riot of color.

The gaily colored capitals

Now we know that the sculptures on the Greek temples were painted and so were certainly many of the Romanesque churches in Southern France. But to be faced with this 19 th century restoration is a shock. It is certainly an unique example among them/

France, Moissac, Abbey St Pierre

The Cloisters, photo Thysen Jean, Panoramio

The beauty of Moissac is in it's sculptures, especially in the cloisters and the portals of the church. The interior of the church is a modern job of decoration. The cloister of Moissac Abbey is one of the finest galleries of Romanesque art and the oldest and largest cloister with narrative capitals. Completed in 1100 AD, it contains 76 capitals plus 12 large pillar reliefs in a cloister measuring 31 meters by 27 meters.

Capitals in the Cloisters

Two snakes entwining a man

Prophet Jeremias

Jeremias full size

Two Kings from a portal

Text and photos Sacred Destinations

France, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, Cathedral
1120-13th cent

The apse, photo  by art-roman.net 

The present cathedral was built in the 12th-13th centuries and replaced an earlier one, of which some mosaics survive. It is in the Provençal Romanesque style, of which it is a particularly fine example, reusing Roman building materials.

France, La Roque d'Antheron, Abbey Silvacane

Silvacane Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery in La Roque-d'Anthéron, in the Provence. It was founded in or around 1144 as a daughter house of Morimond Abbey and was dissolved in 1443; it ceased to be an ecclesiastical property in the French Revolution, and is now asecular venue for concerts. The church was acquired by the French state in 1846, the remaining buildings not until 1949. It is one of the three Cistercian abbeys in Provence known as the "three sisters of Provence" ("les trois soeurs provençales"), the other two being Sénanque Abbey and Le Thoronet Abbey; Silvacane was possibly the last-established.

The building, of the late 12th and 13th centuries, is predominantly Romanesque, with some Gothic elements. As is usual with early Cistercian buildings, the focus of the architecture is entirely on simplicity, austerity and harmony. The church interior, without decoration or distraction, is an outstanding example of 12th century Cistercian architecture.
Text and photo Wikipedia

France, Arles, St. Trophime
12th -15th cent

West façade of cathedral photo

The Church of St. Trophime (Trophimus) is former cathedral built between the 12th century and the 15th century in the city of Arles, in southern France. The church is an important example of Romanesque architecture, and the sculptures over the portal, particularly the Last Judgement, and the columns in the adjacent cloister, are considered some of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture.

The cloister was constructed in the second half of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th century. The refectory, or dining hall, was built first, next to the church, along with a chapter house, or meeting room, for the canons. The dormitory for the canons, a large vaulted room on the east side of the cloister, was built next. Work on the cloister began with the northern gallery, then the eastern gallery, which were finished around 1210-1220. Then work suddenly stopped. Soon after the construction of the east and west galleries, the city began to decline.
Photos and text Wikipedia

France, Brignoles, Abbaye le Thoronet

The unpretentious Cistercian chuch of Le Thoronet

Le Thoronet Abbey (French: L'abbaye du Thoronet) is a former Cistercian abbey built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, now restored as a museum. The Abbey church is placed on the highest point of the site, and is in the form of a Latin cross. The exterior is perfectly plain, with no decoration. Since only the monks were permitted inside, there is no monumental entrance, but only two simple doors, for the lay brothers on the left and the monks on the right.

Inside, the church consists of a main nave with three bays covered with a pointed barrel vault, and two side aisles. The arches supporting the vault rest upon half-columns, which rest upon carefully carved stone bases about two meters halfway up the walls of the nave.

Thoronet Abbey had a significant influence upon the Swiss architect Le Corbusier Following the Second World War, Father Couturier, a Dominican priest and artist, who had contacts with contemporary artists Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, invited Le Corbusier to design a convent at La Tourette, close to Lyon.

France, Murbach Abbey Church St. Leger
783, 1150

Murbach Abbey in the Vosges. Alsace, photo  Panoramio

The monastery was founded in 727 by Eberhard, Count of Alsace, and established as a Benedictine house by Saint Pirmin. Its territory once comprised three towns and thirty villages.

The buildings, including the abbey church, one of the earliest vaulted Romanesque structures, were laid waste in 1789 during the Revolution by the peasantry and the abbey was dissolved shortly afterwards. Of the Romanesque abbey church, dedicated to Saint Leger, only the transept remains with its two towers, and the east end with the choir. The site of the nave now serves as a burial ground. The building is located on the Route Romane d'Alsace.

