Collegiate Church (Tübingen)

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Aerial view of the collegiate church in Tübingen
Collegiate Church (January 2016)
Collegiate church vertically from above

The collegiate church of St. Georg in Tübingen was built in its current form from 1470 to 1490 under Count Eberhard im Bart due to the relocation of the canon monastery from Sindelfingen and the establishment of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen . The builders of the late Gothic hall church are Peter von Koblenz and Hans Augsteindreyer . It is the parish church of the Evangelical Collegiate Church Community of Tübingen and the deanery church in the church district of Tübingen .

In front of today's church, there were already two previous churches at this point.


Previous buildings

Stone on the south-west corner with a griffin and a lion, probably from the previous church

During an interior renovation in 1962/64, archaeological excavations were carried out under the direction of Urs Boeck. Two Romanesque predecessor buildings came to light.

The older building, probably built in the 11th century, was a three-aisled basilica with a semicircular choir and two semicircular side apses. The central axis was a little further north compared to today's church. In the center of the choir, directly under the altar, there was a masonry sarcophagus that housed an extraordinary burial: a supposedly three-legged individual. Although the surplus leg, as it turned out shortly after the excavation, was an incompletely preserved previous burial, the myth of the three-legged Utz soon found its way into the Tübingen vernacular.

The remains of the younger building were much worse preserved. A three-aisled basilica of unknown width is assumed. This building probably already had a portal extension in the north. The construction of this church is assumed for the middle of the 12th century.

The first written mention of a sacred building on the site of today's collegiate church dates from 1188. At that time, a building with the ecclesiastical status of a chapel was mentioned for the first time. This building was elevated to the parish church of Tübingen in 1191. In 1294 the church patronage was sold by the Count Palatine of Tübingen to the Bebenhausen monastery , to which the parish church of St. Georg was incorporated in 1325 and which it expanded to include a Marian patronage .

Construction of today's church

Collegiate church with Neckar front

In 1411, construction began on the oldest part of today's church, the bell tower. It was taken over when building today's church. The bell tower was completed up to the bell storey by 1468, but the new construction of the choir prevented further construction from 1470. The construction of the choir until 1478 is attributed to Peter von Koblenz, but his involvement is not documented. In 1476 the Canons' Monastery of Sindelfingen was relocated to Tübingen and the Church of St. Georg, which had been a parish church until then, was elevated to the status of a collegiate church. In 1478 the new building of the nave began, which was completed around 1490. The construction manager for the construction of the nave is the Wiesensteiger stonemason Hans Augstaindreyer. Due to financial difficulties, however, the main and side aisles were only equipped with a temporary wooden ceiling. The construction of the church could not be continued until 1529 with the construction of the spire. In 1534, as a result of the Reformation, the canon monastery was abolished and the collegiate church was therefore declared a parish church of Tübingen again in 1537. From 1550, the choir, which had previously served as the university auditorium, became the new burial place of the Württemberg ducal family. When the wooden top was put on, the bell tower was completed by Georg Beer in 1590.

Later changes

The interior of the church was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1674 and 1777, but redesigned with neo-Gothic interiors as part of a major renovation of the church under the Württemberg court architect Christian Friedrich von Leins in 1876 and 1877 . The most important goal of the renovation, however, was the vaulting of the main and side aisles. Its roof still consisted of wooden structures and has now been replaced by a ribbed vault with ribs made of cement and clay and vaulted fields made of tuff. After the renovation under Leins, there were minor changes to the building in the period that followed: The exterior was renewed from 1932 to 1934. From 1955 to 1960 the choir was restored under the direction of architect Heinrich Otto Vogel (local construction management: the Tübingen architect Artur Achstetter) and the nave was renovated between 1962 and 1964, with the present organ gallery being installed and the side galleries being renewed.


The roughly east-facing collegiate church is a three-aisled , late Gothic staggered hall with a five-eighth end and a west tower. It stands north of the Neckar on a saddle between Österberg and Spitzberg and is a landmark of the city that can be seen from afar.

The central nave is higher than the two side aisles, but has the same width. To the west it is shortened by the tower, which has found its place within the rectangular floor plan. The central nave is covered by a steep gable roof, which also includes the side aisles. The winter 1473/1474 for the choir and the years 1487 to 1489 for the nave roof were dendrochronologically proven as the felling date for the conifer and oak trunks . The timbers were felled in the Black Forest and floated across the Neckar, as indicated by the raft eyes . The roof trusses combine two different types of construction. The aisles continue to the side of the tower and are flush with the west wall of the tower. The north aisle has beveled corners. Pointed arch windows illuminate the nave and choir , the outer walls of which are divided by stepped buttresses . Inside, large pointed arches open the aisles to the central nave. The choir has the width and its roof ridge the height of the central nave. In the south-east there is a small sacristy , the eaves of which do not reach the choir.


