A History of Gothic Architecture

Germany and Eastern Europe


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in Germany

Maulbronn Cistercian Abbey, Germany

Maulbronn, the oldest part of the monastery
Late Romansque 1147-1178
photo photocommunity

Floor plan, Wikimedia

Herren Refectory,
Transitional 1220
photo flickr.com

Maulbronn Monastery, the best-preserved medieval Cistercian monastic complex in Europe, my personal favorite. - It 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. A number of other buildings — infirmary, Herren 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.

Cologne, Cathedral, Germany

Cologne Cathedral 1875,
photo romanik-gotik.de

The Cathedral 2011
photo romanik-gotik.de

photo romanik-gotik.de

In 1164, the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel acquired the Barbarossa had taken from the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, Milan, relics of the Three Kings which the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Italy. (Parts of the relics have since been returned to Milan.) The relics drew pilgrims from all over Christendom. It was important to church officials that they be properly housed, and thus began a building program in the new style of Gothic architecture, based in particular on the French cathedral of Amiens.

The foundation stone was laid on 15 August 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. The eastern arm was completed under the direction of Master Gerhard, was consecrated in 1322 and sealed off by a temporary wall so it could be in use as the work proceeded. Eighty four misericords in the choir date from this building phase. In the mid 14th century work on the west front commenced under Master Michael. This work halted in 1473, leaving the south tower complete up to the belfry level and crowned with a huge crane that remained in place as a landmark of the Cologne skyline for 400 years.

With the 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, and spurred on by the discovery of the original plan for the façade, it was decided, with the commitment of the Protestant Prussian Court, to complete the cathedral. It was achieved by civic effort; the Central-Dombauverein, founded in 1842, raised two-thirds of the enormous costs, while the Prussian state supplied the remaining third.

Work resumed in 1842 to the original design of the surviving medieval plans and drawings, but utilizing more modern construction techniques, including iron roof girders. The nave was completed and the towers were added. The bells were installed in the 1870s.

The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event on 14 August 1880, 632 years after construction had begun.

The cathedral suffered 14 direct hits by Allied aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but remained standing in an otherwise flattened city. Its twin spires are said to have been used as a navigational landmark by Allied aircraft in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed completely.

Gerhard Richter's window, 2007
Photo wikipedia

On 25 August 2007, the cathedral received a new stained glass window in the south transept. With 113 square meters of glass, the window was created by the German artist Gerhard Richter. It is composed of 11,500 10x10-cm square-sized pieces of colored glass randomly arranged by computer, which create a colorful "carpet". The archbishop of the cathedral, Joachim Cardinal Meisner, who had preferred a figurative depiction of 20th-century Catholic martyrs, did not attend the unveiling....

Freiburg, Cathedral, Germany

Stained glass window
Photo its.org

The Münster from Schlossberg
Photo freiburg-madison

Concert performance
Photo micahcummings

Freiburg Minster (German: Freiburger Münster or Münster Unserer Lieben Frau) is the cathedral of Freiburg im Breisgau, southwest Germany. The last duke of Zähringen had started the building around 1200 in Romanesque style, the construction continued in 1230 in Gothic style. The minster was partly built on the foundations of an original church that had been there from the beginning of Freiburg in 1120.

The only Gothic church tower in Germany that was completed in the Middle Ages (1330), and miraculously, has lasted until the present, surviving the bombing raids of November 1944. The windows had been taken out, and so these also suffered no damage.

The nave windows were donated by the guilds, and the symbols of the guilds are featured in them. The deep red color in some of the windows is not the result of a dye, but instead the result of a suspension of solid gold nanoparticles in the glass.

There are two important altars in the cathedral: the high altar of Hans Baldung Grien, and another altar by Hans Holbein the Younger in a side chapel.

