Old Saint Peter's Church, Strasbourg

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Façade of Catholic church
Entrance to Protestant church

The Church of Old Saint Peters (French: Église Saint-Pierre le Vieux) is a by simultaneum Catholic and Lutheran church building in Strasbourg, Alsace is first mentioned in 1130.[1]

In the Middle Ages it was one of Diocese of Strasbourg's nine parish churches.

On 22 May 1398 the Chapter of the Abbey of Honau, which had been in Rhinau since 1290, moved to Old St Peter's because of flooding in Rhinau; the Chapter stayed there until 1529, conducting its services in the choir, while the parish occupied the nave. When the Catholic rite was restored in 1683, the Chapter returned to the Church and stayed there until 1790, when it was wound up. [2] [3]

On 20 February 1529, when Strasbourg openly joined the Reformation and suspended the practice of the mass, the Church became Lutheran. [4] Martin Bucer and the other Strasbourg reformers had campaigned for several years to have Protestant services in all of Strasbourg's churches, but in 1525 the city council had voted to retain the mass in several churches, including Old St Peter's.

In 1535, in the context of the Reform, a Latin school, or 'Middle school' was opened at Old Saint Peters.[5]

In 1683, two years after the annexation of Strasbourg by France, Louis XIV ordered that part of the Church be returned to the Catholics and that a wall be constructed inside the church by the rood screen, to restrict the Protestant services to the Nave, it was not until 2012 that a door was opened in this dividing wall.[6]

In the 19th century, the Catholic part of the Church was extended; the extension was designed by the architect Conrath and opened in 1867. The 1762 pipe organ of the Catholic part was moved to the Church of Saint Maurice in Soultz-les-Bains in 1865.

The Catholic Church contains relics of Brigit of Kildare as well as a number of important works of art classified as Monuments historiques such as the "Passion of Christ", a series of ten Gothic paintings by Heinrich (or Henri) Lutzelmann (1485),[7] the "Scenes from the Life of St Peter" an (incomplete) series of four wooden early Renaissance or late Gothic reliefs made around 1500[8] and a series of four 1504 paintings depicting "Scenes of the Life of Christ after the Resurrection".[9]

The Lutheran part of the church, presently owned and used by a congregation within the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine, also features some notable works of art, among which the wooden Renaissance relief "Holy Family" (1520s) by Hans Wydyz, classified as a Monument historique.[10]


External links[edit]

Media related to Églises St Pierre le Vieux (Strasbourg) at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ 10 place Saint Pierre Le Vieux. Archi-Strasbourg. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
  2. ^ Théodore-François-Xavier Hunkler (1837). Histoire des saints d’Alsace. Levrault. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  3. ^ Théodore-François-Xavier Hunkler (1837). Chapitre de la collégiale Saint-Pierre-le-Vieux. Strasbourg. Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  4. ^ Martin Greschat (2004). Martin Bucer: A Reformer and His Times. Westminster John Knox Press. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  5. ^ René Bornert (1981). La réforme protestante du culte à Strasbourg au XVIe siècle: (1523-1598). Approche sociologique et interprétation théologique. Brill Archive. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  6. ^ Etats généraux du christianisme : la porte de l'oecuménisme s'est ouverte à Strasbourg. La Vie. 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
  7. ^ Cycle de la Passion du Christ on the Palissy database of the French Ministry of Culture ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  8. ^ Scènes de la vie de Saint-Pierre on the Palissy database of the French Ministry of Culture ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  9. ^ Scènes de la vie du Christ après la Résurrection on the Palissy database of the French Ministry of Culture ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  10. ^ La Sainte Parenté on the Palissy database of the French Ministry of Culture ‹See Tfd›(in French)

Coordinates: 48°34′58″N 7°44′24″E / 48.58278°N 7.74000°E / 48.58278; 7.74000