St. Vitus Basilica (Ellwangen)

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The St. Vitus Basilica in Ellwangen
Interior of the basilica facing east

The St. Vitus Basilica (former collegiate church St. Vitus ) Ellwangen is a late Romanesque vault building from the 13th century. This sacred building, which shapes the cityscape, has served as a Catholic parish church for the core town of Ellwangen since secularization .


Saint Hariolf with the collegiate church

According to tradition, the Ellwangen settlement was founded by the bishop of Langres , Hariolf , and his brother Erlolf in 764 when a monastery was built in the Virngrund forest. The first monks probably came from St. Bénigne in Dijon, and from there the relics of St. Benignus, St. Triplets and St. Leonilla, Junilla, Neon and Turbon were brought to Ellwangen. Due to the favorable location of the newly founded settlement on two trunk roads and thanks to the influence of the two founders, Ellwangen quickly developed into an important center. The church building that characterizes the city center today is the third one at this point and was built between 1182 and 1233. The St. Vitus basilica is the most important Romanesque vaulted basilica in Swabia.

If you visit Ellwangen today, you can see the three Romanesque towers of the St. Vitus Basilica from afar. Two of these towers rise m high up on the east side 42, a further decorated as a roof turret minor the west side of the 73 m long basilica. Together with the market square , which is directly adjacent to the church , the collegiate church represents the center of the town of Ellwangen. The church is surrounded by numerous historical buildings. These include the baroque canons' houses, aristocratic palaces and official buildings of the prince-provost of Ellwangen that border the market square in a semicircle . The now Protestant Jesuit Church is directly connected to the north-west facade of the St. Vitus Basilica .


Foundation of the Ellwangen Monastery

Main article: Ellwangen Monastery

Historical view of the Basilica of St. Vitus (around 1849)

The St. Vitus Basilica was originally built as a collegiate church for the Ellwangen Monastery . The first monks presumably came from Burgundy and the two founders of Ellwangen furnished the newly founded Benedictine abbey richly with relics , which at that time were very attractive to pilgrims. In addition to the relics of the 16 collegiate saints, the church can still call the relics of Sulpitius and Servilianus (the patrons of the early monastery church) its own. The monastery was first mentioned on April 8, 814 in a document from Emperor Ludwig the Pious. Since 817 the monastery belonged to the imperial abbeys. Emperor Charlemagne assigned the monastery the upper Jagst valley as a sphere of interest. In addition, it received important posts in Gunzenhausen, Schriesheim (near Heidelberg) and Katzwang (near Nuremberg) as well as goods on the Blaubeurener Alb in the first years of existence.

12th and 13th centuries

In the 12th century there was a desire for a collegiate church appropriate to the position of the monastery as an imperial abbey. According to the patron of the order, this should be consecrated to St. Vitus . From 1100 to 1124 a high Romanesque new building of the collegiate church and the convent buildings was built under Abbot Helmerich. The consecration of this church building, which presumably stood further west than the current one, was carried out in 1124 by the bishops Hermann von Augsburg and Ulrich I von Konstanz. Since the monastery was in financial distress, Abbot Helmerich left building land within the monastery to laypeople. Houses were built on the southern monastery wall and part of the Ellwangen settlement was combined with the monastery complex; the city founding process was initiated. At the pressure of the monks, Helmerich had to resign. As a surviving indictment shows, the monks accused the abbot of having disturbed the monastery peace by uniting the monastery with the settlement. The monastery was exempted from 1124 at the latest, i.e. it was directly subordinate to the Pope. His abbots were imperial princes from 1215 .

In the following years the settlement and monastery construction was advanced. Abbot Adalbert I (1136–1173), who probably came from the reformed monastery Ottobeuren , renewed the monastic life in Ellwangen in the following years. Abbot Kuno I (1188–1221) built the castle above Ellwangen as a fortified castle and in 1215 even rose to become imperial prince. Liturgical books such as a Latin lectionary and a book of the dead , which also date from this period, suggest that the monastery at Ellwangen was a time of spiritual prosperity.