Heisterbach, Cistercian Monastery, Germany

Photo klaes-w.de

Ruin of the remaining apse in Winter
Photo onlinezeitung

Photo thais.it

Heisterbach Abbey (Kloster Heisterbach; also Petersthal, formerly Petersberg) was a Cistercian monastery in the Siebengebirge near Oberdollendorf in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 1189 Philip, Archbishop of Cologne, requested Gisilbert, abbot of the Cistercian Himmerod Abbey in the Bishopric of Trier, to re-settle the abandoned monastery of Petersberg (1134) with Cistercians from Himmerod. On 22 March 1189 twelve Cistercian monks with the newly appointed Abbot Hermann took possession of it.
Three or four years later they moved to the foot of the mountain, where they built a new monastery which they called Petersthal or Heisterbach, which is the name that prevailed.

The basilica of 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 to the Gothic it was a combination of Romanesque and Gothic elements. It remained one of the most flourishing Cistercian monasteries until its suppression 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 romantic ruins of the choir remains.
Video: Virtual Reconstruction on YouTube (4 min)

Marburg, Cathedral St. Elisabeth, Germany

St.Elisabeth from her Shrine
Photo wordpress

Marburg Cathedral
Photo flickr

The Nave
Photo calstatela

St. Elisabeth's Church in Marburg, Germany, was built by the Order of the Teutonic Knights in honour of St. Elisabeth of Hungary. Her tomb made the church an important pilgrimage destination during the late Middle Ages.

Construction started in 1235, the year Elisabeth was canonized. The church was consecrated in 1283. However, the towers were not finished until 1340. The church was property of the Order of the Teutonic Knights.
Most of the knights and clerics of the Order converted to Protestantism during the 16th century, and the church has been used for Protestant services from that point on.

Trier, Liebfrauenkirche, Germany

cruciform church
from the southwest

Floor plan
Photos wikipedia

View into the Choir arm, Altar at center
stained glass modern, 2010

A unique feature of the basilica is its atypical cruciform floor plan forming a circular church, whose cross-shaped vaulting with four corresponding portals is completed by eight altar niches so that the floor plan resembles a twelve-petaled rose, a symbol for the Virgin Mary and the 12 Apostles.

The exact date of the beginning of its construction can no longer be determined, it is currently believed that it was begun in 1230 by the Archbishop of Trier Dietrich von Wied. Around 1260, the building appears to have been finished. In 1492, a high-peaked helmet was placed on the central tower, which was destroyed by a storm in 1631. Subsequently a hipped roof capped the tower, which was destroyed in the Second World War. It was replaced in 2003 by a steeper helmet.

Lübecker Dom, Cathedral, Germany

Lübecker Dom from the Mühlenteich
Photo structurae

Choir Screen, 1477
Photo googleuser

Hans Memling, Crucifixion and Donors
Photo blogspot

In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle

On the night of Palm Sunday (28-29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the old town. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighboring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the choir-screen cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.
Since the war, the altar painting by Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral. The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings, which decorate the choir-screen, are also by Notke.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

Lübeck, Marienkirche, Germany

Restored Church 2004
Photo wikimedia

“Buxtehude Organ”, 1963
Photo huesmanfoto

Newly discovered frescoes
Photo 55plus-magazin

The two Lübeck churches attest to the power and riches of the Hanseatic towns along the Baltic Sea in the early 14th century. The Marienkirche was the larger and more influential of the two. You can distinguish them by the roofs of their towers.

The Lutheran Marienkirche (St. Mary's church) in Lübeck was constructed between 1250 and 1350. It became the model for the brick Gothic style of northern Germany, reflected in approximately 70 churches in the Baltic Sea Area. The incentive for the Lübeck town council to commence such a large construction was precipitated by an acrimonious competition with the Lübeck Diocese and their Dom. It was a symbol of the free will of the merchants after the city obtained Reichsfreiheit status in 1226.

