Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, or Cathédrale de Strasbourg, German: Liebfrauenmünster zu Straßburg or Straßburger Münster), also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strasbourg_Cathedral
Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, or Cathédrale de Strasbourg, German: Liebfrauenmünster zu Straßburg or Straßburger Münster), also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
Strasbourg Cathedral. Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame is known as one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Cathedral stands on the exact site of a roman temple built on a little hill above the muddy ground. The first version of the church was starting to be built during 1015 by proposal of Bishop Werner von Habsburg, but ...
Strasbourg cathedral is an outstanding masterpiece of Gothic art. The construction of the Romanesque cathedral, of which only the crypt and the footprint remain, began in 1015. The spire of the current building, in a Gothic style, was completed in 1439.
- Place de la cathédrale, Strasbourg, 67000
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One of France's most stunning examples of late Gothic architecture, Strasbourg Cathedral towers over the Northern city's skyline with dramatic, imposing details. Rising to 466 feet (142 meters), this is the world's sixth-tallest place of worship— until the late 19th century it was taller than any other building in the world. the Notre Dame de Strasbourg is widely considered a medieval ...
- Later years
Attracting around 4 million visitors each year, Strasbourg Cathedral is the second most-visited cathedral in France after Notre-Dame de Paris, and well before those of Metz, Reims and Chartres. In 1839, Victor Hugo declared that the cathedral was a gigantic and delicate marvel.
Recognisable from afar thanks to its atypical allure, the Cathedral of Strasbourg is the undisputed emblem of the city, and at times of the whole of Alsace. Whether you take the autoroute from Paris or Mulhouse, its silhouette with the single bell tower surmounted by a spire is visible from afar, heralding the next on-ramp to the Alsatian capital. Its 142 metre-high spire was the highest monument in the world from 1647 until 1874, and its height makes it the second-tallest cathedral in France after that of Rouen. It is a masterpiece of grace and lightness.
Construction of the current cathedral began at the end of the 12th century, by the Bishop of Strasbourg, Henry of Hasenburg. With the cathedral in Basle having been completed, the new one in Strasbourg was to be even more glorious. The work was spread out over 3 centuries and was completed in 1439. The cathedrals unusual silhouette is due to several changes of plan in the history of its construction.
At first glance, the architectural contrast between the chancel and the façade is clearly visible. Indeed, construction began by the chancel and the north transept in Romanesque style. With the arrival in 1225 of the team of a new foreman who was familiar with Chartres and Burgundy, it was decided to continue the works in the innovative gothic style of the time. As such, this style which was already well-established in Ile de France made its appearance in Alsace. The architect of the Cathedral of Strasbourg built the most modern building of his time in the Holy Roman Empire and its forms were largely inspired by the Saint Denis Basilica, which was then a new reference during the 13th century. The nave, for example, not only followed the Ile de Frances own gothic style (French Gothic), but dared to go even further by adopting the most popular trends of gothic style in France. Unlike in other buildings in Germany, the builders of the Cathedral of Strasbourg did not include architectural elements particular to the region. This was also the case for the magnificent façade, the construction of which was undertaken shortly after the completion of the nave. Here you will find a decoration that is also present on the façade of the Cathedral of Troyes, the harp strings, which were particularly well-represented in Strasbourg. The tympana of its three doors, surmounted by a double gable, are dedicated to the life of Christ. This is the façades most richly decorated portal. The statues of the prophets of the Old Testament are represented here in the five arches of the portal. These characters are supposed to be the link between ancient and modern times and, as such, are guarantors of the accurate unfolding of history. The arches of the north portal are decorated with majestic and graceful 14th century statues representing the virtues and striking down the vices and, around the tympanum, by angels and other biblical characters. The subject of the register of the tympanum is the Childhood of Christ (his birth, fleeing to Egypt, and Presentation at the Temple). Project B is modelled on the façade of the Cathedral of Troyes (2 towers, 3 portals and a second storey with a central rose) and finished by clearly surpassing it in the new and opulent elaboration of gothic forms. The original plan of its façade by Edwin von Steinbach consisted of only two storeys and two spire-topped towers. The south lateral portal of the transept is one of the oldest visible parts of Romanesque style in the cathedral. It is flanked by three statues representing from left to right: the Church (majestic and crowned), King Solomon (above two other small statues of children evoking his famous judgement), and the Synagogue (eyes blindfolded, a sign of the refusal of true faith by the Jewish religion). As for the two Romanesque tympana, they depict the Dormition and the Crowning of the Virgin. The portal of the north transept, of late Flemish gothic style, is more recent than the south portal. Carried out by Johannes of Aachen, it is dedicated to St Laurent and recounts his martyrdom. The reduced dimensions of the chancel and the 63 metre length of the nave (among the longest in France) accentuate the impression of disproportion. The nave extends over 7 spans and rises up over three storeys (large arcades, triforium and high windows). At 32 metres high and 36 metres wide (including collaterals), it is built in radiant gothic style. It is in this nave that the marriage of King Louis XV with Marie Leszcynska was celebrated on 4 September, 1725. The cathedrals interior contains a rich collection of stained glass windows (more than 4,600 panels), most of which date from the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.
