Heiliggeistkirche (Heidelberg)

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View from Heidelberg Castle to the Church of the Holy Spirit

The Heiliggeistkirche is the largest and most important church in Heidelberg . With the apse facing the market square , it stands in the middle of Heidelberg's old town . Its tower dominates and shapes the cityscape - with the octagonal bell tower of the castle. The Gothic hall church built from red Neckar valley sandstone with a baroque roof and a baroque tower dome is considered a "completely unique building of high artistic rank".

The church was built from 1398 to 1515 and was planned as a burial place for the Electors of the Palatinate and as a representative church of the Palatinate royal seat. In the event of severe destruction in the Palatinate War of Succession , the princely graves were devastated, so that today only the grave of the builder of the church choir, Elector Ruprecht III. , who was German king as Ruprecht I , is located in the church. It is known to Holy Spirit Church as former location of the Palatine Library , and because of their varied work closely with the history of Heidelberg linked, denominational history. From 1706 to 1936 the church was divided into two parts by a partition wall. The nave was Protestant, the choir Catholic. Since 1936 the entire church has belonged to the Evangelical Church in Baden .

Canonical position

The Heiliggeistkirche was originally a chapel that was canonically dependent on the Peterskirche . Elector Ruprecht III. reached in connection with the establishment of the University of Heidelberg with Pope Boniface IX. that the Heiliggeistkirche was released from its dependency on the Peterskirche and elevated to the status of a collegiate church . Various benefices that originally existed at other churches were transferred to the Heiliggeistkirche and served to finance the young university, whose professors were also canons of the Heiliggeistkirche. The establishment of the Kollegiatstift was completed in 1413. At the same time, the Heiliggeistkirche functioned as a parish church for the old town, while the Peterskirche took on the function of a parish church for the new town (the parts of today's old town that were added after the town's expansion in 1392 ). After taking office, Elector Ottheinrich dissolved the monastery and transferred the benefices to the university, and the Heiliggeistkirche became a Protestant parish church.

The Church of the Holy Spirit has remained connected to the university since its foundation, which was celebrated with a mass in the (then) Church of the Holy Spirit. In the period that followed, the Heiliggeistkirche remained a university church, and its door served as the university's notice board . In the 19th century, the Peterskirche took over the function of a university church.

Building history

Heiliggeistkirche, still with the original Gothic steeple, with a pointed helmet , on a painting by Jacques Fouquières from around 1618. Left in the picture, Heidelberg Castle before its destruction in 1693.

A church consecrated to the Holy Spirit on Heidelberg's market square was mentioned for the first time in 1239 in a document from the Schönau monastery . Further mentions only follow in 1353 and 1358.

The church mentioned in 1239 was a late Romanesque basilica , from which an apse was excavated in 1936 . Around 1300, or perhaps between 1278 and 1288, it was redesigned into a three-aisled late Romanesque or Gothic church. This church was half the length of the current one and is well documented through excavations in 1886 and 1936-1942. The reason for this conversion is presumed to be a fire, which is said to have been preceded by a flood.

Elector Ruprecht III. had a high and light hall choir built in place of the previous choir from 1398 . Since Heidelberg had displaced the old centers of Bacharach , Alzey and Neustadt under the rule of Ruprecht I and had become the sole residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate , it was to receive a large and representative church in accordance with its rank, which was also intended as the future burial place of the Palatinate electors. This representative function was given particular weight when Ruprecht III. was elected German king and the choir of the Heiliggeistkirche should one day receive the grave of a king . The choir was probably built as early as 1410 for the burial of Ruprecht III. accomplished.

Originally, the construction of a new nave was not planned. The combination of a tall, stately choir with an older and smaller nave can still be found today at the Sebaldus Church in Nuremberg . Under Elector Ludwig III. But then the construction of a new nave began, which was completed in 1441 and was as high as the choir. Externally, the choir and nave form a unit. The construction of the west tower probably started as early as 1441. However, the work had to be interrupted until 1508. The tower was probably completed in 1515 - at that time with a pointed Gothic helmet.