A catastrophic fire in 1182 made it necessary to rebuild the abbey, the size of which exceeded that of the previous one. After almost 50 years of construction (1182 to 1233), the Naumburg Bishop Engelhard consecrated the church building on October 3, 1233, which has remained largely unchanged to this day - at least externally.

The Princely Provostry of Ellwangen

Main article: Fürstpropstei Ellwangen

Prince Provost Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony

After 1350, the consequences of the plague , bad harvests and price increases were felt in the monastery area of ​​the Ellwangen Monastery , there was both an economic and a moral decline: the number of conventuals shrank sharply. In 1443, a devastating city fire damaged parts of the monastery and the church. As a result, on January 14, 1460, with the consent of Pope Pius II, the monastery was converted into a canon. This exemten secular canon monastery was headed by a prince provost and a chapter (twelve noble canons, ten vicars choir). The provost resided at the castle ob Ellwangen and had the ecclesiastical rights of a bishop.

The now dawning time of the monastery was marked by various changes: The imperial canon monastery consisted of twelve predominantly aristocratic canons , ten vicars and a prince provost , who was also the city lord of Ellwangen. He was elected by the collegiate chapter and had to be confirmed by the Pope . The church, which is now almost 250 years old, was in a very poor structural condition, so that Provost Albrecht I von Rechberg entrusted the Miltenberg master builder Hans Stieglitz with extensive renovations and new buildings: A new cloister was built in 1467 , the burnt-down monastery buildings were restored and in 1473 supplemented by the Liebfrauenkapelle .

The pen during the Reformation

At the beginning of the Reformation, Albrecht Thumb von Neuburg was Prince Provost in Ellwangen. Because of constant disputes between Albrecht and his collegiate chapter, Albrecht finally sold his office to the powerful Count Palatine Heinrich in 1521. The preacher Dr. Kreß and the pastor Georg Mumpach were the learned minds of the Ellwang Reformation movement. Some canons and vicars also sympathized with Martin Luther's teaching. In the course of the peasant uprisings that took place all over Swabia, there were also unrest in Ellwangen in April 1525, which were directed against the authorities. As a result, most of the canons of the collegiate chapter had to flee from the prince's provosty.

The Swabian Federation sent Captain Reinhard von Neuneck with a small army to Ellwangen, which ended the peasant uprising and required the residents to take an oath of loyalty. The preacher Dr. Kreß and the pastor Georg Mumpach were convicted of heresy and beheaded on November 7th, 1525 in Lauingen ; sympathetic canons had to renounce their canonicals and leave the prince-provost of Ellwangen forever.

With the support of Emperor Karl V, Ellwangen became a Catholic enclave in a largely evangelical environment. After the death of Heinrich von der Pfalz in 1552, the collegiate chapter elected the powerful Cardinal Otto von Waldburg as prince provost. The cardinal was a supporter of the emperor's catholic politics and a champion for the political stabilization of the monastery as an independent catholic-spiritual principality within the Holy Roman Empire. After the peace in Augsburg , Prince Provost Otto von Waldburg also urged a reform of the clergy in the entire monastery area. From Rome he personally took care of the appointment of new clergy offices.

Baroque style of the church

The interior of the church underwent a profound redesign when it was redesigned in Baroque style by Wessobrunn masters under Prince Provost Johann Christoph von Freyberg-Eisenberg in the years 1661–1662 . The 18th century found this early baroque renovation to be too sober and began in 1737 with the design of the church in modern rococo forms . Until 1741, the northern Italian masters Donato Riccardo Retti , Carlo Carlone and Emanuele Pighini , who were appointed from Ludwigsburg, worked on the decoration and created, among other things, the room-defining figures of the apostles and evangelists.

End of the pen and 20th century

After the secularization of the monastery in 1802/03, the prince provost came to Württemberg , and the prince provost lost his power. Since then, the "Stiftskirche" has been the parish church of the St. Vitus parish, which now has almost 3350 Catholics. Renovation work was necessary again in the 20th century. The first work was carried out in 1909/10. During the Second World War, on the night of 22./23. April 1945, during the American siege, shells hit the north main roof and the north tower and damaged them. After the war, renewed renovation measures were necessary, which lasted from 1959 to 1964. In the course of this work, the Romanesque crypt could be restored and excavation work was carried out in this and in the cloister garden. The Ellwang reliquary box was discovered.

