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Sélestat (Selestat)

Sélestat (Selestat) is a beautiful and interesting town of Alsace, which is considered the cultural capital of this picturesque region. There are so many attractions that it can rightly be called a Museum under the open sky. Half-timbered houses, Renaissance mansions, medieval towers and churches with beautiful interior.

One of the main attractions of Celeste’s is a Catholic parish St. George’s Church (Église Saint-Georges de Sélestat). The building combines the Gothic style (the main style of the building), flamboyant Gothic, and the late-Roman Baroque style. The Basilica was created over three centuries from 1220 to 1490 years. Since 1848, it received the status of a historical monument of France.

The Church was built out of traditional religious structures Alsatian Vosges Sandstone with blocks of gray granite. The temple has the shape of a Latin cross. Overall length – 64,85 m, width — 18,7 m, height of the nave is 20 m. the Building is declared a monument of architecture.

Above the Western façade stands steady sixty tower in flamboyant Gothic style, the construction of which was completed at the end of the XV century.

The apse of the Church has spruced up the roof, covered with polychrome glazed tiles shaped like fish scales. It is assumed that it appeared after traveling the architect of the Church in Europe. The technique used to generate such a polychromatic roofs was invented by the Flemings, and patterned tile floors have gained wide popularity in the fourteenth century, especially in Burgundy.

The main treasure of the Church is stained glass Windows, Dating from the XV century. Most of them are located in the chancel. Total occupied area is over 200 square meters.

Stained glass window of St. Helena and Constantine, dedicated to the Roman Emperor, who ruled 306-337 years, and his mother. The stained glass depicts scenes leading up to the adoption by Constantine of Christianity.

The clergy of the Church put special plates, indicating the ancient stained glass Windows. After all, not everyone who enters the Church, are specialists, able to immediately understand the nature of the works. So taking care of us.

Stained glass window of the virgin Mary – modern, developed in 1966. This is the Central stained glass of the chancel. It depicts the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Marriage at Cana, the Crucifixion, the descent from the cross, the descent of the Holy spirit, assumption, Coronation of the virgin.

The main part of the room bathed in soft purple light, giving it an interesting experience, especially when looking at the sculpture. In the dim light they come alive.

A stone throne with a bas-relief of the “Good Shepherd”. Installed in the temple in 2006.

For a better safety of 3 sculptures of the Church Fathers was removed from the pulpit and placed behind bars.

The Church of St. Fe – next in importance to the temple of Celeste. The large structure in the Romanesque style with massive towers. It was erected in the second half of the twelfth century as a monastery Church of the Benedictine nuns.

It is believed that there settled the monks from the French village of Conques – one of the most important stops on the pilgrims ‘ way of St. James, the Church where the relics of the Holy Fe Agen. These Benedictine moved to Celeste and established a community.

Fe Agen is a Martyr and Catholic Saint. Born in the French city of Agen and belonged to a rich Gallo-Roman name. In 13 years for the loyalty of his faith was beheaded in the year 303, along with his sister Alberta and other Christians who lived in Agen.

In 1615, the temple passed into the hands of the Jesuits, which did not suit his shyness, and they start rebuilding in the fashionable Baroque style. Octagonal 43-meter tower remained in its previous form, and is now recognized as a masterpiece of Romanesque art in Alsace.

Interesting main portal of the Church with frescoes. Special features are installed on the sides of the tiny Atlanta in a strange position.

At the entrance is made of 3 decorative blind arches, decorated with twisted ornaments.

The portal is decorated with statues of two lions (copies of the XIX century, the original given to the Museum), has a symbolic meaning. The lions depicted on the coat of arms of Hohenstaufen, the founders of the Benedictine monastery and patrons of the Celeste.

On the South side of the Church stands a Baroque statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, crushing the heretic. Created sculpture in 1491-1556 years. Hands are not completely preserved.

Nearby is a statue of the Czech Martyr, John of Nepomuk a Saint with palm branch and crucifix. Made in the XVIII century.

In the interior of the main decoration is the only one left here from the period of the Jesuits the work of art is the pulpit, dedicated to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, designed in the Baroque style.

Francis Xavier was one of the founders of the Jesuit order and earned fame as one of the most successful missionaries of Christianity.

The Department was established in 1733 by an unknown sculptor. Tribune and stairs adorned with bas-reliefs with the most important stories of the missionary work of Francis Xavier in the East Indies.

He heals the demon-possessed, the book Presents the gospel to the chief of the tribe, Preaching in front of the natives, Conducts the baptism, Teaches the local population to Extinguish the fire, As the Good Shepherd carries on his shoulders one of them baptized.

The Church has two organs.

Main, mechanical organ installed above the entrance and is in a neo-Gothic oak case, adorned with pinnacles and with statues of angels. Established in 1892. Has 24 registers, 2 manuals and pedal. Now the body is not suitable for use as historical lost the remote and replaced his electronic instrument does not fit. When worship is used the second organ of 1880.

Unlike the Church of Saint George in the Church of Santa Fe, almost no stained glass, they were removed by the Jesuits in 1680, to make the Church lighter. Available created in the XIX century, in the Strasbourg workshop Ott de Strasbourg.

The stained glass depicts the patron Saint of Alsace, Saint Odile, Pope Leo IX and the Holy patrons of the Benedictine order.

There is a legend that the Church of St. Fe is built on the desire of the Duchess of Hildegarde, great-grandmother of king Frederick Barbarossa, in the hope of begging forgiveness for the sin of killing the nephew of Pope Leo IX, made by her sons Otto and Friedrich. In repentance, they made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

A huge building from the Vosges Sandstone, which occupies more than half of a small street, is the primary school. The building was built in 1885 and is now recognized as an architectural monument. Its North-West corner is decorated with a bas-relief of the coat of arms of the city of sélestat.

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