The night of 28-29,
March 1942
Photo dodedans

In the infamous attack by Royal Air Force bombers on March 28-29, 1942 — the first, experimental Allied area bombing — the church was almost completely burnt out, along with the Lübeck Cathedral and St. Peter's Church.
Among artifacts destroyed in St. Mary's was the Totentanzorgel (Danse Macabre organ), an instrument played by Dieterich Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach. Its namesake artwork Totentanz (a 1701 replica of the original by Bernt Notke) was also destroyed.
Other works of art destroyed in the fire include the Gregorsmesse by Bernt Notke, Adriaen Isenbrandt's Bröhmse triptych, the carved figures of the choir-screen, the Dreifaltigkeitsaltar (Trinity Altar) by Jacob van Utrecht, and the Einzug Christi in Jerusalem (Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem) by Friedrich Overbeck.

Altenberg, Cistercian Abbey, Germany

Altenberger Dom
Photo nrw-stiftung

Photo flickr

Photo cistercium

Altenberg Abbey (Abtei Altenberg) is a former Cistercian monastery in Altenberg, now part of Odenthal in the Bergische Land, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was founded in 1133 as a daughter house of Morimond Abbey in France.

The monastery church with the patronal feast-day of Mary's Assumption (1255) built on the site of an older Romanesque (1160) building. The Cistercians had come in 1133 to Altenberg and had begun construction of an abbey. Towards the end of the 12th century the abbey had 107 monks and 138 lay brothers, so that the construction of a larger church was envisaged. Count Adolf IV of Berg in 1259 laid the foundation for the church. In 1287 the choir and 1379 the building were consecrated. The west window was inserted in 1400.

In 1803 the monastery was dissolved during the secularization in Germany and fell into ruin. Starting in 1847 under King Frederick William IV of Prussia, a thorough restoration of the church was carried out. The church, known as the Altenberger Dom, is now an interdenominational church used by both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Regensburg, Cathedral St. Peter, Germany

Sculptures of the
Main West Entrance
Photo wikimedia

West Façade
Photo wikimedia

Photo wikimedia

Around 739, St. Boniface chose the area of the Porta Praetoria for his bishop's seat, and the site of the cathedral has remained there since. The Cathedral was rebuilt in Carolingian times and expanded in the early 11th century.

In 1156-1172 the edifice burnt twice, and was rebuilt starting 1273 in High Gothic style. The three choirs of the new cathedral were ready for use in 1320, while the old cathedral was demolished at the same time. In 1385-1415 the elaborate main entrance to the west was completed, with the most of the new edifice being finished around 1520; the cloister was constructed in 1514-1538.

The cupola at the transept crossing and other sectors were renovated in Baroque style in the 17th century. In 1828-1841 the cathedral underwent a neo-Gothic restoration commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The Baroque frescoes were relocated and the cupola demolished, being replaced by a quadripartite rib vault. The towers and their spires were built in 1859-1869. Three years later the cathedral was finally finished, with the completion of the transept gable and the spire (at the crossing), after some 600 years of construction.

Stralsund, Marienkirche, Germany

Second Coming of Christ, 1890s
Photo fotocummunity

Cathedral form the Frankenteich
Photo staedtefotos

Baroque Stellwagen Organ
Photo blogspot

St. Mary's Church (German: Marienkirche) is a large Lutheran church in Stralsund..Built some time before 1298, it is an example of the brick Gothic style prevalent in northern Germany. Between 1549 and 1647, it was the tallest building in the world at 151 metres.

The bell tower collapsed in 1382, and was rebuilt by 1478. In 1495, the steeple tower blew down during a severe storm, and was then rebuilt taller. This was subsequently struck by lightning in 1647, and burned down, and was rebuilt as a Baroque dome, which, completed in 1708, can be seen today.

Ulm, Münster, Germany

Ulmer Münster
Photo reiserat

Angel in the Choir-Screen
Photo euxus

Flying buttresses
at the top of the tower
Photo pixabay

Ulm Minster (Ulmer Münster) is a Lutheran originally Roman Catholic church. Although sometimes referred to as Ulm Cathedral because of its size, the church is not a cathedral as it has never been the seat of a bishop. Ulm Minster was begun in the Gothic era and not completed until the late 19th century.