Documents name a Heidelberg citizen named Arnold Rype, who was temporarily mayor of the city, as the master builder. In the linguistic usage at the time, however, the architect did not mean the architect, but the financial coordinator - who often worked on an honorary or part-time basis. Only Hans Marx, who is mentioned in a document in 1423 and worked on the church until 1426, and Jorg, who was responsible until 1439, are known of the architects of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Both probably supervised the work on the longhouse. Under Friedrich the Victorious , the famous tower construction specialist Niclaus Eseler came to Heidelberg from Mainz, who presumably carried out most of the work on the tower of the Church of the Holy Spirit, which, however, was only completed by Lorenz Lechler in the final construction phase.

On May 22, 1693, the church was badly damaged during the War of the Palatinate Succession . French troops locked a large crowd in the Church of the Holy Spirit and set the church on fire. Only when the bells, beams and parts of the vault fell down, a door was opened at the request of the young Reformed pastor Johann Daniel Schmidtmann. While fleeing the church, many people were crushed and others were ill-treated by French soldiers who looted the church .

In the years 1698 to 1700 the roof was restored in what was then a modern, broken shape . The roof is one of the earliest completely preserved mansard roofs in Germany. In 1709 the tower received its baroque Welsh dome . Side chapels that were installed in the meantime were removed during the reconstruction.

From 1978 to 1985 the church was extensively restored; the original color scheme based on red tones was restored.


The Heiliggeistkirche is built from carefully hewn sandstone blocks from the Neckar valley . The hall choir is connected to a three-aisled gallery under a continuous roof . Such a gallery is extremely rare in southern Germany . The passage from the central nave to the side aisles is formed by six arcades with slender, round pillars without capital . The entire church interior is covered by a simple ribbed vault.

The level of the northern gallery is above that of the southern pore. It is unusual that the aisles are wider than the central nave . This is due to the fact that the galleries of the side aisles were intended from the beginning to house the book collection of Elector Ludwig III. record. Another special feature is that the main line of sight is not directed towards a window in the choir, as usual , but towards a buttress . This bold motif of the interlacing of the axes can often be found in the churches of the Parler School. A special feature of the building history is the retraction of the central nave to the triumphal arch.

On the long sides of the church there are stepped struts that are unadorned with the exception of a few gargoyles , with two tracery windows arranged one above the other in between , the large ones at the choir with three or four passports . The slender west tower is drawn into the structure and has an octagonal bell-shaped floor with a distinctive baroque dome.


Alliance coat of arms of Elector Johann Wilhelm and wife Anna Maria de 'Medici
View from the main street over the weekly market on the town hall square to the Heiliggeistkirche

The exterior of the Heiliggeistkirche is characterized by a certain monumentality with no architectural details. A sacristy is built on the north side of the choir with a painted radiant Madonna on the north-east corner as the only decoration. The painting dates from the late Middle Ages and was restored in the 19th century and in 1987.

Three subsequently built portals on the north and south sides date from the Baroque period . The coat of arms of Elector Johann Wilhelm and his wife Anna Maria Luisa de 'Medici is attached above the central portals on the north and south sides . Under this ruler the church was repaired. The baroque main portal was moved to the north side in 1967 and replaced by a newly designed portal. On the north side of the fish market, there is a small fountain decorated with fish in the outer wall. A marker shows the level of the flood in 1784 .

Typical of the Heiliggeistkirche are the small shop extensions that are inserted between the buttresses. While florists, shoemakers and bakers were to be found in the past, today, along with small bookshops, souvenir booths are mainly located there. The writer Michael Buselmeier wrote that “the souvenir trash is getting more and more brazen”. Several pretzels are shown in the masonry on the south side . These depictions date from the 15th century and indicate the correct size measurement so customers could verify that the pretzels the bakers were selling were the correct size.

inner space

The interior of the Heiliggeistkirche is one of the most impressive late Gothic church rooms in southern Germany. The contrast between the diffuse light of the nave and the radiant brightness of the choir is characteristic. The nave and choir are separated by a triumphal arch .

The originally rich furnishings of the church with magnificent altars , images of saints , baptismal fonts and organs were replaced during two iconoclasms under Ottheinrich and Friedrich III. removed and destroyed, resulting in an "irreplaceable loss of art". Today's barren interior does not correspond to the original condition.