The tower consists of a four-storey, solidly walled-up shaft on a square floor plan and a small tower structure. On the fourth floor, the bell floor, the stone triangular gables have two narrow, ogival sound openings, over which the clock faces of the tower clock are attached. The gables convey from the four-sided tower shaft to the octagonal tip. There a gallery at a height of 45 meters provides a wide view of the surrounding area.

The ailing church tower was renovated in 1932/33 under the direction of the State Office for Monument Preservation and the architect Rudolf Behr . Instead of the pinnacles that were mostly already broken off , the sculptor Fritz von Graevenitz created the four evangelist symbols that are still on the tower today. The shell limestone blocks required for this, each 2.80 meters in length, were broken up in the stone works of Schön & Hippelein in Satteldorf and prepared raw. Graevenitz's sculptures were only completed after they had been pulled up to their designated places on the tower by means of pulleys and inserted. The tower is accessible to visitors during the opening times, via spiral staircases and the roof space you can reach the walkway with a wide panoramic view of the old town.

inner space

inner space
The vault of the choir

The choir of the church, which was built as the first phase of construction, initially served as a canon church or priest church and contained a high altar, which was destroyed in the iconoclasm in 1536. The former choir stalls of the choir room are now placed in the nave.

The altarpiece of the folding altar from 1520 is the work of Dürer's pupil Hans Schäufelin , who worked as a town painter in Nördlingen . The altar shows the crucifixion of Christ in the middle picture, on the inside of the wings you can see the carrying of the cross and the lamentation. The exterior of the altarpiece depicts Christ on the Mount of Olives. In 1960 the altar was restored.

The interior of the church was fundamentally renovated between 1962 and 1965. This became necessary after cracks became visible on the facade and in the nave . The settlement movement of the church was due to an air raid shelter from the Second World War that ran from the Holzmarkt under the south-western facade of the church and then turned into Münzgasse. Intended for the police and Gestapo office in the Münzgasse 13 building and the citizens of the city center, the construction of the air raid shelter was carried out by forced laborers. After the war, the bunker was forgotten and only came back to consciousness with the damage to the collegiate church. After the bunker was mostly filled with concrete, the movement of the collegiate church also stabilized.

Burial place

Burial place in the choir of the collegiate church
Grave in the choir room. Anna Maria von Brandenburg-Ansbach with gauze bandage as a sign of her widowhood, wife of Duke Christoph von Württemberg
Grave in the choir room. Mechthild von der Pfalz, first marriage to Count Ludwig I of Württemberg, and second marriage to Archduke Albrecht VI. married from Austria. With a face that was unusually expressive for the time.

The following graves are located in the burial place in the chancel of the collegiate church:


The following epitaphs hang on the walls of the aisles and the vestibule :



Figure under the stairs to the pulpit

The collegiate church pulpit, built in 1509, is famous not only because of the many important preachers who were and are to be heard there, but also as a work of art. The Latin church fathers Gregory the Great , Hieronymus , Augustine of Hippo and Ambrosius of Milan are depicted on the basket, each with an evangelist symbol. In the figure under the stairs, the Tübingen pulpit man, the builder of the wooden pulpit, Jörg Adler, is likely to have set a monument for himself. In 1964 the pulpit was moved one yoke to the east, so that it is no longer in its original location.

Choir stalls

Figure of Moses on the choir stalls

The choir stalls, carved in 1491, originally belonged to the initial furnishings of the choir room. The university was founded there. Today it is in the nave to the right and left of the altar area. Four pairs of carved figures show Aaron and Moses, King David and Christ, the Apostles Paul and James, a nobleman and a craftsman.

Rood screen

As in many Gothic churches, the rood screen once formed the barrier between the choir room, reserved for the clergy, and the nave of the lay people, to whom the readings ("rood screen" = "lectorium") were given. This separation was abolished with the Reformation . Unlike in most other churches of the New Faith, where the choir barriers fell and rood screens were removed, the rood screen built in 1490 by Daniel Schürer in Tübingen was preserved.