In the 14th century, the parish church of Ulm was located outside the walled city. The burghers of Ulm decided to erect a new church within the perimeters of the city and to finance the costs of the erection. In 1377 the foundation stone was laid. The planned church was to have three naves of equal height, a main spire on the west, and two steeples above the choir. In 1392 Ulrich Ensingen (associated with Strasbourg Cathedral) was appointed master builder.

The church, consisting of three longitudinal naves and the choir, covered by a temporary roof, was consecrated in 1405. However, structural damage, caused by the height of the naves and the weight of the heavy vaulting, necessitated a reconstruction of the lateral naves which were supported by a row of additional column in their center.

Krämerfenster, Annunciation
Photo wikimedia

Ratsfenster, Resurrection
Photo de.academic.ru

Late Gothic stained-glass windows

Photo wikimedia

In a referendum in 1530/31, the citizens of Ulm converted to Protestantism during the Reformation, and the Ulmer Münster became a Lutheran church. In 1543 construction work was halted at a time when the steeple had reached a height of some 100 metres. The halt in the building process was caused by a variety of factors which were political and religious (the Reformation, the Thirty Years' War, the War of the Spanish Succession) as well as economic (the discovery of the Americas in 1492 leading to a shift in trade routes and commodities). One result was economic stagnation and a steady decline of major public expenditures.

In 1817 work resumed, and the three steeples of the church were completed. Finally, on 31 May 1890 the building was completed. In the devastating air raid on Ulm on 17 December 1944, which destroyed virtually the entire town west of the church, the church itself was barely damaged.

Nürnberg, St. Sebaldus, Germany
1275, 1345-1475-

St. Sebaldus
the three building phases are clearly visible
Photo luftbild

Nave and Choir
Photo smugmug

Sebaldusgrab, Peter Vischer,1519
Photo smugmug

To the west of the Town Hall in Nuremberg is St Sebaldus's Church (1225-73; Protestant), with a magnificent Gothic east choir (1379). On the outside of the choir is the Schreyer-Landauer tomb, a masterpiece by Adam Krafft (1492). Inside the church, on a pillar in the north aisle, can be seen the "Madonna in an Aureole" (1420-25). In the east choir is the famous tomb of St Sebaldus (1508-19), a masterpiece of the bronze-founder's art by Peter Vischer and his sons (silver sarcophagus of 1397 containing the saint's remains; on the east end Peter Vischer with his leather apron and chisel). Behind the tomb is a moving Crucifixion group by Veit Stoss (1507 and 1520). There is also an organ with 6,000 pipes.
From planetware

Nürnberg, Frauenkirche,Germany

Photo flickr

Frauenkirche am Grossen Markt
Photo kellerlokal

The Tucher
Altar, 1440
Photo flickr

The small Frauenkirche in Nuremberg is an example of Gothic brick architecture. It was built on the initiative of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor between 1352 and 1362. The church contains many sculptures, some of them heavily restored. Numerous works of art from the Middle Ages are kept in the church, such as the so-called Tucher Altar (c. 1440, originally the high altar of the Augustinian church of St. Vitus), and two monuments by Adam Kraft (c. 1498). The church was built in the grand market, in place of the former Jewish synagogue, which was destroyed during the pogrom of 1349 (which followed an outbreak of Black Death). The architect was probably Peter Parler. Charles IV wanted to use the Frauenkirche for imperial ceremonies. His son Wenceslas was baptized in the church in 1361.