On the occasion of the 1200th anniversary of Ellwangen St. Vitus was founded on January 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI. bestowed the rank of minor basilica . In 1983 the city and parish celebrated the 750th anniversary of the church's consecration.

From 1992 to 1999 a comprehensive restoration of the sandstone exterior facade, which was severely damaged by the weather, took place. In 2000, the Michael Chapel below the west tower could be restored, for which the artist priest Sieger Köder designed glass windows.

October 3rd, 2008 marked the 775th anniversary of the consecration of the St. Vitus Basilica. Church music and cultural events accompanied these celebrations throughout the year. They reached their climax with the visit of Cardinal Walter Kasper on Easter Monday and the Bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart Gebhard Fürst (who was ordained a priest in the basilica in 1977) on October 3, 2008.

The church building

outer facade

The choir from the northeast

The outer facade of the Basilica of St. Vitus is largely original high medieval architecture, which is only disturbed by a few Gothic and Baroque additions. The three-aisled late Romanesque basilica with a cross-shaped floor plan was built from alternating purple and ocher-gray sandstone blocks. The late Gothic cloister, which was added later, is attached to the north aisle and is supplemented by the Liebfrauenkapelle (Chapel of Our Lady), which juts out into the Kreuzgarten. The "Jeningenheim", the parish hall of the parish, is located next to the cloister. It also houses the administrative center of the St. Vitus parish and the chapter library. In front of the west facade there is a crossbar at the bottom, the “old monastery”. Like the Michael's chapel above it, it has been preserved in its original Romanesque design and is characterized by richly decorated column capitals . The former Jesuit church, today's Evangelical town church, is directly connected to the old monastery.

The south side of the main nave is enriched by an ornamental frieze, while the north side appears simpler. In the 18th century the two-storey sacristy (1699) and the Selva Chapel (1701) were added to the old stock. These components stand out from the medieval sandstone masonry of the Romanesque church because of their white lime plaster . If you stand on the market square, you will notice an early baroque sundial with the 12 signs of the zodiac, which dates from around 1200 , on the south side of the basilica next to the sacristy . Sandstone figures of the monastery founders Hariolf and Erlolf and a portrait of the Last Judgment also adorn the facade.

The design of the portals

The main portal on the south side

The outer facade is shaped by five undamaged arched portals that allow entry into the basilica: The main portal (around 1225) on the south side with its richly decorated garments shows the raised Christ with cross scepter together with Mary and John in the tympanum . Above that, God the Father can be seen with the globe. The Stuttgart sculptor August Koch designed the neo-Romanesque bronze doors from 1910. They are decorated with two lion heads and show four angels holding wreaths. The second entrance on the south side was bricked up in 1701 when the Selva Chapel was built, but can still be seen today.

The west portal represents the entrance to the “Old Abbey”: the relatively simple pointed arch portal shows the relief figures of the cartridges Vitus, Sulpizius and Servilianus in the tympanum. The early Baroque carved oak doors (around 1660) show St. Vitus, a putto , and the monastery coat of arms, as well as all sorts of tendrils and fruit decorations as well as bronze lions' heads. The old monastery is separated from the rest of the room by a richly decorated portal. Another, simple portal enables access to the basilica from the north side.

Church interior

Interior of the basilica

Inside, the high medieval origins can still be seen despite the rich rococo shapes. The bulging vaulted ribs of the central nave are particularly easy to see. The Northern Italian artist Donato Riccardo Retti, who had already worked in the Ludwigsburg Palace , directed the baroque design of the church interior. Together with other masters of their time such as Carlo Carlone and Emanuelo Pighini , they created rich, partly fully plastic stucco decorations. The church interior was supplemented by the pulpit, also created by Donato Riccaro Retti in 1737, and the unique larger-than-life apostle figures made by the Ticinese sculptor Diego Francesco Carlone (1647–1750). The figures that characterize the interior of the church show the apostles, who can be easily recognized by their attributes, and Christ opposite the pulpit.

