St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden
St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, is the central Catholic parish and church in the capital of Hesse. The present building was designed by architect Philipp Hoffmann in Gothic Revival style and built from 1844 to 1849. Twin steeples of 68 m dominate the Luisenplatz. The parish is part of the Diocese of Limburg.
The first church St. Bonifatius
As Wiesbaden was Protestant after the Reformation, the first Catholic parish after the Reformation was founded in 1800. The congregation first met in a Bethaus (oratory) in the Marktstraße. It soon became too small for the growing number of Catholics in the town, which prospered as a spa and Residenz of Nassau. The parish received grounds adjacent to the Luisenplatz from the Duke of Nassau, and from 1829 to 1831 Friedrich Ludwig Schrumpf built a rigidly Neoclassical church, in keeping with the buildings around the square. Soon after the building was completed, it collapsed on 11 February 1831. A likely reason is insufficient foundation on ground which had previously been ponds.
The second church St. Bonifatius
On 24 May 1843, the young Philipp Hoffmann received the commission to build a church. He had already participated in building the town castle. His design is reminiscent of Gothic architecture, but also includes elements of Romanesque architecture and naturalistic ornaments to be found later in the Jugendstil. The foundation was laid on the day of the patron saint St. Bonifatius, on 5 June 1845. The interior was consecrated by the Bishop of Limburg Peter Josef Blum on 19 June 1849. A rib vault is supported by 22 columns. The facade was completed in 1856, the towers in 1866.
In World War II the church suffered severe damage. An air raid on 2 February 1945 destroyed all the windows, the roof and part of the vault. The repair was performed until 1949, replacing the vault by a simple construction. The vault was restored in a general restoration in 1965, which also acknowledged the changes of the Second Vatican Council. A new altar by Elmar Hillebrand was added in 1967. The new windows are stained glass in mainly white, red and blue, designed by Johannes Beeck. Sculptor Karl Hoffmann created a crucifixion scene and a sculpture of both St. Francis and Teresa of Ávila.
An organ was built in 1954 by Romanus Seifert & Sohn. In 1985 the instrument was expanded by Hugo Mayer, in 1995 three electronic bass stops were added. Since 1981 the Kantor has been Gabriel Dessauer. He is the conductor of the 120-member Chor von St. Bonifatius, founded in 1862, the children's choir Kinderchor von St. Bonifatius, and of the Schola for Gregorian chant. The church choir sings at services, including regular orchestral masses of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert for Christmas and Easter. Every year, typically on 3 October, a choral concert is performed. Choral and organ concerts around a theme have been presented once a year, called Boni-Musikwochen, including concerts of organists such as Kent Tritle and Ignace Michiels, as well as of the project choir Reger-Chor.
The misters of St. Bonifatius were at the same time Stadtdekan (dean) of Wiesbaden, including:
- Joseph Weyland (1863–1887)
- Antonius Hilfrich (1927–1930)
- Georg Rompel (1954–1968)
- Werner Bardenhewer (1974–1996)
- Ernst-Ewald Roth (1996-2006)
- Johannes zu Eltz (2006–2010)
- Wolfgang Rösch (2010–2013)
- from 2014: NN
- Detlef Gottwald (2008). "Kirche St. Bonifatius" (in German). Wiesbaden. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Gottfried Kiesow: Das verkannte Jahrhundert. Der Historismus am Beispiel Wiesbaden, Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz, 2005, ISBN 3-936942-53-6, p. 128 (in German)
- "Historicism / Bonifatiuskirche". Wiesbaden. 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.