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Here is a true little Gothic cathedral. The beautiful Collegiate Church of St. Florentius (built between the 13th and 14th centuries) has been an important place of pilgrimage since 810. It houses the relics of St. Florentius, former Bishop of Strasbourg during the last third of the 6th century, who succeeded St. Arbogast and preceded St. Ansoald to the Episcopal See of Strasbourg.
• The majestic façade.
• The refined portal with its magnificent tympanum, illustrating the tale of St. Florentius (1310).
• The gargoyles, symbolizing the diseases people came to seek St. Florentius' protection against.
• The choir and the apse are the most ancient part of the collegiate church (1274-1487).
• The set of stained glass windows of the side aisles (14th century), remarkable because of their sheer beauty and the meticulous craftsmanship that went into them, is above all one of the only original sets of windows still standing. They depict the teachings of the Bible and the life of the Saints.
• The stained glass windows in the nave are the oldest of the edifice, they probably come from the 13th century.
• The rose window: magnificent work from the 14th century, with its 4m (13ft) wide curvilinear six-lobe shape.
• The chapel of the Virgin Mary, at the right side of the choir, was built in 1344 during the Episcopate of Bechtold de Bucheck and originally dedicated to the Holy Cross. It contains a very rare artifact: a massive Holy Sepulcher from the late 14th century. Still in its original condition, it remains unscathed; it has been very well preserved and has not been altered too much. This Sepulcher, along with the one in Haguenau, is the only one still in one piece and displayed in a church in Alsace. In the collegiate church can also be found the gravestone of Gerlach, son of the famous master architect behind the Cathedral of Strasbourg: Erwin de Steinbach, who fell from scaffolding in 1330. This was during reconstruction work, after a fire devastated an important part of the former church in 1287. The 14th century nave and West façade (up to where the rose window is located) are his work too.
• The choir, with its golden St. Florentius statue standing in a niche.
• The gilded copper shrine (1716) containing the relics of St. Florentius was built by Jacques Fajard in 1716 and renovated in 1857 by Auguste Laroche. Inside the shrine is the grave of Bishop Rachio (recumbent figure from the 14th century), who supervised the transfer of the relics from Strasbourg to Haslach.
• The canonry choir: complete with stalls, a lectern and masterfully crafted panels made by Dominique Stoll from Rosheim (1691).
• The chandelier of Our lady of Light (1904), a copy of a 14th century effigy of the Virgin Mary. "The Lord shall be their eternal light; their God shall be their beauty."
• The octagonal baptistery, in the church lobby (13th century).
In the 19th century, the inner sanctum has had substantial work done, undertaken by the architect of Historical Monuments, Emile Boeswillwald.
On the Summer Solstice:
Because of a 30° orientation, on St. John the Baptist's Day (the day of the summer solstice), the sunrise has been shining through the 13th century stained glass windows in the apse for the last 600 years. Even in the absence of sun, this peculiar occurrence will make the characters and colors stand out in the dark.
Groups can book a guided tour at the Tourist Office all year long (entrance fee)
- Altitude : 248m
- Nearest train station : 5 km - Urmatt
- Type of visits proposed : Free visit, Guided tour for groups with reservation
- Languages spoken : German
- Effectif groupe : Mini, Maxi