That this happened is thanks to an idea of Duke Ulrich , who introduced the Reformation in Württemberg in 1534. He designated the choir room as the burial place of the Württemberg dynasty. From then on, church services were only celebrated in the ship and the rood screen could remain standing. In 1866 the parapet of the rood screen was renewed under Christian Friedrich von Leins, from 1962 to 1964 it was painted in color during an interior restoration.

Stained glass

The stained glass of the church windows in the choir date from 1475 (114 panes in total) and are from the workshop of Peter Hemmel von Andlau , who also designed church windows in Ulm , Augsburg , Nuremberg , Munich and Strasbourg . In the main window, next to the founder Count Eberhard and the patron saint of the Church of St. George, the legend of Mary can be seen in nine stories of four panes. The north-east window offers a mixture of preserved donor and professor windows and the story of Martin's mantle division; In the south-east window there is a mixture of preserved donor, AT, Passion and judgment discs; further individual panes can be seen in the side windows of the choir. Modern stained glass in the choir and the sacristy was designed by Wolf-Dieter Kohler in 1962 , as well as two figurative chapel windows (Our Father, hymn of praise of all creation) and five non-representational choir windows in a simple form scheme.

The glazing of the nave was also partly created in 1962 by Wolf-Dieter Kohler (expressionistic design of the angel prophecies from Revelation 8 in the southern vestibule or Breuning chapel), but above all in 1964 by Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen : window above the south portal (nine pane works Mercy, six panes of passion), above the Marienportal (six panes of the life of Mary), in the university chapel (tree of life and streams of living water) and the wheel window (martyrdom of George). Emil Kiess also deliberately set himself apart from these glass designs in 1964 in his nine translucent and abstract south and north windows: without vegetable or figural motifs.

Other equipment

The artist Ulrich Henn designed the creed in bronze in three ways: in 1964 the bridal portal (for the 1st article) and the altar cross ("box cross" for the 2nd article: Christ the Lord in 10 medallions and a mandorla ) and in 2013 the bronze chandelier for the Easter and christening candle (for the 3rd article).


Prospectus of the Weigle organ

The organ has 63 registers on three manuals and pedal the largest musical instrument Tübingen. The instrument was built in 1965 by Weigle ( Echterdingen ) and renovated and expanded in 2001 by Rensch ( Lauffen am Neckar ).

I Hauptwerk C – g 3
01. Prefix 16 ′
02. Quintadena 16 ′
03. Principal 08th'
04th Capstan whistle 08th'
05. Tube bare 08th'
06th Viol 08th'
07th octave 04 ′
08th. Coupling flute 04 ′
09. Fifth 02 23
10. octave 02 ′
11. Flat flute 02 ′
12. Mixture V 02 ′
13. Sounding Sharp V 01 13
14th Cornett III-V 08th'
15th bassoon 16 ′
16. Light trumpet 08th'
17th Clarine 04 ′
II breastwork C – g 3
18th Covered 8th'
19th Quintviola 8th'
20th Minor priest 4 ′
21st Reed flute 4 ′
22nd Gemshorn 4 ′
23. Sesquialter II 2 23
24. Small octave 2 ′
25th Night horn 2 ′
26th Gemsnasat 1 13
27. Sifflet 1'
28. Sharp Cymbal IV 1'
29 Dulcian 8th'
30th Schalmey 4 ′
III Swell C – g 3
31. Bourdon 16 ′
32. Fiddling principal 08th'
33. Wooden flute 08th'
34. Salicional 08th'
35. Vox coelestis 08th'
36. Singing octave 04 ′
37. Hollow flute 04 ′
38. Nasal fifth 02 23
39. Field flute 02 ′
40. Block third 01 35
41. Seventh flute (from c 0 ) 01 17
42. recorder 01'
43. Nonen flute (from g 0 ) 089
44. Coarse mix VI 02 ′
45. Basson 16 ′
46. Trompette harmonique 08th'
47. Hautbois 08th'
48. Clairon 04 ′
Pedal C – f 1
49. Pedestal 32 ′
50. Principal 16 ′
51. Sub bass 16 ′
52. Gedacktpommer 16 ′
53. Octavbass 08th'
54. Pointed flute 08th'
55. Violon 08th'
56. Theorbo III 05 13
57. Dolkan 04 ′
58. Choral Bass III 02 23
59. Dolkan 02 ′
60. trombone 16 ′
61. Dark trumpet 08th'
62. bassoon 08th'
63. Clairon 04 ′
  • Coupling (optionally mechanical or electrical): II / I, III / I, III / II. I / P, II / P, III / P (electrical). Sub-octave coupling (electrical): III / I, III / II. Super octave coupling (electrical): III / P.
  • Playing aids : typesetting system with 6,000 combinations, sequencer forwards and backwards, crescendo roller, two swell kicks for II. And III. Manual.
  • Remarks:
  1. Swellable.
  2. In the prospectus.
  3. a b c d e small pedal.


