St. Peter and Paul (Obermarchtal)

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Munster St. Peter and Paul
Portal on the west facade

The Catholic parish church and former Premonstratensian collegiate church of St. Peter and Paul in Obermarchtal , a community in the Alb-Donau district in Baden-Württemberg , was built in the first half of the 13th century and in the Baroque style towards the end of the 17th century rebuilt. The church, which is located high above the Danube and can be seen from afar, is one of the most beautiful examples of early Baroque architecture in southern Germany. In 2001, the bishop of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart , Gebhard Fürst , elevated the former collegiate church to a minster .


The Church of St. Peter and Paul stands on the site of the Obermarchtal Monastery , which was founded in the 8th century and consecrated to the Apostle Peter . At the end of the 10th century, Duke Hermann II of Swabia and his wife Gerberga of Burgundy founded a new canon , which was consecrated to the Apostles Peter and Paul . In 995, a new monastery church was consecrated by Bishop Gebhard von Konstanz . In 1171, Count Palatine Hugo II of Tübingen and his wife Elisabeth von Bregenz handed over the canons to the Premonstratensian Canons of Rot an der Rot , who set up a twin pen in Obermarchtal . The women's monastery died out again in the following years after a ban on choir women in 1273. Under the provost Walther II of Schmalstetten, the old collegiate church was converted into a three-aisled basilica , which was consecrated in 1239 by the Constance bishop Heinrich von Tanne .

This building, called the Waltherische Bau , served the canons as a church until 1686. In this year, the foundation stone for today's church was laid under Abbot Nikolaus Wierith, which was consecrated in 1701 by Konrad Ferdinand Geist von Wildegg , Auxiliary Bishop of Constance . Tommaso Comacio from Graubünden was initially engaged as the master builder . He was followed by the architects Michael Thumb , who came from Au in Vorarlberg , and after his death his brother Christian and Franz Beer , who had joined forces with other builders in the Auer Guild and who shaped the baroque buildings in southern Germany.


Exterior construction

The two 68 meter high towers on the east side have a square substructure and an octagonal structure with numerous, differently designed openings. They are covered by onion hoods on which dome-like lanterns are placed.

The south side is structured by flat pilasters , between which round arched windows are arranged at the top and high oval windows cut into rectangular fields at the bottom. The facade of the hardly protruding south transept is bordered by corner pilasters. It has a volute gable with an empty niche and a triangular end.

The west facade is structured by four pilasters. In the middle there is a round arch portal framed by pilasters and crowned by a segmented gable. In the tympanum you can see the coat of arms of the bishop and curia cardinal Walter Kasper . An arched window opens above the portal. The gable field, which is delimited by a pronounced cornice, has an empty niche in the middle and two round windows to the side, with a triangular gable at the top.

inner space

Look at the choir
Organ loft

The building is a pillar church with a length of 55.68 meters, a width of 21.84 meters, in the transept of 25.72 meters and a height of 18.40 meters, in the choir of 17.40 meters. The interior consists of a three-bay nave , a barely pronounced transept and a three-bay, retracted choir that opens into a semicircular, shell-like apse .

The choir and the nave have an equally large, square base. They are covered by barrels with stab cap, the transept arms have ribbed vaults . The western end of the nave is formed by a vestibule over which the organ gallery is built. A continuous gallery, which surrounds the entire interior, leads from this to the choir. The chapels between the pillars and the gallery above it form the two-story aisles, which are the same height as the nave and the choir. The chapels are illuminated through the oval windows, the galleries through the arched windows.

Stucco decor

Pillars in the choir

The stucco work was carried out by Michael Schnell, Christioph Zöpf and above all by Johann Schmuzer , one of the founders of the Wessobrunn school . The mighty pillars are decorated with intricately carved capitals and wide beams . Above the chancel arch one's cartridge with the year MDCXCII (1692), the year of completion of the work attached. The vaults, the stitch caps, the ribs and the belt arches are covered with a rich stucco decoration of acanthus tendrils , putti heads, fruit and laurel wreaths. The Christ monogram IHS is framed by a fruit wreath on the ceiling in the choir


Angel under the pulpit
  • The four-column high altar , which was created by Paul Speisegger and Hans Heinrich Schlegel around 1696, takes up the entire apse. The altar panel was made in 1695 by the painter Johannes Heiß, who came from Memmingen , and is dedicated to St. Joseph and the church patrons Peter and Paul. Above the painting you can see the monastery coat of arms on a heart-shaped shield, which is held by two angels. To the side of the altar are larger-than-life figures of St. Norbert von Xanten , the founder of the Premonstratensian order, and of the Church Father Augustine , who holds a flaming heart in his hands. The altar extract is crowned by the figure of the Archangel Michael , the picture depicting the Trinity was painted in 1696 by Johann Georg Knappich from Augsburg .
  • The four transept altars, the sacrament altar, the Alexandra altar with the relics of the martyr, the rosary altar and the Theodora altar, also with the relics of the saints, have a similar structure to the high altar and come from the same period.
  • Another seven altars are built into the side chapels, all of which except for the one consecrated to John the Baptist were made in the 18th century.
    • The altar consecrated to John the Baptist in the western chapel of the north nave dates from 1694 and is the oldest.
    • At the Tiberius altar the head of the saint is exhibited, which the Constance Auxiliary Bishop Johann Anton Tritt von Wilderen gave to Abbot Johannes Engler in 1626 and which became the destination of the Tiberius pilgrimage.
    • The Ursacius altar with the reliquary of the saint contains in its center a Madonna and Child in a halo from around 1480.
    • The altars of the side chapels in the south nave are dedicated to St. Agatha , St. Anthony of Padua , St. Norbert and St. Pius.
  • The wood-carved choir stalls bear the signature of the monastery brother Paul Speisegger, who came from Schaffhausen, and are marked with the year 1690. It consists of two rows of twelve seats on either side and is carved with angel heads and leaf consoles . The back walls, decorated with inlays , have niches crowned by shells and are crowned by the busts of the first four beatified provosts. In 1777/79 Johann Nepomuk Holzhey placed the pipes of the choir organ on the choir stalls .
  • The wrought iron grille between the choir and transept is a work from the late 17th century. Three coats of arms are attached to the grille, the coat of arms of Abbot Nikolaus Wierith, who had the grille made, the coat of arms of the monastery and the coat of arms of Abbot Paulus Schmid, who had the grille restored in 1777.
  • Another iron grille that separates the vestibule from the nave was made in 1890.
  • The crucifix that hangs under the choir arch and the figures of Mary and the apostle John, standing on the sides on cornices, probably come from the previous church.
  • The pulpit was made between 1711 and 1719. The four evangelists and the apostles Peter and Paul are depicted on the pulpit . The sound cover is crowned by the figure of St. Norbert, under whose feet his adversary Tanchelm lies. Angels sit on the edge of the sound cover , holding tablets with Latin sayings in their hands. An angel hovers under the pulpit, who appears to be carrying the pulpit.
  • In the style of Rococo designed niche is a Pietà kept from around the 1520th