Nürnberg, St. Lorenz, Germany

St. Lorenz
Photo beekmann

Photo flickr

Veit Stoss “Englischer Gruss”
Photo wikimedia

On Lorenzer Platz in Nuremberg stands the twin-towered Gothic church of St Lawrence (St-Lorenzkirche; 13th-15th cent; Protestant), the city's largest church. Above the beautiful west doorway (1355) is a rose window 9m/30ft in diameter. Outstanding among the many works of art it contains are the "Annunciation" by Veit Stoss (1517-18) which hangs in the choir, the tabernacle by Adam Krafft (1493-96), the crucifix by Veit Stoss on the high altar, the Krell Altar (behind the high altar; 1480), with the oldest surviving representation of the town, and the superb stained glass (1477-93) in the choir.
From planetware

München, Frauenkirche, Germany

Frauenkirche from the south
Photo koenigswache

The Byzantine Helmets of the towers
Photo planetware

Restored Interior
Photo panoramio

The Frauenkirche (Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, "Cathedral of Our Dear Lady") is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and the symbol of the Bavarian capital. The church towers are widely visible because of local height restrictions.

The current church replaced an older church and was commissioned by Duke Sigismund and the people of Munich. The Frauenkirche was built in 1468-88 by Jörg Halspach (known as Ganghofer) on the site of an earlier chapel dedicated to the Virgin. In 1525, in place of the spires originally planned by Halspach, the two towers were given their Byzantine helmets, the green patina of which harmonizes well with the dark red brick. The carved medallions on the five doorways were the work of Ignaz Günther (1772).
The interior of this three-aisled hall-church, with 22 tall octagonal pillars in two rows, was remodeled in Renaissance style in 1601 but reconverted to a Gothic design in 1858. The church was severely damaged in 1944-45, restoration being completed in 1953. As rebuilt after the last war it has now a simply conceived but very effective whitewashed interior.
From wikipedia and planetware


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in Poland

Wroclaw/Breslau, Rathaus and St. Elisabeth, Silesia, Poland

The Gothic Rathaus
Photo wikimedia

St. Elisabeth and my
Great-Grandfather's Millinery Shop
Photo flickr

Photo panoramio

Breslau/Wrocław was (is) the capital of Silesia (Slask). At various times it has been part of Poland (until 1335), Bohemia (1336-1526), Austria (1526-1742), Prussia and Germany (1742-1945). At Yalta Churchill decided to ethnically cleanse Silesia of its 4 Million German-speaking inhabitants and cede it to Poland (1945).
The architectural substance of Wrozlaw is predominantly German (14th-20th cent). It has been exemplarily restored by the Polish authorities.
The 14th century Main Market Square (Rynek) prominently displays the Old Town Hall (14th-16th cent) and in the north-west corner of the market square rises St. Elisabeth's Church. St. Elisabeth's dates back to the 14th century, when construction was commissioned by the city. From 1525 until 1946, St. Elisabeth's was the main Lutheran Church of Breslau/Wroclaw and Silesia. In 1946 it was expropriated and given of the Polish Roman Catholic Church. The church was gutted by fire in 1976. It has since been restored and serves as the church of the Military Chaplaincy.
My mother's ancestors, in part Protestant Huguenots from France, were for 200 years members of St. Elisabeth's parish. Great-Grandfather Laffert owned a millinery shop in the tall, white house next to the church. In 1946 my family was among the expelled German population.

Krakow, Basilica of St. Mary's Assumption, Poland

Kościół Mariacki
Photo panoramio

Photo wikimedia

Vit Stwocz Altar
(also known as
Veit Stoss from Nürnberg)
Photo vtourist

The first parish church at the Main Square in Kraków was founded in 1221–22. The building was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Poland. Between 1290–1300 the new early Gothic church was built on the remaining foundations. It was consecrated twenty years later, in 1320.
This church was completely rebuilt during the reign of Casimir III the Great between 1355 and 1365 with substantial contributions from wealthy restaurateur Mikołaj Wierzynek. The presbytery was elongated and tall windows added. The main body of the church was completed in 1395–97 with the new vault constructed by master Nicholas Werhner from Prague. However, the vault over the presbytery collapsed in 1442 supposedly due to an earthquake, which never happen before nor after in Kraków.
At the end of the 15th century, St Mary's church was enriched with a sculptural masterpiece, the Altarpiece of Veit Stoss (Ołtarz Mariacki Wita Stwosza) of late Gothic design.

