Archive for April 19th, 2020

April 19, 2020

The Christuskirche or Church of Christ ,Koblenz

Again back to neighbor Germany and one of our road warrior vacation rides. Actually I have to admit, Koblenz was not planned at all. We were in the Saar by Trier and very much enjoyed the area. However, one day we were thinking where to go next and looking at the map and reading about it in my previous life in travel forums decided to pay a visit. It was a pleasant surprise and we like; several posts on Koblenz in my blog now.

And after so many Catholic churches well now a couple of Protestant Churches back to back in pretty Koblenz. This I missed out as well from previous post so here is my redemption on the The Christuskirche or Church of Christ of Koblenz.

Koblenz

After the removal of the city fortifications at the end of the 19C and the expansion of the city of Koblenz to the south, the Protestant Lutheran community needed a second, central  church next to the Florinskirche (see post). The Christuskirche or Church of Christ was to be inaugurated in 1903 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Koblenz Evangelical Congregation. In reality, this only happened in June 1904. Extensive changes and extensions were made when the church, from 1951-1954 which was badly destroyed in WWII, was rebuilt. Priceless stained glass windows have been lost. Only the neo – Gothic baptismal font and the brass chandeliers remained from the original church. Yes, the post-war organ built in 1955 is one of the best in Germany.

The back part, the so-called “weekday church”, also invites you to linger on weekdays and lets the people here come to rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. Different groups use the various rooms, e.g. the gospel choir, the Evangelische Kantorei Koblenz and the trombone choir regularly for their rehearsals. The confirmation work also takes place in the Christuskirche.   Since 1999 the Café Atempause has been opening its doors in the adjoining rooms of the church on Tuesday and Thursday. From 13h to 17h, you can linger here for a moment with coffee and pastries, seek a conversation, take part in various cultural offers or just relax.

Koblenz

The architecture of the Christuskirche had to take into account the Catholic parish churches of St. Joseph and Herz Jesu, which were created at the same time as part of the southern expansion of the city. In contrast to the other two churches, it is deliberately asymmetrical and structured more simply. The brick building with high gable walls has a large area and is clad with sandstone and tuff blocks. A mighty tower rises at the crossroads, which was originally equipped with a much higher roof, but was rebuilt more gently after WWII. The style of the church with just a few portals and tracery windows takes on the peculiarities of late English Gothic. The vaulted porch on the east side of the tower was used to give way to the higher stands.

The interior could not be seen as only open when service is available. However, brochures tells us that the Church of Christ consists of two unequal width naves. After the reconstruction, these were separated from each other by walling. The narrower nave on the east side was originally divided into two floors. The former mesh vault was replaced by a simple ceiling construction. The main room has a surrounding gallery on two sides. A neo-Gothic font and a twelve-arm brass chandelier have been preserved from the original furnishings. A war memorial, created in 1924 , hangs on a column in the form of a tuff sculpture in memory of those who died in WWI. It shows the figure of a armored warrior with a sword over a lion figure and the coat of arms of the city of Koblenz.

The Church of Christ in the parish of Stadtmitte-Vorstadt-Rhens belongs to the Evangelical Parish Koblenz-Mitte, which also includes the Florinskirche (St Florin Church) in the old town and the Evangelical parish hall in Rhens.

As cannot be undestood could not find anything online in English to back up my text taken from German publications, so here are two webpages in German.

The Protestant churches webpage on the Church of Christ in Koblenz: Protestant Churches of Koblezn on the Church of Christ

The Middle Rhine site on the Church of Christ in KoblenzRegional Middle Rhine webpage on the Church of Christ of Koblenz

Hope it helps and do come enjoy the wonderful architecture of the Church of Christ in Koblenz ,another gem in the city by the Moselle/Rhine rivers.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 19, 2020

The St Florin Church or Florinskirche, Koblenz.

And darn it I am staying in Koblenz, so much to see here, nice town and so much written but hardly any on the specifics I am catching up! We came here from south of Trier where we had rented a house in wine country! Thinking what to see and hearing about Koblenz from many folks in my previous travel forums we decided to visit and what a surprise it was, very nice memories of Koblenz. 