Belgium, Tournai, Cathedral Notre Dame
1140 - 1160

photo by JMZ2007, Panoramio 

Begun in the 12th century on even older foundations, the building combines the work of three design periods with striking effect, the heavy and severe character of the Romanesque nave contrasting remarkably with the Transitional work of the transept and the fully developed Gothic of the choir. The transept is the most distinctive part of the building, with its cluster of five bell towers and apsidal (semicircular) ends.

The nave and the early Gothic choir, photo thetravellen

The nave belongs mostly to the first third of the 12th century. Prefiguring the Early Gothic style, it has a second-tier gallery between the ground-floor arcade and the triforium. Pilasters between the round-arched windows in the clerestory help support the 18th-century vaulting that replaced the original ceiling, which was of wood, and flat.

Bishop Gautier de Marvis (1219-1252) had the original Romanesque choir demolished in the 13th century, in order to replace it with a Gothic choir of much grander dimensions, inspired by the likes of Amiens Cathedral. The construction of the new choir began in 1242, and ended in 1255.


Germany, Regensburg, Schottenkirche St. Jakob

Interior, Photo losko.de

The Benedictine abbey of St James (Jakobskirche) in Regensburg, was founded by Hiberno-Scottish missionaries, and for most of its history was in the hands of first Irish, then Scottish monks. Hence it is known as the Scots Monastery, in German Schottenkirche, Schottenkloster. (In Middle Latin, Scotti meant Gaels from Scotland or Ireland, so that the term Schottenstift already dates from the Irish period.) The full official name of the actual church, the most prominent building within the abbey complex, is Die irische Benediktinerklosterkirche St. Jakob und St. Gertrud (literally: "The Irish Benedictine Abbey Church of St. James and St. Gertrude").

The first abbey church was built at the beginning of the 11th century. It was a three-aisled basilica with three apses. The only portion of this building to survive in full is its eastern end (the apses and the two flanking towers). Traces of the western wall have also been discovered, which indicate that the building was much shorter than the present structure, although of the same width.

A new church, the structure which has substantially survived up to the present day, was constructed at some point between 1175-80. It is an example of Romanesque architecture: a three-aisled basilica with three apses, towers at the east, and a transept at the west. A gallery, in which an organ has since been installed, extends over all three aisles in the transept.

The nave is separated from the aisles by cylindrical masonry pillars (not monolithic columns), whose capitals are fine works of high Romanesque sculpture. Their arrangement indicates forethought, as capitals with botanical decoration alternate with those with figural decoration. The figures include wild men, lions, eagles, and crocodiles, and may have Christological significance. The corners of the pillar bases are decorated with the heads of less noble beasts, including pigs, dogs, donkeys, and vultures.

Under the triumphal arch at the entrance to the central apse stand three wooden sculptures of the late twelfth century, which together form a crucifixion scene.

North Portal

The most famous architectural element of the church is its north portal (the Schottenportal), which occupies a full third of the north wall, and is richly decorated with both ornamental and figural sculptures.

Germany, Idensen Siegward Kirche

The Siegward Church in the small village of Wunstorf-IdensenK-D Heinrich, Panoramio

In the years 1129-1134, Bishop Sigward of Minden build the church. It was consecrated to Saint Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins. The bishop was buried there in 1140.

The Romanesque frescoes

InAround the year 1500 the Romanesque paintings were white-washed over. They were partly rediscovered in 1858. The frescoes of the south wall had been destroyed by rain damage, so that the images seen today appear only in fragments. The Hanover architect Conrad Wilhelm Hase 1888 could prevent the impending demolition of Sigwardskirche. In 1930-1934 the frescoes were finally restored.
Text and interior photo Wikipedia

Germany, Stift Fischbeck
12th-13th cent
another little-known gem in Lower Saxony

Fischbeck Abbey (German: Stift Fischbeck) is a convent for canonesses in Fischbeck near Hameln, Lower Saxony. It was founded in 955 by the noblewoman Helmburgis, a relation of the powerful family of the Ecbertiner, on land that had been given to her for the purpose by King Otto I, and is still a house of canonesses today, although now Lutheran women's convent rather than a Roman Catholic monastery. Despite later repairs and refurbishments, the cloisters and the church, built mostly in the 12th and 13th centuries, are still basically Romanesque.
Photo and text Wikipedia

In the abbey church is a tapestry (1583), which portrays the foundation of the abbey in six panels.
Photo and more text in German: Stift Fischbeck

Freckenhorst Abbey Church St. Bonifatius

Freckenhorst Abbey

A monastery was founded by some Everward (Eberhard) and his wife Geva (Geneva?) around 854 as a house of secular canonesses, unmarried daughters of the saxonian nobility. Everhard and his wife Geva are only known from a legend, that was written down in the 15th century - and is very similar to many "foundation legends" of monasteries. There are parallels to the abbey in Gandersheim, - only a few years younger - and as well a secular house for noble unmarried ladies.

n 1116 the collegiate, the church and the village burnt down - and a new church was constructed after that. This is the church seen here. It got consecrated in June 1129 by Egbert, bishop in Muenster, a relative of and advisor to Lothair III.