Paintings and keystones

Heraldic frieze of the society with the donkey in the south aisle of the choir

Foliage and colored keystones are attached to the ceiling in the central nave and in the side aisles . A painting from the 15th century in a vaulted ceiling of the central nave shows an angelic concert : eight angels with various musical instruments are shown. During a restoration in the 1950s, the Heidelberg painter Harry MacLean added a bassoon to an angel as a reminiscence of the present. In the inner choir there is a keystone with an imperial eagle and another with the coat of arms of the Electoral Palatinate. The keystone of the former Marienkapelle in the last yoke of the south aisle is surrounded by paintings from the 15th century. The painting by Harry MacLean in the divider , which shows the three men in the fiery furnace ( DanEU ) , dates from the 1950s .

One originating from the late 15th century and 1936 again exposed is on the west wall of the south choir aisle arms frieze with coat of arms of Hoffenheim , who or forests and the Rhine Reichsritterschaft . At the top left you can see St. George as the patron saint of knights, kneeling in front of an enthroned Mother of God. The coats of arms, arranged in four rows, are no longer legible. The coats of arms of Helmstatt , Neipperg , Gemmingen , Venningen , Sickingen , Landschad von Steinach , Hirschhorn , Rodenstein , Rosenberg , Handschuhsheim , Mentzingen , Erlickheim , Rüdt von Collenberg , Adelsheim and Stettenberg are still legible . With the exception of the Stettenberg, all of the families named can be found in the donkey company . Many knights of this tournament society were in the service of the Count Palatine.


The specially adapted baroque pulpit from 1731

Of the rich baroque furnishings of the once Catholic choir, only the pulpit from 1731 remains, which could not be used elsewhere due to its custom-made adaptation to the round pillars of the Holy Spirit Choir . The choir also contains the epitaph of the French general Joseph Palamede de Forbin-Janson (1726–1809), who died in exile in Heidelberg , grandfather of Bishop Charles-Auguste-Marie-Joseph de Forbin-Janson (1785–1844), who ran the Papal Children's Mission founded and died in the reputation of holiness.

The former neo-Gothic pulpit in the nave was removed after 1945. The altar from 1949 and the baptismal font from 1967, as well as the tympanum above the west portal, are works by the Heidelberg sculptor Edzard Hobbing .

Royal tomb

Ruprecht III grave site and his wife Elisabeth von Hohenzollern-Nürnberg in the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg with the sculptures of the royal couple on the sarcophagus
Epitaph of Ruprecht III. and his wife Elisabeth von Hohenzollern-Nürnberg on the wall of the nave of the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg

Corresponding to the function of the electoral burial place, the choir of the Heiliggeistkirche contained a total of 54 tombs and coffins of Electors of the Palatinate who were buried between 1410 and 1685 and of members of the electoral families. The Renaissance tomb of Ottheinrich was considered to be particularly splendid. It was erected during his lifetime and caused offense because of the revealing female figures, so that Ottheinrich had it covered with scarves. The tombs of Ludwig VI. and by Friedrich IV. were elaborately and representatively designed. Karl Ludwig and Karl II , on the other hand, did without tombs and allowed themselves to be buried in simple coffins.

In the Palatinate War of Succession , almost all of the tombs were destroyed by fire and looting . Only the grave slab of Prince Elector Ruprecht III, as Ruprecht I of Germany , and his wife Elisabeth von Hohenzollern is preserved. This is the cover plate of the destroyed tumba . The grave was originally set up as a high grave in the middle of the choir, but the grave slab has now found a place in the north aisle. It represents an important sculptural work in the High Gothic "soft style". The faces are idealized, the king is represented with a scepter , crown and orb as a sign of his dignity. The slender bodies are wrapped in heavy and rich robes that throw elaborate folds. The faces were damaged in 1693 and then added. At the king's feet lies a lion as a symbol of strength, and at the queen's feet a dog as a sign of loyalty . In the meantime, the grave slab was on the Scheidemauer, and since 1936 it has been erected in its current location, albeit upside down: Instead of looking east , towards the rising sun and Judgment Day , the king now looks west .