If the French brought their influence to gothic art (red and blue stained glass windows), the Germanic world knew how to impose its ideas (stained glass windows including the colour green).
In the four historiated registers you can read scenes from the Old and New Testament, with the Passion of Christ as the central theme at the centre of the collection, and a statue of the Virgin With Child personifies Universal Wisdom (Sophia of the Greeks), the axis around which everything is ordered. Another statue of the Virgin is located above the tympanum, which itself is surmounted by a statue of Christ, King and Judge, whose throne is surrounded by musical lions.
This illustrates the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. Five Wise Virgins each carry a lamp and the open Table of Law and beside them is the ideal husband. As for the five Foolish Virgins, they are holding their lamps upside down, clutching the Tablet of Law closed and beside them is the Tempter holding the apple of temptation and with reptiles on his back. From a logical standpoint, the register of the tympanum depicts the Last Judgement.
The cathedrals single bell tower and its magnificent spire have symbolised the city of Strasbourg for several centuries. As mentioned above, the spire extends to 142 metres in height and still remains Europes tallest medieval structure, because even though the height of the cathedrals of Cologne (157m) and Ulm (161m) in Germany, and that of Rouen (151m) in France exceed the record held by Strasbourg from 1647 to 1874, the construction of their towers only dates back to the 19th century. The stained glass windows of the triforium represent the ancestors of Christ following the genealogy of the Gospel of Luke. Those of the south lateral nave (to the right, coming from below) are in bad condition and illustrate episodes of the New Testament of the life of Virgin Mary and of Christ.
In comparison, the towers of Notre-Dame in Paris reach 69m and the spire of the crossing of the transept, built by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century stands at 96m high.
There were several project plans, of which 4 diagrams A, B, C and D were worked on by the cathedrals famous architect, Erwin von Steinbach.
Master Gerlach continued the works between 1355 and 1365 and completed the third level of the bell tower. However, the anticipated edification of the spires was abandoned, for several reasons. In 1356, the city of Basle and the Sundgau (South of Alsace) were destroyed by an earthquake, which may have reduced the builders and some traumatised inhabitants enthusiasm for the project. Whats more, the Great Plague of 1349 caused enormous human loss and financial difficulties for the city.
So in 1365, the cathedrals silhouette strangely resembled that of Notre-Dame in Paris, and its towers, at a height of 66 metres, were 3 metres shorter. Towards 1383, following Gerlachs death, his successor Michael of Fribourg decided to fill in the space between the towers. The Chief Magistrate of Strasbourg did not like the cathedrals new silhouette, entrusting Ulrich of Ensingen with the task of erecting an octagonal-shaped 34 metre high bell tower at the base of the North Tower. The tower strangely resembled that of the Cathedral of Ulm in Germany (the tallest in the world), which the architect had also worked on. The newly bell tower-topped cathedral now reached a height of 100 metres.
Ulrich of Ensingen had planned to cap the tower with a relatively simple spire. But Johannes Hültz of Cologne, resuming the task of the works, completely changed the project and created a very complex and graceful spire.
The second platform is that of the large tower, at a height of 100 metres. It marks the end of the tower and the start of the spire.
As for the largest clock in Strasbourg the Great Bell it is not located in the tower but rather above the Great Rose Window. The Totenglocke (its name in German which means the clock of the dead) was cast in 1427 by master craftsman Hans Gremp of Strasbourg and weighs close to 9 tonnes. In 1982, the famous clock was listed as a historical monument object. At the crossing of the transept, the Romanesque-style lantern tower dates back to 1878 and is the work of Gustave Klotz. Severely damaged during the Second World War, its forms evokes other great Romanesque cathedrals of the Rhineland such as Speyer or Mainz. The interior of Strasbourg cathedral is majestic, with its beautifully-proportioned nave, respectful of gothic commonly known as classic style. At 32 metres in height, it is taller than that of Rouen (28m) but remains well below that of Metz (41.4m).
This portal acquired its nickname of Judgement Door in part thanks to the representation of Solomon, but also because it was in this place that the Bishop of Strasbourg held his tribunal. The very popular and henceforth famous Marché de Noël (Christmas Market) originally took place in this location.
- 4 min
Jan 27, 2017 · Strasbourg Cathedral is over one thousand years old. Construction of the original, on the exact site of a Roman temple, was initiated in 1015 but later destroyed by a fire. The second wave of construction started in the 12th century, when the Gothic style of architecture had started to develop.
- Sylvia Edwards Davis
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