Koblenz is a pretty 2,000-year-old German town located in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine area with much to see. I like to tell you now about the St Florin Church or Florinskirche of Koblenz.

Koblenz

The Saint-Florin Church was the church of the canons of the abbey of Saint-Florin today dissolved, it is now a church of the evangelical community in the city center, which dominates the old city. It is located near the Moselle river on the Florin’s market. The church was built around 1100 and dominating the city with its dominant silhouette, belonged to the St. Florin canons, which was secularized in 1802. Then it came in 1820 as the first evangelical church from Koblenz to the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland. The early medieval church is a prime example of Romanesque religious architecture on the Middle Rhine. The Florinskirche is one of four historical buildings on the Florinsmarkt (Florin’s market). It is owned in equal parts by the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, and the Evangelical parish of Koblenz-Mitte.

Koblenz

A bit of history I always like in my travels

Originally a St Mary’s Church with an associated monastery, the Florinskirche or St Florin’s Church may have emerged from the chapel of the neighboring Franconian royal court. King Childebert of Austrasia supposedly held court in 586 . Around 938 to 948, after the relics of Saint Florin had been transferred from Remüs (Switzerland), the then church was dedicated to this Saint alone.  Around 1100 there was a new church as a Romanesque three-aisled church. The pillar basilica, which was flat at the time, included parts of the Roman-Franconian city wall on the east side. In the middle of the 14C, the Romanesque apse of the church was replaced by a Gothic one. In the years 1582 to 1614 the vaulting of the eastern nave followed. The bell towers were renewed at the beginning of the 17C. During the siege of Koblenz in 1688 during the Palatinate War of Succession ,the Florinskirche was badly damaged and the central nave vault was destroyed, but this could already be renewed between 1708 and 1711. Around 1710 the church received a new south portal with the figure of St. Florin. After the southern tower was destroyed by lightning and fire in 1791, the decision was made to built a new lower tower.

Koblenz

In 1794, French revolutionary troops occupied Koblenz during the First Coalition War (against the French revolution). The St. Florin Church was secularized by the French in 1802 and thus abolished. After that, the St Florin Church was used as a military magazine. Between 1807 and 1811 the church inventory was sold, the school house, the adjoining abbey and the cloister were demolished. Napoleon arranged in 1807 that the church should be converted into an urban slaughterhouse with sales stands. However, this did not happen since Koblenz fell to Prussia in 1815.

King Friedrich Wilhelm III transferred St Florin Church to the evangelical military and civil parish in 1818. The subsequent restoration of the church and the furnishings took place and the church was consecrated in 1820 as a Protestant parish church and thus the first Protestant church in Koblenz. From 1929 to 1930, the foundation of a Roman city wall tower was found in the course of interior restoration work during archaeological excavations under the Gothic apse. The roofs of the three-aisled pillar basilica burned out in an air raid in 1944, and the vault of the former monastery choir was also destroyed. The reconstruction took place in 1951. The outside of the church was last restored in 1970.

A bit on the construction and Architecture I like

The Romanesque St Florin Church is dominated by the fortified west side on Florinsmarkt with its towering two towers. The exterior is plastered white, the base and the cornices are light gray, the other structural elements are painted yellow with red joints. The bell floors of the towers have characteristic Romanesque biforias. The triangular gable above it dates from the 13C, the pointed spirals are from 1899. The large post-Gothic tracery window on the west building dates from the 17C. The roofs are covered with slate. The Gothic apse and the buttresses are light gray with dark joints.

The west side of St Florin Church is integrated into the nave. The nave incorporates the originally barrel-vaulted, now post-Gothic cross-rib vaulted ground floor hall and the tower ground floors and is thus fully open to the nave. The three-aisled pillar basilica is divided by five narrow, circular arch pillar arcades. The walls and vaults are plastered in lime white, the pillars consist of light gray cuboids with painted joints.  The choir connects to the east of the nave and is a few steps higher; it is set off by a powerful choir arch. The rood screen with cross altar originally stood here. To the east is the transept with three rooms or chapter house. A part of the cloister has been preserved . Originally this chapter house, built around 1200 and consisting of tufa stone masonry, was probably used as a sacristy, the upper floor as a treasure house.