When the elector moved the residence to Mannheim in 1720, the church in the now no longer existing Heidelberg Carmelite monastery became the new electoral burial site. After the end of the Electoral Palatinate in 1803, Elector Maximilian IV Joseph had the coffins transferred to Munich , where they are in St. Michael .

In the south aisle there are some grave slabs of the electoral court masters and professors of the university from the 15th century with clear traces of the fire from 1693. They were secured in the church interior during the restoration work from 1936 and were then walled in there.

Stained glass window

The medieval glass windows were destroyed in the fire in 1693. The windows that were installed later burst from the pressure wave that was created when the Old Bridge was blown up in March 1945. All current stained glass windows therefore date from the time after the Second World War.

The westernmost leaded glass window in the south aisle comes from Johannes Schreiter and was installed in 1984. Originally, Johannes Schreiter designed a whole series of windows for the Heiliggeistkirche. However, after a heated argument about the windows that some felt were too progressive, it was decided in 1986 not to install any more windows by Johannes Schreiter. Of the windows that were supposed to reflect the relationship of the modern world and science to belief, only the Physics window was realized. This shows, among other things, the famous Einstein equation e = mc 2 and the date the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima . The five windows in the north aisle were installed between 1999 and 2001. They come from Hella Santarossa and deal with the work of the Church's eponymous Holy Spirit in the world. The glass window above the west gallery is by Gottfried von Stockhausen from 1967 and shows the lamb on the book with the seven seals from the Revelation of John . It only unfolds its full splendor in the evening sun.

Church services

View into the nave and the apse of the Heiliggeistkirche
Nave : garments with Gothic pointed arches resting on round columns and partial view of the gallery of the nave

In the 14th century, the Heiliggeistkirche replaced the Peterskirche as the most important Heidelberg church. There was a rood screen between the nave and the choir, which separated the nave , which was intended for worship , from the choir reserved for the canons. This rood screen was retained even after the Reformation, it separated the parish church from the electoral burial place in the choir.

The first Protestant service was celebrated in the Heiliggeistkirche as early as 1546, still under the reign of Frederick II . Because of the Augsburg interim and in order not to endanger his reconciliation with Emperor Charles V after the Schmalkaldic War , the elector had to officially stick to the old faith. The distribution of the Lord's Supper in both forms was still permitted. With the official introduction of the Reformation under Ottheinrich , the Heiliggeistkirche became a Protestant parish church; since the introduction of Calvinism by Friedrich III. it essentially served the Reformed church. Under Ludwig VI. Lutheran worship was temporarily held again in the church , during the Bavarian and Spanish occupation during the Thirty Years' War the Heiliggeistkirche served as a Catholic church.

After the change of the Palatinate Wittelsbach dynasty to the Catholic line Palatinate-Neuburg (1685), Elector Johann Wilhelm decreed the Palatinate church division in 1698 : The Holy Spirit Church, like all Protestant churches in the Electoral Palatinate, should be allowed to be used by the Catholics ( Simultaneum ). Since this regulation, which also violated the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia , did not prove itself in practice, the church was divided up by the so-called religious declaration in 1705 and separated by a partition wall from 1706: the Reformed congregation received the nave, the Catholic congregation the Choir.

In 1719 there was a dispute over the Church of the Holy Spirit , which lasted until 1720 and caused a sensation throughout Germany: Elector Karl Philipp claimed the entire Church of the Holy Spirit as a court church and a Catholic church. He offered the Reformed Church of the Holy Spirit to build a new church for the Reformed on the market square and to transfer all benefices of the Church of the Holy Spirit to it. The Reformed rejected the proposal, whereupon the elector had the partition wall in the Church of the Holy Spirit torn down. The Reformed then turned to the Protestant imperial estates and asked for help, which they received. In Prussia, for example, there were reprisals against a Catholic church in Minden and against monasteries in Halberstadt . Also, Sweden and the Netherlands threatened with reprisals. Even Emperor Charles VI. asked the elector to give in. Finally, the elector gave in, had the partition wall rebuilt and, out of annoyance at the behavior of the Heidelberg residents, moved the residence to Mannheim .

