Jesuit Church, Molsheim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jesuit Church, Molsheim
Église paroissiale Sainte-Trinité-et-Saint-Georges
Église des Jésuites
Eglise des jésuites.jpg
Location Molsheim
Country France
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1614 (1614)
Heritage designation Monument historique
Designated 1939
Architect(s) Christoph Wamser
Style Gothic Revival
Completed 1618
Length 61.5 m (202 ft)
Width 21.5 m (71 ft)
Height 45 m (148 ft)

The former Jesuit Church (Église des Jésuites) is the parish church Sainte-Trinité-et-Saint-Georges which is the main Roman Catholic sanctuary of Molsheim, France, and the principal 17th-century church building in the Rhine Valley.[1] The church was built between 1615 and 1617 by the German architect Christoph Wamser, and consecrated on 26 August 1618.[2] Molsheim's Jesuit church is considered one of the foremost examples of Gothic Survival architecture or, as it is called in German, Nachgotik (posterior Gothic). It is listed as a Monument historique since 1939 by the French Ministry of Culture.[3]

Molsheim's Jesuit College was founded in 1580 and dissolved in 1765. It served as Alsace's main university between 1618 and 1704, preceding the Lutheran Strasbourg University in importance. The church's construction was funded by the bishop of Strasbourg, Archduke Leopold V of Austria, who made a donation on his name saint's day, 15 November 1614. Although a chapel inside is dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola, the church was dedicated from the start to the Holy Trinity (Heilige Dreifaltigkeit).[2][4] It became the parish church of Molsheim and was dedicated to Saint-George in 1791, after the demolition of the city's former parish church, the previous Église Saint-Georges, on what is now the town's current market square (Place du marché).[5][6]

The church's dimensions are considerable, especially in relation to the small size of the town: 61.5 m (202 ft) long and 21.5 m (71 ft) wide, the nave 20 m (66 ft) high, the choir measuring 19.5 m (64 ft) by 11 m (36 ft), the spire 45 m (148 ft) high.[2][4]

Among the many features inside the richly ornate building, the Baroque Saint Ignatius' Chapel (1621–1630) in the north transept and the Rococo Our Lady's Chapel (1748) in the south transept stand out as the most visually striking. Another pride of the church are the 1781 pipe organ by Johann Andreas Silbermann and the monumental Late Gothic cross (1480), 4.5 m (15 ft) high and 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) wide, from the former Carthusian monastery of the town.[4][7]


Coordinates: 48°32′25″N 7°29′45″E / 48.54028°N 7.49583°E / 48.54028; 7.49583