The medieval and baroque furnishings of the St Florin Church were almost completely destroyed in the early 19C. Apart from a few fragments in museum possession, only remnants of wall paintings from the 14-15C are left in the church. In the choir there are also wall paintings, but they have been restored several times and therefore have hardly any original substance. Two of the stained glass windows each contain four round panes from the early 14C, about 24 centimeters in diameter, which were donated to the church on the occasion of the reopening of 1819/20. The images on the panels show the proclamation and birth of Jesus, the adoration of the kings and the capture of Jesus, as well as flagellation, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Baroque leaf garlands adorn the otherwise simple interior of the church. In the vault of the north tower there are two Franconian stone coffins that were found during excavations in the church garden. There is a cannon ball in the vaulted ceiling of the baptistery, which is supposed to commemorate the bombardment of the church by French troops in 1688. Several Archbishops of Trier were laid to rest in the church.  The organ of the Florinskirche or St Florin Church was built in 2010 by Förster & Nicolaus. Five bells hang in the south tower. The oldest bell dates from 1511. The Rincker foundry completed the ringing by adding four bells in 1960.

Koblenz

There is a bit on the Tourist office of Koblenz on the St Florin’s Church in English: Tourist office of Koblenz on the St Florin Church

And there you go another nice monument of pretty Koblenz by the Moselle and Rhine rivers, much to see here. Hope you enjoy the post on the St Florin’s Church of Koblenz.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 19, 2020

Liebfrauenkirche or Notre Dame Church, Koblenz!

And why not staying in pretty Koblenz, Germany. As said many posts on it but usually went like the road warrior that I am and feel not given credit to some of the monuments enough. So, I am back for the details of the many beautiful things to see in Koblenz. This one escaped me do not know why but only had briefly mentioned in my previous posts on the city. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the Notre Dame Church of Koblenz or the Liebfrauenkirche. Koblenz is a pretty 2,000-year-old German town located in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine area with much to see

The Notre Dame Church is the oldest church in Koblenz, and always been the parish church as well. The origins of the Notre Dame Church (Our Lady), go back to a Late Antique hall church from the time of the Roman Emperor Valerian approx. 350 AD.  Although what’s seen today dates from the 12C with later 15C additions, evidence concludes that a Roman 5C place of worship stood on this spot. Initial construction lasted from 1180 to approximately 1250; the Gothic chancel began in 1401 and the Baroque onion towers with four bells, famous for tolling the Reveler’s Bell at 22h each night, date from 1693.

Koblenz

In the late Gothic period, the Liebfrauenkirche underwent significant changes and expansions. At the beginning of the 15C, the main apse was laid down and from 1404 to 1430, today’s late Gothic long choir was added to the Romanesque choir. Between 1463 and 1466 the gallery floor between the two towers was raised by one floor and the Romanesque rose window in the facade was replaced by a very large late Gothic tracery window. In 1486/1487 the Romanesque vault in the nave was removed and replaced by a rich star vault with decorated keystones. At the same time, the upper storey windows were replaced by today’s late Gothic windows with fish bubble tracery.

Koblenz

The lower part of the large facade window was bricked up in 1702 in order to be able to place the large niche figure of Our Lady above the portal. The portal itself was replaced in 1765 by today’s pointed arch gate. A baroque sacristy was built behind the choir in 1776.  From 1852, the church was restored in the neo-Romanesque style. For example, the raised floors of the 18C were lowered, a new stone west gallery was installed and wall breakthroughs in the choir were carried out. Most of the baroque furnishings in the church disappeared, as they were replaced by stylish pieces in the neo-Romanesque style, which in turn were largely eliminated after WWII.