During the secularization (1801-1803) the abundant monasteries in Heidelberg were abolished, giving the Heiliggeistchor the status of a main Catholic church. In 1809 the Catholic Heiliggeistgemeinde received the Jesuit church as a new parish church. The Heiliggeistchor was only used by various Catholic brotherhoods in the period that followed. In 1874, on the basis of the Baden Old Catholics Act, the choir was given to the Old Catholic community for shared use, whereupon the Catholic Church stopped using the choir without relinquishing its ownership of the choir. For the university jubilee in 1886, the partition wall was temporarily removed, but then rebuilt in 1892 due to a court ruling. It was not until 1936 that the entire Church of the Holy Spirit came to the Evangelical Church in Baden , whereupon the separating wall was finally removed.

The Heiliggeistkirche is also known as the long-standing place of activity of Pastor Hermann Maas , the Nazi opponent and pioneer of Christian-Jewish dialogue .

Bibliotheca Palatina

From the beginning, the gallery was later about the book collection of Elector Ludwig III. extended pen library set up. There were relatively good lighting conditions for reading in the galleries. The library became the world-famous Bibliotheca Palatina through substantial additions, particularly by Ottheinrich, but also under Johann Casimir . During the Thirty Years War , the collection was stolen as spoils of war by Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria in 1622 and given to the Pope . Of the approximately 5,000 books and 3,524 manuscripts, only 885 were returned in 1816 and are now in the Heidelberg University Library . The rest is still kept in the Vatican today . For the 600th anniversary of the university in 1986, a representative selection of the books was temporarily returned to their old location for a one-off exhibition . The most famous piece in the Bibliotheca Palatina, the Manessische Liederhandschrift , was taken by Elector Friedrich V with him when he left Heidelberg in 1619 so that it escaped robbery. It reached Paris via detours, and in 1888 the Heidelberg University Library was able to buy it back.


Since the 17th century there was a tower blower service on the tower of the Heiliggeistkirche, which acted as a fire watch . In 1798 the tower blowers were replaced by night watchmen . The 38 m tower height viewing platform is accessible during the viewing times and offers a very good view of Heidelberg's old town.

In 1886 the ceremony for the 500th anniversary of the university's founding took place in the Church of the Holy Spirit. In the presence of the German Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and the Baden Grand Duke Friedrich I , the philosophy professor Kuno Fischer gave a three-hour speech on the history of the university.

The Heiliggeistkirche has been the city ​​church for Heidelberg since March 2009 . It is open to anyone interested and provides information in a variety of ways on religious topics. In addition to concerts, exhibitions and church tours , church services, ecumenical prayer and pastoral care are offered.


As the largest Heidelberg church, music has always played an important role in the Heiliggeistkirche . In addition to the music in the church service, festive services with musical accompaniment were held there, for example on university and Reformation anniversaries. In December 1954, the Berlin Philharmonic under Eugen Jochum played at Wilhelm Furtwängler's memorial service . Organ and choir concerts have been held in the Heiliggeistkirche since the 19th century. Professional music care has existed since 1950. In that year, Bruno Penzien founded the Heidelberg Student Choir, which gives concerts in the Heiliggeistkirche.

From 1970 to 1998 Peter Schumann worked as a cantor and organist. He put a special emphasis on avant-garde and experimental music. His successor, Christoph Andreas Schäfer, established the historical performance practice in the Heiliggeistkirche , with a further focus on jazz , rock and pop music .

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the organs of the Heiliggeistkirche in 1763, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in 1837 and Albert Schweitzer in 1929, 1932 and 1949.

In 1972 Werner Pieper organized a rock concert with the band Quintessence from England in this church, which met with great enthusiasm among the students and the so-called hippies. In conservative church circles, this event was viewed rather critically.

From 1705, demanding church music with choir and orchestra was cultivated in the Catholic choir. Works by contemporary composers such as Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Johann Christian Bach were performed in the church services . In 1801 church music was stopped for reasons of cost.

From 1783 to 1793 the schoolmaster and organist Pixis worked at the Heiliggeistkirche. His full name and dates are not known. Pixis was considered the original . His contemporary colleague Andreas Zimmermann noted that Pixis “defaces the singing so much with follies… or makes such a fire noise and rumble with the pedal basses… or otherwise plays all sorts of harlequin pranks on the manual and positives of the organ with one hand that none of these follies at all to match the singing and ... where the cantor with the strongest voice and with the effort of his strength is hardly able to just sway to keep order ”.