The main altar made of Jura marble has been built in the center of the church since 1952. In the base of the main altar the former pastor Otto Häfner had the Vitus relic inserted, which contains a hand relic of the church patron Vitus. According to tradition, the replica hand, richly decorated with gold, used to be presented to the population every year on Vitus Day. The admiration was shown in the kissing of this relic, which earned the Ellwangern the nickname "Veitlesschmatzer".

A modern hanging cross by Rudolf Müller-Erb and Fritz Möhler hovers above the main altar .

The high altar in the main apse was created by Hans Dürner from Biberach in 1613 and later supplemented by additional altar parts. The altarpiece was originally painted for the Marienkirche in Ellwangen by the Ellwang court painter Johann Edmund Wiedemann in 1753. It shows Mary being carried up to heaven by angels. It is framed by oversized statues of Joachim and Anna, all in white and gold. The high altar in its current form was put together by the sculptor Viktor Geiselhart from Ellwang and today, next to the tabernacle, it bears a reliquary of Saint Sulpitius and Servilianus.

The vault of the basilica is also called the "Ellwang Holy Heaven" because, in addition to the rich stucco decoration, it also includes portraits of all the monastery saints. Also worth mentioning in the church are the Sacred Heart Altar and the Wolkenstein Chapel.

The transepts

Due to the cruciform floor plan of the basilica, the main nave is divided into two transepts, which were also richly designed. The large mannerist altar structures in each case immediately catch the eye. The altars were consecrated to St. Barbara and Benedict, the altar in the north transept to St. John and Michael. They were created around 1612 and are decorated with a large number of wooden figures of saints. The portraits of all the prince provosts in Ellwang are now in the south transept. It also houses an artistically crafted bronze epitaph for the monastery founders Hariolf and Erlof with the historically accurate model of the collegiate church (workshop of Peter Vischer the Elder, Nuremberg, around 1485/90). An artfully crafted shrine, in which the relics of the monastery founders are kept, also reminds of the founders of Ellwangen. In the north transept, a late Gothic bronze plaque with the Pietà, which reminds of the prince provosts Johann von Hirnheim and Albrecht I von Rechberg , who were the first prince provosts in Ellwangen, catches the eye . The work is mostly Peter Fischer d. Attributed to A. In addition, during renovation work in the 1960s, a wall painting in the north transept was uncovered, which shows the 16th collegiate saint in contemporary costume and probably dates from the early 16th century.

Crypt and reliquary box

Look into the crypt

The three-aisled crypt under the crossing was started around 1200. The room opens in three arcades to the transepts and was originally planned to be larger. The groin vaults are supported by round columns, the capitals of which are decorated with plant and animal motifs. The neo-Romanesque altarpiece (around 1880) contains relics of the 16 monastery saints and is a reminder of the planned neo-Romanesque dismantling of the church, to which the then pastor Dr. Franz Joseph Schwarz had already made the drafts. In addition, a year-round crib can be admired in the crypt, the crib figures of which are modeled on the citizens of Ellwang.

Only in the course of extensive excavations in the choir and crypt in the years 1959–1961 was the crypt reconstructed in its present form. During these excavations in the crypt of the collegiate church on September 17, 1959, parts of a bronze-clad pre-Romanesque box, the so-called "Ellwanger reliquary box", were found. The find was at a depth of around 40 centimeters in the southeastern yoke of the south aisle, 30 to 40 centimeters from the east wall. The lid and the four side parts are decorated with reliefs that were driven out of the bronze sheet. The lock on the front is made of silver, the hinges on the back are made of iron. The lid shows the hand of God, next to which hangs a veil on the right, in the six rectangular side panels are six male heads in ray nimbs. The purpose of the box is unclear. The assumption originally expressed that it was used to store relics turned out to be unlikely. It was probably the jewelry box of Empress Richildis , because her husband, Emperor Karl the Bald , died in 877, is shown on the box , the other ruler is his son Ludwig , born in 846 , who succeeded his father on the throne in 877. The Ellwang Monastery, founded in 764, was always closely related to the West Franconian Empire and the imperial court residing there. A gift of the box to secure the favor of the powerful Ellwang Abbot would be likely.

