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date: 15 November 2019

Schwäbisch Gmünd, Cathedral of the Holy Crosslocked

  • Verena Beaucamp
  •  and Heribert Meurer

Extract

Former parish church (cathedral since 1926) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and one of the most significant and innovative 14th-century buildings in south Germany.

Verena Beaucamp

Formerly with a second dedication to Our Lady, Holy Cross is thought to be the oldest Hall church in south Germany. It was owned by Lorsch Abbey until 1297, when it and the Johanneskirche, Gmünd, were ceded to Augsburg Cathedral. A new building was planned from the early 14th century after the relic of the Cross belonging to the Johanneskirche passed to the parish church. With Schwäbisch Gmünd then at the height of its importance, Holy Cross is a grandiloquent statement of civic pride.

As most of the archives were destroyed in the 19th century, the building history has to be reconstructed from the structure itself. The Romanesque predecessor to the present building dated from the second half of the 12th century. It was an aisled basilica, probably with eight bays and without transepts; the aisles ended in apses, and the square choir may also have had an apse. Flanking towers replaced the side aisles ...

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