The famous organist and organ expert Arnolt Schlick also worked at the Heiliggeistkirche.



There have been at least 13 organs in the Holy Spirit Church since it was built . Due to the changeable history of the church, the instruments were in a wide variety of locations: on the south pore, the west gallery (such as the romantic Sauer organ 1901–1938, which was dismantled and stored for the purpose of church renovation and disappeared during the war years), in the choir and in the former dividing wall between the nave and the chancel. The latter organ in the partition wall was playable from both sides. Famous musicians have played on the various organs of the church, among them Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Max Reger and Albert Schweitzer . After the war, a two-part organ system was planned, consisting of a main organ on the west gallery and a choir organ in the box above the sacristy. This instrument alone was completed in 1947 by the Steinmeyer organ building company. It had 35 registers on three manuals and a pedal . The instrument turned out to be too small for the church interior; the planned main organ was not implemented. In the 1970s, the decision was made to build a new building.

Today's main organ in the choir and was built between 1980 and 1993 as Opus 2354 by Steinmeyer & Co from Oettingen . Church building director Horst Wein (Karlsruhe) designed the prospectus . The instrument has 61 registers (including two effect registers) on three manuals and pedal as well as two cymbal stars . The scheduling comes from Gerhard Wagner (Heidelberg) and Martin Kares (Karlsruhe). The game action is mechanical, the stop action and the coupling are electric. The organ has slider chests and Tonkanzellen . A special feature is the Hältze Glecht effect register , a type of xylophone that goes back to a description by Arnolt Schlick from 1511 and was manufactured by the Laukhuff company in Weikersheim. After the organ was completed, OBM Gerhard Lenter (Orgelbau Lenter, Großsachsenheim) carried out a general overhaul and re-intonation in 1997 , which led to a more closed and softer sound.

I main work C – c 4

1. Large covered 16 ′
2. Praestant I-II 8th'
3. Bourdon 8th'
4th octave 4 ′
5. Reed flute 4 ′
6th Fifth 2 23
7th Super octave 2 ′
8th. Cornet II-V 2 23
9. Mixture V-VI 1 13
10. Zundel III 13
11. Trumpet 16 ′
12. Trumpet 8th'
13. Bear whistle 8th'
MIDI out channel 1
II Positive C-c 4
14th Suavial 8th'
15th Cane-covered 8th'
16. Viola da gamba 8th'
17th Quintad 8th'
18th Italian principal 4 ′
19th Capstan flute 4 ′
20th octave 2 ′
21st Forest flute 2 ′
22nd Larigot 1 13
23. Sif flute 1'
24. Scharff IV 23
25th Hülze genders 23
26th Dulcian 16 ′
27. Cromorne 8th'
28. shelf 8th'
MIDI out channel 2
III Swell C – c 4
29 Pommer 16 ′
30th Swelling principal 8th'
31. Dumped 8th'
32. Salicional 8th'
33. Vox celestis 8th'
34. octave 4 ′
35. Transverse flute 4 ′
36. Nasat 2 23
37. Swiss pipe 2 ′
38. third 1 35
39. Septnone II 1 17
40. Spicy Mixture V 1'
41. Tubular bells
42. Bombard 16 ′
43. Trompette harmonique 8th'
44. Spanish trumpet 8th'
45. Hautbois 8th'
Pedal C – g 1
46. Pedestal 32 ′
47. Principal 16 ′
48. Sub bass 16 ′
49. Great fifth 10 23
50. Octave bass 8th'
51. Salicetbass 8th'
52. Tenor octave 4 ′
53. Pointed flute 4 ′
54. Night horn 2 ′
55. Intoxicating fifth II 6 23 ′ + 5 13
56. Back set IV 2 23
57. Overtones III 3 15
58. trombone 16 ′
59. Trumpet 8th'
60. zinc 4 ′
61. Clarine 2 ′
62. Tubular bells (= No. 41)
MIDI out channel 3
  • Pairing :
    • Normal coupling: II / I, III / I, III / II, I / P, II / P, III / P
    • Super octave coupling: III / I, III / II, II / P
    • Sub-octave coupling: III / I, III / II
  • Secondary register: Hülle Glechters (xylophone), tubular bell chimes, two cymbal stars "Abendstern", "Morgenstern" (adjustable speed)
  • Playing aids: 256 electronic setter combinations , freely programmable crescendo roller , key cuff (I), wind throttle (II), storage for sub-expansion 8 ′ and 16 ′, MIDI (passive), Roland JV 1010 sound module (upgraded in 2005)
Notes on organ building
  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m These marked registers were re-voiced in 1997.
  2. Third cymbal. The register name "Zundel" instead of "Zimbel" can only be found in this organ and goes back to Reinhold Zundel , who was Mayor of Heidelberg from 1966 to 1990. During his tenure, the city of Heidelberg made a substantial contribution to organ building.
  3. Xylophone, range (F–) f – c 2
  4. a b freely adjustable.
  5. G – g 1 , transmission from III into the pedal