Gdansk, Marienkirche, Poland

Danzig Marienkirche
Old Postcard

Hans Memling's
Last Judgement, 1473
Photo casainitalia

Interior, High Altar
Photo shabudabu

St. Mary's is one of the largest European Brick Gothic buildings. Between 1536 and 1572 St. Mary's Church was used for Roman Catholic and Lutheran services alike. From the 16th century until 1945, when the German Danzig became the Polish Gdańsk, it was the largest Lutheran church in the world.
The foundation stone for the new brick church was placed in 1343. At first a six-span bay basilica with a low turret was built, erected from 1343 to 1360. Parts of the pillars and lower levels of the turret have been preserved from this building.
In 1379 the Danzig architect Heinrich Ungeradin began construction of the present building. By 1447 the eastern part of the church was finished, and the tower was raised by two floors in the years 1452-1466. From 1485 the work was continued by Hans Brandt, who supervised the erection of the main nave core. In 1496 the structure was finally finished under Heinrich Haetzl, who supervised the construction of the vaulting.
The church is decorated within with several masterpieces of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque painting The most notable, the Last Judgement by Flemish painter Hans Memling, is currently preserved in the National Museum of Gdańsk. Other works of art were transferred to the National Museum in Warsaw in 1945. It wasn't until the 1990s when several of them were returned to the church.

Poznan, Basilica St. Peter and Paul, Poland
1360-1430, 1956

St. Peter and Paul
Photo regionwielkopolska

The Nave and High Altar, 1956
Photo moon

High Altar, 1512 from Guhrau, Silesia
Photo wikimedia

The cathedral was originally built in the second half of the 10th century within the fortified settlement (gród) of Poznań, which stood on what is now called Ostrów Tumski ("Cathedral Island"). The first church survived for about seventy years, until pagan uprisings and a raid by the Bohemian duke Bretislav I (1034–1038) destroyed it. The cathedral was rebuilt in the Romanesque style, remains of which are visible in the southern tower.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the church was rebuilt in the Gothic style. At that time, a crown of chapels was added. A fire in 1622 did such serious damage that the cathedral needed a complete renovation, which was carried out in the Baroque style. Another major fire broke out in 1772 and the church was rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style. The last of the great fires occurred on 15 February 1945, during the liberation of the city from the Germans. The damage was serious enough that the conservators decided to return to the Gothic style, using as a base medieval relics revealed by the fire. This included the transfer of the High Altar from the church in Guhrau, Silesia. The cathedral was reopened on 29 June 1956.

Torun, Cathedral SS. John Baptist and John Evangelist, Poland

The Baroque Chancel
Photo flickr

Torun Cathedral
Nikolaus Copernicus was baptized here
Photo diazvilla

Mary Magdalene's Ascension, late 14th c.
Photo tumblr

The Old City parish Church of SS. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist is one of the oldest churches of the former Teutonic state, a monument to Toruń’s greatest glory and a mine of art objects. It is one of the biggest churches in Poland. The construction work, which lasted for 200 years, was initiated in the mid-13th century, yet the church was given its present form – a high three-aisle hall with side chapels and porches - in the mid-15th century. Inside, the groin and stellar vaults support the 27-meter-high ceiling.
Until the Polish-Teutonic Second Peace of Toruń in 1466, the church was under the patronage of the Teutonic Order. Then, up to 1501, it enjoyed the patronage of the Polish King and, finally, that of the city. In 1530-83, the building was used for Protestant worship, while later both the Protestant and Roman Catholic services were held there. Since 1596, the church has been in the hands of Catholics again.
Near the first pillar from the presbytery, there is a Baroque altar featuring the Gothic bas-relief depicting the scene of Mary Magdalene being raised by angels.
From visittorun

