Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stiftskirche, Stuttgart

On the Schillerplatz is a Protestant church dedicated to the Holy Cross, a collegiate church of stiftskirche as the locals say. This 15th-century church includes some of the walls from the pre-Gothic church it replaced. The church was substantially damage during World War II but still retains much of the early decorations. The style has been altered to a more modern aesthetic, the blending of old and new is not as smooth as one would want.

The exterior is quite impressive still. The west tower (with the clock) was completed in 1531 at a height of 61 meters.

Stiftskirche, Stuttgart

View from the Schillerplatz with J

A small balcony on the side of the church above the Apostles' Gate

Christ and His twelve apostles surround a small balcony. The figures are from 1494 but had been moved after World War II when the south wall was rebuilt.

Moving inside the church, the nave is open and airy and very modern looking with occasional bits thrown in from the history of the church.


Main altar and pulpit

Angel on the pulpit column

The altar, though it looks primitive, was built and installed in 2003. An angel of justice looking on from the pulpit column dates from 1957. He seems like he's ready to blow his horn if anything goes wrong.

Of course the real guardian of what comes from the pulpit is Johannes Brenz (1499-1570), buried in the church and memorialized by this epitaph.
Epitaph of Johannes Brenz

He was an early Reformer who studied in Heidelberg where he met Martin Luther. He was persuaded by Luther's teaching and had a successful career as a Protestant preacher and theologian. It's said he was laid to rest next to the pulpit so he could leap up and correct any deviations from Bible teachings.

Some of the other wall decorations come from the original choir screen, as this montage from the gospel infancy narratives.

Nativity, Visit of the Wise Men, Presentation in the Temple

Annunciation, Meeting of the two pregnant women (Mary and Elizabeth)

The high altar in the front has some fantastic stained glass dating from the period immediately after World War II.

Choir with sculpture of Wurtemburgs

Front pulpit with carving

The carving next to the pulpit is the tombstone of chancellor and collegiate provost Ludwig Vergenhans, who helped to found the University of Tubingen in 1477. He died in 1512.

The statues of the various counts of Wurtemberg dates from the late 1500s and represents all of the counts buried in this church. The statues have armor accurate to their period.

Counts of Wurtemberg

Closer detail

Another tomb in the church is a table tomb of Count Albrecht of Hohenlohe who died in 1575 during a tournament accident.

Table tomb of Albrecht of Hohenlohe

To the right of the central altar is the Founders' Chapel, where Count Ulrich and his second wife Agnes are buried. They died in 1265. Their tomb survived the ravages of time and wars and this is the oldest gravestone in the church.

Tomb of Count Ulrich and Agnes, 1265

Wathcing over them is a Renaissance-era memorial to house steward Hans Herter von Hertneck, who was a church advocate in Sulz.

Tomb of Hans Herter von Herneck

By the entrance to the church are two pillars installed after World War II to stabilize the clock tower. Two 18th century sculptures were added, the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel.



Above them is the organ.

Church Organ

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