Bypass Repeated Content

Unique insights into a monastery church and school

Alpirsbach Monastery

Choir stalls in the church at Alpirsbach Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Rose Hajdu
SEATING FOR MONKS

LATE GOTHIC

CHOIR STALLS

The monastery church was originally outfitted with exquisite wall hangings and furniture, colorful frescoes and valuable religious paraphernalia. Much of it has either been lost or survives only in fragments. The best example: the magnificent choir stalls.

Detail of the choir stalls at Alpirsbach Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Rose Hajdu

Skillfully worked.

ASSEMBLED IN THE CROSSING

The late Gothic choir stalls have only survived in part, which is why their original size cannot be determined with certainty. At one point, they would have had to have accommodated as many monks as resided at the monastery. Earlier, they would have been located in the crossing of the monastery church, near the choir. In the 19th century, they were moved to the south nave, as shown in black and white photographs. Today, they are located on the second story of the south wing of the conclave.

THE ORIGINAL APPEARANCE REMAINS A MYSTERY

Not only the size, but also the appearance remains a mystery. Old black and white photographs show a three-stepped structure. Only two rows of pews remain today. The rear wall of the back row has extensive filigreed tracery canopies that are partially painted. The external sides, or stall cheeks, are adorned with magnificently carved reliefs of St. Vitus and St. Jerome.

COMPLETED ON THE FEAST OF ST. MARTIN, 1493

An inscription states that the Alpirsbach choir stalls were completed on the Feast of St. Martin in 1493. The master artist has immortalized himself with a signature: H.M. However, who this is remains a mystery. The quality of the work indicates that the artist had a studio in one of the larger cities in southwest Germany.

EVIDENCE OF THE FINAL BLOOM

The late Gothic choir stalls were created during Alpirsbach Monastery's last great bloom. This period saw large-scale alterations and a refurnishing of the monastery church; of these, only the altar of St. Mary and the choir stalls remain today. The choir stalls were commissioned by Abbot Hieronymus Hulzing, which may also be the reason why St. Jerome (also St. Hieronymus)—the abbot's namesake—is depicted on one of the stall cheeks.

Mehr erfahren

Art & spaces

Please select a maximum of 5 keywords.