Since 2009 the "Ellwanger Reliquienkasten" can be seen as a true-to-original replica in a stele by the Ellwanger artist Rudolf Kurz in the crypt.

The old pen

The tomb of the Ellwang ministerial Ulrich von Ahelfingen († 1339)

The "Old Abbey", as the Romanesque vestibule in the west is also called, was built in place of an originally planned west choir from around 1230. The three-bay and two-aisled hall already shows timid early Gothic pointed arches and was widened by three bays in the late Gothic period. At that time, the room - originally open to the outside - was closed as an entrance hall and the simple west portal was created as an entrance. The massive architectural forms refer to models in Burgundy or Alsace . The final side yokes did not appear until the early 17th century in Gothic-style forms. Today there are numerous altars in the old abbey: The third prince provost Johann Christoph von Westerstetten (1603–1613) had the north-facing cross altar built around 1610, which is made of sandstone and is attributed to the Ottobeur sculptors Hans and Matthäus Schamm. Furthermore, the Sebastian altar can be seen in the old abbey, the Good Friday altar designed in bronze and stone by August Koch in 1910, another stone altar shrine and a mount of olives, which was probably made by Hans Stieglitz. Also worth seeing are the Nazarene stained glass windows (around 1871), which depict motifs from the joyful, painful and glorious rosary. Numerous artistically designed tombs of abbots such as B. Abbot Kuno II., Prince Provosts or the memorial stone for the knight Ulrich von Ahelfingen († 1339) can also be found in the old monastery. Another special feature is the ecumenical gate, which was ceremoniously opened in 1997. It offers a passage to the Evangelical City Church and is thus a sign of the lively ecumenism in the city. If you
enter the basilica through the old monastery, you can see the warning inscription above the inner west portal: VOS IGITUR PER QUOS REGITUR DOMUS ISTA NOTETIS NE PEREAT. SI NON HABEAT SUA IURA LUETIS
(You, who manage this building, make sure that it does not perish. If you do not pay attention to its rights, you must pay for it) .

The Michaelskapelle

Another gem in the St. Vitus basilica is the Romanesque St. Michael's Chapel, which is located above the "old monastery" - that is, behind the organ - of the basilica. This small chapel was originally the place of prayer for the abbots, it was only a few years ago that the artist pastor Sieger Köder designed it and made it accessible to the public during guided tours of the city. The altar made by Köder shows the hand reliquary of St. Vitus and the monastery saints under the cafeteria. At the back of the altar a place was reserved in the circle of the saints for the good Father Philipp , whose canonization many Ellwangers longingly await. In a recess in the altar, besides the relics of St. Vitus, there are also relics of Sulpitius and Servilianus.

The two glass windows, which - facing west and south - give light to the Michael's Chapel, were also designed by Sieger Köder. The "evening window" pointing to the west is particularly effective when the sun is setting in the evening hours. It shows the evening star and the sunset, in the foreground a praying person can be seen bending over an open page from the New Testament. It is about the revelation of John, the viewer can still read the passage "I am the alpha and that ...". The south-facing Michael's window is less colored, but kept in white and black. You can see wings that are supposed to remind of the angel Michael and a book.

The Michaelskapelle is like a glimpse into the past of the collegiate church: It is still preserved in its original Romanesque style and gives an impression of what the entire basilica looked like before it was baroque. The only thing missing is the groin vault, which has been replaced by a ceiling made of oak planks. Sieger Köder then painted three hands on a simple white and gold background from which a woman and a man look out. This ceiling painting symbolizes the trinity of God by which we humans are protected.