Standing within the 13th century-cloister. The church is constructed in the basilica style. Here to be seen is the transept and the two towers on the sides of the rectangular choir, that originally was semicircular.
Photos and text from flickr

Iterior of the church

Reichenau, Niederzell, St. Peter and Paul
1134, 1750-60

The third church, St Peter and Paul in Niederrzell 1134. Baroque 1750-60
Photo Agoe, Panoramio

St. Peter and Paul was founded by bishop Egino of Verona, who had connections to the founders and patrons of the Reichenau monastery. His church, which was consecrated in 799, was torn down and in the12th century, a new church was built at the same place. This columned basilica with 3 naves is still standing. In 1900, medieval mural paintings were discovered in the apse

Niederzell has a restrained late Baroque interior backed by an apse with a 12th cent fresco! A beguilingly harmonious miracle.
Photo ochmann

Germany, Kloster Maubronn,
Cistercian establishment
1147- 14th cen

The Romanesque part of the monastic buildings seen from the west.
Photo coplaep, Panoramio

Maulbronn Monastery (German: Kloster Maulbronn) is the best-preserved medieval Cistercian monastery complex in Europe.
The monastery was founded in 1147 under the auspices of the first Cistercian pope, Eugenius III. The main church, built in a style transitional from Romanesque to Gothic, was consecrated in 1178 by Arnold, Bishop of Speyer.

“The Maulbronn complex is the most complete survival of a Cistercian monastic establishment in Europe, in particular because of the survival of its extensive water-management system of reservoirs and channels.” (UNESCO)

Plan of the monastery

A number of other buildings — infirmary, refectory, cellar, auditorium, porch, south cloister, hall, another refectory, forge, inn, cooperage, mill, and chapel — followed in the course of the 13th century. The west, east and north cloisters date back to the 14th century, as do most fortifications and the fountain house or lavatorium.

The Fountain
Photo RWFG 1951

I discovered Maulbronn for myself on my first hike through Southern Germany in 1947 and have visited it innumerable times thereafter. The fountain, the tinkling of its water echoing through cloisters has remained in my memory of early German architcture ever since. - In 1954 my brother Gerhard and I discovered its counter part in the Great Mosque of Bursa in Turkey.

Germany, Jerichow, Premonstratensian Convent St. Maria and St. Nikolaus

Interior of the church, photo RWFG

It is included here as a foremost example of the late Romanesque, northeastern German brick architecture.

Thev interior of the church of the Jerichow Abbey, the former Premonstratensian convent which was founded 1144. In 1148 the construction of the church of St Maria and St Nicholas began. It makes it into one of the oldest brick buildings in the area and through its artistical perfectness highly influential on the brick architecture in the Margraviate of Brandenburg.

Germany Cologne St. Maria im Capitol

St. Maria im Kapitol

St. Maria im Kapitol is the largest of the 12 Romanesque churches in Cologne. Built over the site of a Roman temple, the 11th-century church is based on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.. The Church of St. Maria im Kapitol as we know it today was built by Abbess Ida (d.1060), granddaughter of Otto II and Theophanu (who is buried at St. Pantaleon). The new building used the western wall and foundations of Bruno's church and had its choir over the Roman temple. It had a gallery in the west end, adopting the imperial design of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen.

The altar was consecrated in 1049 by Pope Leo IX in the presence of numerous bishops (72 according to tradition), and in 1065 the completed church was consecrated by Archbishop Anno II. This church has survived more or less intact to this day.

Various changes, mostly minor, were made to the church in the centuries following its construction. Around 1150, the upper walls of the north and south apse were rebuilt, a dome was added over the transept crossing, and a porch was extended from the south apse. In 1175 the upper parts of the west towers were extended. The gate around the east apse was added in 1464.
Text and photo sacred-destinations.com

Cologne, Basilika Gross-St.-Martin
1152-1172, 1985

Gross-Sankt-Martin after its restoration in 1985, photo Wikipedia

The Great Saint Martin Church (German: Gross Sankt Martin) is a Romanesque church in Cologne. Its foundations (circa 960 AD) rest on remnants of a Roman chapel, built on what was then an island in the Rhine. The church was later transformed into a Benedictine monastery. The current buildings, including a soaring crossing tower that is a landmark of Cologne's Old Town, were erected between 1150-1250. The architecture of its eastern end forms a triconch or trefoil plan, consisting of three apses around the crossing, similar to that at St. Maria im Kapitol.