Main organ

Main organ by Johann Nepomuk Holzhey (with reconstructed prospect pipes)

The main organ of St. Peter and Paul was built between 1778 and 1780 by Johann Nepomuk Holzhey , one of the most important organ builders of the southern German Baroque. The instrument has three manuals and 43  registers , with two registers only in the bass and treble . In the years 1782 to 1784 another Holzhey organ was added as a choir organ with 2 manuals and 26 registers.

The main organ was largely preserved, but there were repeated interventions of all kinds. Small repairs and larger changes in line with contemporary tastes up to a “renovation” in the 1960s caused the complete destruction of Holzhey's sound concept and the loss of valuable original substance. At least the historical labial pipes were spared except for the prospect pipes . In addition, a progressive infestation of anobia became apparent.

In 2011 and 2012, the organ builder Johannes Rohlf's workshop reconstructed the instrument based on the original Holzhey organs. At a cost of more than 1 million euros with a workload of 15,500 hours, the character of the originally built organ was approached again. It was inaugurated again on October 7, 2012 and is considered an outstanding example of historical, southern German organ building. The disposition of the main organ is:

I main work C – f 3
1. Praestant 16 ′
2. Principal 8th'
3. Copel 8th'
4th Quintads 8th'
5. Gamba 8th'
6th viola 8th'
7th Octave 4 ′
8th. Whistle 4 ′
9. Nasard 3 ′
10. Sexquialter III 3 ′
11. Cornet III 3 ′
12. Super octave 2 ′
13. Mixture VI 2 ′
14th Trumpet 8th'
15th Claron 8th'
II Positive C – f 3
16. Principal 8th'
17th Reed fetuses 8th'
18th Salicional 8th'
19th Unda Maris 8th'
20th Flautravers (from c 0 ) 8th'
21st Octave 4 ′
22nd Hollow fetuses 4 ′
23. Quint 3 ′
24. Siflöt 2 ′
25th Hörnle II 2 ′ + 1 35
26th Cimbal V 2 ′
27. Bassoon B 8th'
28. Hautbois D 8th'
III Echowerk C – f 3
29 Night horn 8th'
30th Dulciana 8th'
31. Spizfetuses 4 ′
32. Cornet Resit IV
33. Flageolet 2 ′
34. Vox humana 8th'
35. Cromorne B 8th'
36. Shawm D 8th'
Pedal C – d 1
37. Sub-bass 16 ′
38. Octave bass 8th'
39. Violonbass 8th'
40. Cornetbass V
41. Bompard 16 ′
42. Trumpet 8th'
43. Claron 4 ′
  1. a b C – f sharp 0
  2. a b g 0 –f 3


Bell jar

The bell on the two towers of the minster is also known as the largest historical total bell in Baden-Württemberg. It consists of 13 bells, twelve of which were cast between 1300 and 1750. The oldest bell, the Evangelist bell, dates from the first half of the 14th century and weighs 75 kilograms. The second oldest bell from 1491 bears the inscription: "In the cit des hunger and the dirri and vidervertikait I am made before". The two heaviest bells weigh 4900 and 2200 kilograms and were cast in the 17th century under Abbot Nikolaus Wierith. Six bells in the north tower were made in 1688 by the Rosier brothers' bell foundry in Rottenburg am Neckar from Lorraine . The bell , which weighs 130 kilograms and is consecrated to Saint Heinrich Suso , was donated by the Bachert bell foundry in 1989 .


  • Maximilian Müller, Winfried Aßfalg: Former Premonstratensian Abbey of St. Peter and Paul Marchtal. Katholische Kirchengemeinde St. Peter and Paul (ed.) 2nd edition, Obermarchtal 2006, ISBN 3-00-003061-1 .

Web links

Commons : St. Peter and Paul (Obermarchtal)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Pilgrimage to St. Tiberius in Obermarchtal pastoral care unit Marchtal
  2. ^ Stefan Bentele: Obermarchtal: Holzhey organ in Obermarchtal inaugurated - power failure at the fair. In: October 8, 2012, accessed April 4, 2018 .
  3. Holzhey organ in the Münster Obermarchtal. In: Retrieved April 4, 2018 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 14 ′ 11.4 "  N , 9 ° 34 ′ 10.6"  E