The Liebfrauenkapelle and the cloister

The late Gothic cloister

The late Gothic cloister is attached to the Romanesque nave in the north, tombs from three centuries are still visible here. Four arched wings enclose the Kreuzgarten. The west wing opens to the Liebfrauenkapelle (1473) with the much-visited grave of the Jesuit father Philipp Jeningen (1642–1704). The burial place of the Jesuit priest, who was very popular among the people and who worked in and around Ellwangen, was moved here in 1953 and is now popular with many believers from near and far to plead and thank you. Every year there are also pilgrimages to the grave of the "good Father Philipp", which are organized by the Action Search for Traces. Ignatius Desiderius von Peutingen (1641–1718) is buried next to Father Philipp . Peutigen was a close friend of Philipp Jeningen and founded the Ellwang Jesuit College. The grave monument on the north wall of the Liebfrauenkapelle shows a portrait of Peutingen. Wilhelm Geyer made the stained glass windows of the Liebfrauenkapelle in 1949/1950, which document the life of Mary.

In the northwest, the collegiate church adjoins the baroque Jesuit church (1724), which today serves as the Protestant town church and is connected to the western vestibule of the collegiate church by a connecting door. The subsequent Jesuit college was built from 1720 to 1723.

Walcker organ

Organ prospectus

The basilica probably already had an organ in the late Middle Ages , at least it is reported in old chronicles. In the baroque case , which was made by Johann Anton Ehrlich in 1776, Werner Walcker-Mayer built a new organ with 44 registers on three manuals and a pedal in the course of renovation work in the basilica in 1964 . In 1994 the organ was then restored and expanded by Eduard Wiedenmann, so that the Walcker organ now has 45 parts. Tubular bells, a cornett, the vox coelestis and the krummhorn were built in as special features.

The disposition of the organ:

I main work
Reed flute 16 ′
Principal 8th'
Gemshorn 8th'
Octave 4 ′
Coupling flute 4 ′
Fifth 2 23
Super octave 2 ′
Cornett III 2 23
Mixture V-VI 2 ′
Trumpet 16 ′
Trumpet 8th'
II swell
Wide principal 8th'
Wooden flute 8th'
Harp pipe 8th'
Vox coelestis 8th'
Wooden principal 4 ′
recorder 2 ′
Mixture IV 1'
bassoon 16 '
Trompette harmonique 8th'
Vox humana 8th'
Schalmey 4 ′
III Kronwerk
Covered 8th'
Cane quintad 8th'
Principal 4 ′
Gemsrohr closed 4 ′
Fifth flute 2 23
Octave 2 ′
third 1 35
Fifth 1 13
Sif flute 1'
Sharp Cymbal IV 23
Dulcian 16 ′
Krummhorn 8th'
Tubular bells (tube damping can be switched on / off)
Pedal mechanism
Principal bass 16 ′
Sub bass 16 ′
Octave bass 8th'
Pipe whistle 8th'
Forest flute 4 ′
Choral bass 4 ′
Back set IV 2 23
Contrabassoon 32 ′
trombone 16 ′
Bombard 8th'
  • Coupling: III / I, II / I *, III / II, I / P, II / P, III / P
  • Octave coupling: II 16 ', II 16' / I, III 16 '/ I, III 4' / I, III 16 '/ II, III 4' / II
  • II / I can couple electrically or mechanically.

Church music

Church music is of great importance in the collegiate church. There are several choirs that show their skills in the Basilica of St. Vitus: the Stiftschor, the Männerschola, the Jugendkantorei and the choir school. The organists on the Walcker organ have always been well-known greats in their field, including, for example, the composer Eberhard Bonitz (in the 1940s / 1950s) and church music director Willibald Bezler, who for almost 40 years provided lively church music with numerous concerts and in the July 2007 was adopted into retirement. His successor has been regional cantor Thomas Petersen since August 2007, who works in Freiburg i. Br. And at the Conservatory in Amsterdam a. a. studied church music with Jacques van Oortmerssen .