In 1150, a fire destroyed much of Cologne. The abbey at the site of Great St. Martin was caught in the conflagration, and although the specific damages are not known, it is supposed that the entire Church was destroyed. The Archbishop of Cologne Philipp I. von Heinsberg sanctified the new building in 1172, and the first phase of construction, the tri-apsidal structure was built, with three round apses meeting in the shape of a cross. This is the only element of the church still present today. The eastern end of the nave was completed before a further fire in 1185, as well as aisles on the Southside. At the northern apse, two Benedictine chapels were later added, built over the ruins of the previous abbey buildings.

Ruin of the church in 1946/47

After reconstruction 1985

The church was once again destroyed in World War II by Allied air raids with restoration work completed only in 1985.

Germany, Cologne, St. Apostles

The present building is largely 12th century and posses a fine example of the 'tripartite' choir, that is the chancel terminates in three semi-circular apses, facing north and south in addition to the usual eastern apse. This Romanesque arrangement is particularly well represented in Cologne in two other contemporary churches, St Maria im Kapitol and Great St Martin's.

The church suffered heavy damage in World War II, when bombs took several large bites out of the building, though is now expertly restored.

The fussy 19th century decoration that covered the interior before the war was not replaced, leaving the architecture to speak for itself for the most part. However, in the late 1980s modern mural decorations were painted in the three apse ceilings by the artist Herman Gottfried.
Text and photos flickr.com

Germany, Göppingen-Faurndau, Stiftskirche

Germany, Ruins of Heisterbach Abbey

The romantic ruin of the late Romanesque church

Photos of the remaining apse of the church ruin thais.it

The basilica at Heisterbach was begun by Abbot Gerard (1195–1208), and consecrated in 1237 under Abbot Henry (1208–1244). Being built during the period of transition from the Romanesque round arch to the Gothic pointed arch, its style of architecture was a combination of the Romanesque and the Gothic.

Heisterbach, which had large possessions and drew revenues from many neighbouring towns, remained one of the most flourishing Cistercian monasteries until its secularization in 1803. The library and the archives were given to the city of Düsseldorf; the monastery and the church were sold and torn down in 1809, and only the apse with the ruins of the choir remains.

Germany, Xanten Dom St. Viktor

Westwerk of Xanten Catedral
photo Prainerbaer, Panoramio

The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid in 1263 by Friedrich and Konrad von Hochstaden. Construction lasted 281 years and was finally finished with the dedication of the Holy Spirit Chapel (German: Heiliger-Geist-Kapelle) in the year 1544. The cathedral contains a five-aisle nave built in the Gothic style. In contrast to many other cathedrals of the period, St. Victor's lacks an ambulatory. Instead a twin pair of chapels is connected to the choir similar to that seen at the Church of Our Lady (German: Liebfrauenkirche) in Trier.

Germany, Breisach Münster St Stephan
13th cent

Breisach the Cathedral

The church, standing on a lofty site, retains the nave, the transept and two towers of a Romanesque sanctuary, while the chancel is Gothic. The most remarkable features of the interior decoration are the reredos of the high altar (1526) and Martin Schongauer's 15th cent. murals. Wikipedia

Master HL, Mary's Coronation the center piece of the Breisacher High Altar (1526)

The recently recovered monumental frescoes by Martin Schongauer
Northern wall: The Last Judgmen, taround 1489
Resurrection of the Dead

...............................................................................Descent into Hell.

Germany, Kobern/Mosel Matthias Chapel

The Matthias Chapel
photo PMarcel BREZ, Panoramio 


Interior of the Chapel, photo Thaïs.it

A last German Romanesque oddity: A Templar sanctuary nested in the vineyards above the river Mosel!

The Matthiaskapelle is a hexagonal building of about 11 meters in diameter, to which is connected a horseshoe choir. The space is covered by a 24-part vault. The tower-like central structure is carried by six pillar pairs. Also noteworthy is the mosaic-covered floor.

The chapel was built around 1220/40 for the Knights of King Henry II of Isenburg. The relic was the head of the Apostle Matthias brought from the crusades. Around 1420, the head was sold to the Cathedral of Trier. The delpidated chapel was bought and restored by Emperor Wilhelm II of Prussia in 1894. The 19th cent modifications were removed in another restauration in 1990....
In a colorful pdf-paper Fleischer-Amteroth argues that the building was a Templer chapel.
Modified translation from Wikipedia.de