After the devastation of Heidelberg in 1693, the Heiliggeistkirche was given a baroque tower dome and a four-part bell ringing from one piece. The unclear strike note line of the peal suggests the caster's intention to achieve a major triad; the second largest bell got too high, resulting in a four-part excessive chord instead . The only complete historical bell in Heidelberg is housed in the original wooden bell cage from 1739. The rediscovered dividing bell from 1712 hangs on the ridge above the nave.

No. Surname Nominal
( HT - 1 / 16 )
Foundry, casting location Casting year
1 Christ cis 1 −2 144 108 Heinrich Ludwig Gosman & Christoph Zimmermann, Landau 1738
2 Maria ice 1 −10 118.5 91 Heinrich Ludwig Gosman & Christoph Zimmermann, Landau 1738
3 Trinity a 1 −6 93 73.5 Heinrich Ludwig Gosman & Christoph Zimmermann, Landau 1738
4th Immaculata c sharp 2 −3 71 57 Heinrich Ludwig Gosman & Christoph Zimmermann, Landau 1738


Wingolf memorial stone

In the Heiliggeistkirche there is a memorial stone for deceased members of the Heidelberg Wingolf . The Heiliggeistkirche is the only church with a memorial stone for deceased members of a student union.


  • Eberhard Zahn: The Holy Spirit Church in Heidelberg. Verlag Evangelischer Presseverband, Karlsruhe 1960.
  • Wolfgang von Moers-Messmer: Heidelberg and its electors. The great time of Heidelberg's history as the capital and residence of the Electoral Palatinate. Ubstadt-Weiher 2001, ISBN 3-89735-160-9 .
  • Gottfried Seebaß, Volker Sellin, Hans Gercke, Werner Keller, Richard Fischer (eds.): The Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg 1398–1998 . Umschau Buchverlag 2001, ISBN 3-8295-6318-3 .
  • Mathias Köhler: Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg . Schnell Art Guide No. 1184, 4th edition, 2006, ISBN 3-7954-4908-1 .
  • Adolf von Oechelhaeuser (arrangement): The art monuments of the Heidelberg district (Heidelberg district) . (The Art Monuments of the Grand Duchy of Baden, Volume Eight, Second Section). Tubingen 1913.
  • Harald Pfeiffer: Sounding Church of the Holy Spirit. Music in the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg. Leipzig 2006, ISBN 978-3-86703-104-2 .