Koblenz

During the exterior renovation from 1971 to 1974, the choir and nave were given a color version based on the medieval model. You couldn’t get through to the towers. The sanctuary was redesigned from 1976 to 1980. The new main altar made of Savonnières limestone was created . The back of the panels of the altarpiece was painted as a fasting image with the Arma Christi, the tools of Christ’s suffering. In 1992 the church received new figural choir windows, and which replaced simpler glazing from the time of the reconstruction. Two attractive new stain glass windows portraying the theme “Women in the history of salvation” were added in 1992. The interior, in which the Romanesque part and the Gothic  in the 1950s, received a uniform color scheme in 1999/2000 based on color findings from the 15C. From 2005 to November 2007 the choir was restored, on the outside of which the Gothic ornamentation and the masonry had shown major damage. Parts of the building plastic had to be replaced. From March to September 2007 the church organ was overhauled and rebuilt. Since 1999 the Catholic parishes of Liebfrauen (Notre Dame) and Herz-Jesu (Jesuists) have formed a parish community and have a common pastor. In 2005 the parish of St. Kastor was added to this community.

Koblenz

Koblenz

The tourist office of Koblenz on the Notre Dame Church in English: Tourist office of Koblenz on the Notre Dame Church

And now I feel better telling you about Koblenz and the Notre Dame Church. Hope you have enjoyed the ride and do visit it is worth it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 19, 2020

Prussian President building at Koblenz

Again back to neighbor Germany and one of our road warrior vacation rides. Actually I have to admit, Koblenz was not planned at all. We were in the Saar by Trier and very much enjoyed the area. However, one day we were thinking where to go next and looking at the map and reading about it in my previous life in travel forums decided to pay a visit. It was a pleasant surprise and we like; several posts on Koblenz in my blog now.

However, as by now routine by just get the general ideas on a post and looking back realise many were not told in details as they should; therefore, this is my offering of the Prussian President building in Koblenz; old history that is worth learn for the future.

Koblenz

We arrive by car from Trier on the 602 ,then 1, B48 and finally the 9 roads or about 3 hrs. We entered the city and park at the Schaengel Center underground, nice and all around you to walk . The parking is here in German: Schaengel Center parking Koblenz

First, a bit of historical perspective I like on all my travels

The Rhine Province also known as Rhenish Prussia or synonymous with the Rhineland was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822 to 1946. Its capital was Koblenz . In 1946, the Rhine Province was divided up between the newly founded states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Rhine Province was bounded on the north by the Netherlands, on the east by the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and Hesse-Nassau, and the grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, on the southeast by the Palatinate (a district of the Kingdom of Bavaria), on the south and southwest by Lorraine (France), and on the west by Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.   The characteristic mélange of the Rhineland’s cheerfulness, French lifestyle and Prussian virtue gives the city its distinctive flair that inspires visitors again and again.

And we saw the former Prussian President building along the Rhine river. Built in the neo-romantic style from 1902 to 1906, the building was the seat of the former Prussian government for the Rhine province region and the main control office located in Koblenz.

Kaiser Wilhelm II personally made changes to the plans for the towers and roofs in order to make a connection to the Staufer period. The result was a 158-meters long Wilhelmine neo-romantic style complex with two internal courtyards with side wings, which even today characterises the image of the Rhine front.  The city was granted to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. King Frederic William III immediately rebuilt the city’s fortifications and the citadel of Ehrenbreitstein, making of Koblenz one of the most fortified military stronghold in Europe. In 1822, Koblenz was made the capital of the Prussian Rhine province.

Today, the former Prussian government building is home to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). The Koblenz High Regional Court has been housed in the southern part since 1993.

Koblenz

Its a wonderful sight if you like me looks for architectural lines and historical monuments everywhere I visit rather than just a picture. A couple webpages to help you plan your trip here and its worth it are

The tourist office of Koblenz on the Prussian building in English: Tourist office of Koblenz on the Former Prussian President building

The tourist office of Germany on things to see in Koblenz in English: Tourist office of Germany on Koblenz

And there you go a nice ride up to Koblenz and a nice surprise for all of us. Definitively a place to come back to. Hope you enjoy the ride to the Former Prussian President building.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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