Towers and bells

"Susanna" the oldest bell in the basilica

The two 42 meter high main towers are to the east of the transepts next to the choir . The masonry penetrates the walls of the church and the roof surfaces of the side aisles that lead to the absiden. Three storeys with pyramid roofs and a relatively rich structure of round arch friezes, cornices and round arched window openings are visible. Behind it, the semicircular main apse is added to the last choir bay. On the left and right, simple side absids flank the apse, under whose eaves a round arch frieze runs. In the two main towers, the "Türmerstübchen" are housed, in which in former times a tower keeper watched over Ellwangen. A third tower sits like a roof turret over the west gable. This turret is also crowned with a pointed roof pyramid.

The Second World War also did not leave the collegiate church without a trace: On the night of April 22nd to 23rd, 1945, during the American siege, shells struck the north main roof and the north tower and damaged them. To commemorate this, a memorial stone that is still visible today was placed in the north tower in 1948. On the outside it bears the words “Salve Spes” (“Greetings, Hope”), the inside bears a description of the events and the year and the inscription “God is in his city, that's why it will stay firm” and plays with it the storm that prevented the Allies from bombing Ellwangen towards the end of the Second World War.

Three of the eight bells were cast in 1545 by Master Hans Rosenhart from Nuremberg: the Susanna (in the north tower), the Pieta (also in the north tower) and the little Christmas bell (in the west rider). Since another three historical bells fell victim to the Second World War in 1942, Alfons Bachert cast five more new ones in 1956 in Heilbronn: the approx. 5000 kg heavy Philipp Jeningen bell hanging in the south tower (in honor of the Jesuit priest who was buried in the Liebfrauenkapelle) ), the Canisius bell weighing approx. 3500 kg (also south tower), and the smaller Joseph bell and the Domitilla or Vitus bell, which hang in the west rider.

Chime Surname Year of casting / founder diameter Weight
a 0 Jeningen bell A. Bachert, 1956 2002 mm 5434 kg
h 0 Cansius bell A. Bachert, 1956 1810 mm 3832 kg
d 1 Susanna Hans Rosenhart, 1535 1600 mm 2750 kg
e 1 12 noon / Pieta bell Hans Rosenhart, 1535 1380 mm 1750 kg
g 1 Joseph Bell A. Bachert, 1956 1090 mm 825 kg
a 1 Domtilla / Elisabeth bell A. Bachert, 1956 960 mm 858 kg
h 1 Vitus bell A. Bachert, 1956 840 mm 379 kg
d 2 Christmas bells Hans Rosenhart, 1535 690 mm 240 kg


Until 1818, the vicars of the canon monastery were mainly responsible for pastoral care. Most of the pastors who have worked in the Basilica of St. Vitus since secularization were also deans of the Ellwangen deanery, chambermen or episcopal commissioners and city pastors:

year Surname
1799-1805 Thaddäus Martin Veeser
1805-1814 Johann Alois Klingenmaier († 1868) from Dewangen
1819-1826 Anton Huberich († 1833) from Igersheim
1826-1831 Josef Weinschenk († 1843) from Ellwangen
1833-1867 Matthäus von Sengele († 1867) from Rottweil
1868-1885 Franz Joseph Schwarz († 1885) from Donzdorf
1886-1892 Emil Hescheler († 1892) from Schussenried
year Surname
1893-1917 Valentin Fuchs († 1917) from Mergentheim
1917-1926 Johannes Staudenmaier († 1926) from Oberbettringen
1926-1932 Paul Traub († 1932) from Ergenzingen
1932-1961 Otto Häfner († 1967) from Rottweil
1962-1973 Alois Schmitt († 1973) from Igersheim
1973-2005 Msgr. Patriz Hauser († 2005) from Neuler
since 2006 Michael Windisch from Göppingen


  • Otto Beck: The St. Vitus Abbey Basilica in Ellwangen - guide through a place of worship worth seeing . Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg 2003, ISBN 3-89870-005-4 .
  • Bruno Bushart : Collegiate Church Ellwangen . Munich 1953.
  • Bruno Bushart: The Basilica of St. Vitus in Ellwangen . Ellwangen 1988.

Web links

Commons : St. Vitus (Ellwangen)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 57 '43 "  N , 10 ° 7' 55.5"  E