Gdansk-Oliwa, Cathedral, Poland

Photo my-world

Photo bigdiction

The Baroque Organ
Photo euwest

The archcathedral in Oliwa is a three-nave basilica with a transept and a multisided closed presbytery, finished with an ambulatory. The façade is flanked by two slender towers, 46-metres tall each with sharply-edged helmets. It is enlivened by a Baroque portal from 1688, as well as three windows of different sizes and three cartouches. The crossing of the naves is overlooked by a bell tower, a typical element of the Cistercian architecture.
1186 Sambor I of Gdańsk, Duke of Pomerania, founded the Cistercian monastery named “Beatae Mariae ad montem Olivarum”. In 1577 during a rebellion in the city of Gdańsk the Gdańsk mercenary army attacked the monastery and burned it to the ground. The church was rebuilt between 1578 and 1583 in Late Gothic style. 1831 the Prussian authorities closed down the Cistercian monastery in Oliwa. The church, together with some of the buildings belonging to it, was handed over to a Catholic parish.
In 1992 Pope John Paul II established the Archdiocese of Gdańsk with the seat in Oliwa and raised the basilica to the dignity of an archcathedral.


Google-Earth markers for all Sites in Austria

Vienna, Cathedral St. Stefan, Austria

Stefan's Dome
Photo superstock

The Viennese Baroque Interior
Photo wallsforpc

High Altar
Photo lagunabeachbikini

The Romanesque and Gothic form of the cathedral, seen today in the Stephansplatz, was largely initiated by Duke Rudolf IV (1339–1365) and stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, the first a parish church consecrated in 1147.

Although the first structure was completed in 1160, major reconstruction and expansion lasted until 1511, and repair and restoration projects continue to the present day. From 1230 to 1245, the initial Romanesque structure was extended westward. In 1304, King Albert I ordered a Gothic three-nave choir to be constructed east of the church, wide enough to include the old transepts. Under his son Duke Albert II, work continued on the Albertine choir, which was consecrated in 1340.
In 1359, Rudolf IV laid, in the vicinity of the present south tower, the cornerstone for a westward Gothic extension of the Albertine choir. This expansion would eventually encapsulate the entirety of the old church, and in 1430, the edifice of the old church was removed from within as work progressed on the new cathedral. The south tower was completed in 1433, and the vaulting of the nave—begun in 1446—was complete in 1474. The foundation for a north tower was laid in 1450, and construction began under master Lorenz Spenning, but its construction was abandoned when major work on the cathedral ceased in 1511. In 1722 during the reign of Karl VI, the see was finally elevated to an archbishopric by Pope Innocent XIII.

Vienna, St. Maria am Gestade, Austria

Sankt Maria am Gestade
Photo wikipedia

Nave and High Altar
Photo wikipedia

Maria am Gestade (Mary at the Shore) is a Gothic church in Vienna. Among the oldest churches in the city, it is one of the few surviving examples of Gothic architecture in the Vienna. It served as a place of worship for fishermen and sailors. The church is first mentioned in documents from 1158. The present building was built between 1394 and 1414 in Late Gothic style.

From 1302, the church was owned by the Herren von Greif. Between 1330 and 1355 a new choir was constructed and was probably conceived as a family burial ground. The church was deconsecrated in 1786 and gradually became dilapidated and parts were torn down. It was used as an arsenal and stable during Napoleon's occupation of Vienna in 1809. In 1812, the church was renovated and newly consecrated, coming into the hands of the Redemptorist order.

Bohemia, Czechia

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Plzen, Cathedral St.Bartholomew, Bohemia, Czechia

St Bartolomew
Photo inyourpocket

The Choir from the Nave
Photo redbubble

The Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew dominates the city center of Pilsen. The construction of the Gothic style building, located on the main square, started in 1295 and was finished by the beginning of 16th century. The Madonna of Plzeň, a statue situated next to the altar, dates from 1390. The statue is an example of the "beautiful style" of the Czech Madonnas in Gothic art. Šternberk Chapel, built during the first half of 16th century and decorated with Renaissance wall paintings, was restored from ruins during 20th century.