Web links

Commons : Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Gercke: Holy Spirit - center point and landmark . In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a. 2001, p. 116.
  2. ^ Anneliese Seeliger-Zeiss: Heidelberger Kirchenbaukunst . In: Elmar Mittler (Ed.): Heidelberg. History and shape . Universitätsverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg 1996, ISBN 3-921524-46-6 , p. 209.
  3. Köhler, 2006, p. 4
  4. a b Richard Benz : Heidelberg. Destiny and spirit . 2nd Edition. Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen 1975, ISBN 3-7995-4008-3 , p. 49.
  5. ^ A b c Wolfgang von Moers-Messmer: Heidelberg and its electors. The great time of Heidelberg's history as the capital and residence of the Electoral Palatinate. Ubstadt-Weiher 2001, ISBN 3-89735-160-9 , p. 11.
  6. Köhler 2006, page 14
  7. ^ A b Wolfgang von Moers-Messmer: Heidelberg and its electors. The great time of Heidelberg's history as the capital and residence of the Electoral Palatinate. Ubstadt-Weiher 2001, ISBN 3-89735-160-9 , p. 12.
  8. a b c Anneliese Seeliger-Zeiss: Heidelberg church architecture using the example of the Heiliggeistkirche . In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 27.
  9. Köhler, 2006, p. 15
  10. ^ Andreas Cser: Brief history of the city and University of Heidelberg . Karlsruhe 2007, ISBN 978-3-7650-8337-2 , pp. 19f. Meinrad Schaab also speaks of the fact that Heidelberg was the residence city at the time of Ruprecht I : History of the Electoral Palatinate . Volume 1, 2nd edition. Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-17-015673-X , pp. 112, 120.
  11. a b Marlis Keller: The Church of the Holy Spirit. A walk to get to know each other. in: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 125
  12. ^ Herbert Derwein : On the medieval building history of Heidelberg. In: Karl Schwingel (Ed.): Festschrift for Karl Lohmeyer. West-Ost-Verlag, Saarbrücken 1954, pp. 10-13, here pp. 10 f.
  13. Oliver Fink: Little Heidelberg City History . Regensburg 2005, ISBN 3-7917-1971-8 , pp. 72f.
  14. Alexander Wiesneth: One of the earliest mansard roofs in Germany. Notes on the roof of the Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg. In: Frieder Hepp and Hans-Martin Mumm (eds.): Heidelberg in the Baroque. The reconstruction of the city after the destruction of 1689 and 1693. Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-88423-323-8 , p. 181.
  15. a b Köhler, 2006, p. 17
  16. a b c Köhler, 2006, p. 18
  17. a b c Anneliese Seeliger-Zeiss: Heidelberg church architecture using the example of the Heiliggeistkirche. In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 29.
  18. Köhler, 2006, p. 16
  19. a b c Koehler 2006, p. 20
  20. Anneliese Seeliger-Zeiss: Heidelberg church architecture using the example of the Heiliggeistkirche. In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 30.
  21. Marlis Keller: The Holy Spirit Church. A walk to get to know each other. In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 126.
  22. ^ Michael Buselmeier : Literary tours through Heidelberg . 3rd edition, 2007, ISBN 978-3-88423-257-6 , p. 153.
  23. a b Köhler, 2006, p. 19
  24. Köhler, 2006, p. 26
  25. ^ Richard Benz : Heidelberg. Destiny and spirit. 2nd Edition. Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen 1975, ISBN 3-7995-4008-3 , p. 51.
  26. ^ Karl J. Svoboda: The coat of arms fresco in the Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg. A contribution to the history of knighthood in Kraichgau , in: Kraichgau, Episode 2, 1970, pp. 180-183.
  27. Köhler, 2006, p. 22
  28. a b Marlis Keller: The Church of the Holy Spirit. A walk to get to know each other. In: Gottfried Seebaß u. a., 2001, p. 138.
  29. Renate Neumüllers-Klauser (arrangement): The inscriptions of the city and the district of Heidelberg (= The German inscriptions . Volume 12). Alfred Druckermüller, Stuttgart 1970, p. XIII.
  30. Meinrad Schaab: History of the Electoral Palatinate , Volume 2. Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-17-009877-2 , p. 27f.
  31. Pfeiffer, 2006, p. 53f.
  32. Heiliggeistkirche on heidelberg-marketing.de
  33. ^ Information from the Evangelical Church in Heidelberg , accessed on December 18, 2014.
  34. ^ Pfeiffer, 2006, p. 65
  35. Information on the history of the organs
  36. Disposition on the website of the student choir
  37. Christoph Andreas Schäfer: The choir organ of the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg . In: Supplement to CD Bach-Rheinberger , Classico 1999
  38. The large choir organ of the Heiliggeistkirche Heidelberg Ed. Kantorat Heiliggeist, Cantor Christoph Andreas Schäfer
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 23, 2008 .

Coordinates: 49 ° 24 ′ 44 ″  N , 8 ° 42 ′ 34 ″  E