In 1993, when Pope John Paul II erected the Diocese of Plzeň, the church of St. Bartholomew was consecrated as the cathedral of the new diocese.

Prague, Our Lady before Tyn, Czechia

Our Lady in Prague
Photo thepraguelife

The painted
Baroque Ceilings, 18th cent
Photo gbot.me

In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. In 1256 it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady in front of Týn. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). For two centuries The church was controlled by the Hussites. After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the harsh recatholization (part of Counter-Reformation).

The northern portal is a example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion.

Prague, Cathedral St. Vitus, Czechia
1344-1550, completed 1929

St. Vitus in the
Hradčany Castle
Photo wikimedia

Photo wikimedia

Wencelslav Chapel
Photo ljhammond

At first glance the cathedral's western facade, which looms above the entrance to the Third Courtyard, looks impressively Gothic, but in fact the triple doorway dates only from 1953, one of the last parts of the church to be completed. The foundation stone was laid in 1344 by Emperor Charles IV, on the site of a 10th-century Romanesque rotunda built by Duke Wenceslas. Charles’ original architect, Matthias of Arras, began work in 1344 on the choir in the French Gothic style, but died eight years later. His German successor, Peter Parler – a veteran of Cologne’s cathedral – completed most of the eastern part of the cathedral in a freer, late-Gothic style before he died in 1399. Renaissance and baroque details were added over the following centuries, but it was only in 1861 during the Czech National Revival that a concerted effort was made to finish the cathedral – everything between the western door and the crossing was built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was finally consecrated in 1929.
From lonelyplanet

In 1844 Vácslav Pešina, an energetic St Vitus canon, together with Neo-Gothic architect Josef Kranner presented a program for renovation and completion of the great cathedral. In 1870 the foundations of the new nave were finally laid, and in 1873, after Kramer's death, architect Josef Mocker took over the reconstruction. It was he who designed the west facade in a typical classic Gothic manner with two towers.
In the 1920s the sculptor Vojtěch Sucharda worked on the facade, and the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha decorated the new windows in the north part of nave. The Rose Window was designed by Frantisek Kysela in 1925-7. Despite the fact that entire western half of Cathedral is a Neo-Gothic addition, much of the design and elements developed by Peter Parler were used in the restoration, giving the Cathedral as a whole a harmonious, unified look.

Alphonse Mucha's and Frantisek Kysela's Art Nouveau Windows in St. Vitus
Mucha on Wikipedia




Click on the pictures to enlarge them and then click a second time to see the details




Being ignorant Mucha's windows escaped me on a visit to Prague and St Vitus in 1994. A closer examination of these high-resolution photos revealed an extraordinary Art Nouveau treasure of great curiosity and beauty.

Kutna Hora, St.Barbara, Bohemia, Czechia

The never finished church
Photo czechtravelservices

No Mucha window,~1900
Photo wikimedia

Photo flickr

Saint Barbara, Chrám svaté Barbory is a Roman Catholic church in Kutná Hora (Bohemia). St Barbara is the patron saint of miners, which was highly appropriate for a town whose wealth was based entirely upon its silver mines.
Construction began in 1388, but because work on the church was interrupted several times, it was not completed until 1905. The first architect was probably Johann Parler, son of Peter Parler. Work on the building was interrupted for more than 60 years during the Hussite Wars and when work resumed in 1482, Matěj Rejsek and Benedikt Rejt, two architects from Prague, assumed responsibility
The original design was for a much larger church, perhaps twice the size of the present building. Construction, however, depended on the prosperity of the town's silver mines, which became much less productive. So, in 1588, the incomplete structure was enclosed by a provisional wall until 1884, and the unique three-peaked roof was added
even later.