The collegiate church has nine bells in the disposition h ° cis 'd' e 'fis' gis 'and a' - the oldest from the medieval predecessor church, the youngest from 1963. They differ not only in size, tone and ornamentation, but also have also their own, sometimes turbulent, history. Seven bells hang in the tower and two more inaccessible outside in the tower lantern. The two relatively small bells in the tower lantern, one of which is still used today as a striking bell, are around 700 years old. In 1587, sundials were placed on the four sides of the collegiate church so you could see what time it was, and in December 1587 the chiming bell was pulled out so that the hour could be heard in town.

The Breuning bell and the Kienlin bell named after their donors are particularly well-known .

The largest bell is called Gloriosa , the glorious, and was cast in the Hessian sense on July 18, 1963 by the Rincker brothers' bell and art foundry. The tone of the gloriosa is the h °. Its upper inscription reads: "Praise and praise be to the Holy Trinity forever." The lower edge of the bell bears a two-line inscription: "For the consecration of the church after the interior renovation from 1962-1963 / City and parish of Tübingen." It is rarely used: The Tübingen practically only hears them on the feast days of the church year.

The oldest still ringing bell in the collegiate church is called Dominica and it was six hundred years old in 2011. It was cast on September 1st, 1411 by the masters Adam and Bodemmer and with 3300 kg it is the second heaviest after the Gloriosa . It is 1.33 meters high and up to five meters in circumference. On her shoulder is written in Latin "O King of Glory Christ come with peace". In addition to her normal use of the bell, she was sometimes rung as the “doctor's bell” during the graduation ceremonies at the university. In 1932 the bell was retuned from d 'to c sharp' by grinding the inner bell wall. Experts consider this an unforgivable sacrilege. In 1932 they actually wanted to tune in a new bell, but retuning the three bells was so expensive that the money for the necessary two additional bells was missing.

The baptismal bell dates from 1963. It bears the inscription: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved." There was a dispute over its predecessor in January 1720 after the Stuttgart bell founder Christian Reihlente tried with dubious success, to repair a crack. The bell founder said the bell was okay and that its sound was only criticized when he asked for his money. In the year 1891 the sound of the bell was described as "strange" in the Tübingen Chronicle. A clear “b” is heard on the wreath, further up instead of the expected oberterz the small lower digit “g” and at the very top the weak secondary tone “es”.

Casting year
(16th note)
1 Gloriosa 1963 Rincker 3661 h 0
2 Dominika 1411 Adam and Bodemmer 3300 cis 1
3 Breunings Bell 1469 Eger 2100 d 1
4th Prayer bell 1448 Eger 1150 e 1
5 Memorial bell 1954 Short 979 f sharp 1
6th Kienlin bell 1662 Rosier 550 g sharp 1
7th Baptismal bell 1963 Rincker 433 a 1
8th Chime bell 2013 Rincker 380 h 1
9 Chime bell 2013 Rincker 350 c sharp 2

Since 2014, the chimes have been equipped with electric hammers and sound like chimes. In addition, two small bells were hung in the tower to complete the scale upwards. The two new bells do not count towards the bell. The idea of ​​a carillon goes back to the collegiate music director Hans-Peter Braun , who at the turn of the year 1999/2000 had already combined all the bells of the inner city churches into his large bell composition 'Klangzeiten'. Braun wrote a small songbook containing the playable melodies of the hymnbook in the necessary transpositions.


Wind players in the collegiate church play the chorals on Sunday morning. Great God, we praise you and I call to you, Lord Jesus Christ

For many decades, winds from the Tübingen trombone choir have been playing the weekly song from the tower of the collegiate church on Sunday mornings at around 8.30 a.m. and another chorale in all four directions, which can be heard throughout the old town.

The motet was founded in 1945 by Walter Kiefner as a weekly musical Saturday evening devotion based on the Leipzig model. In the meantime, it has taken place more than 2500 times and has gained national recognition.


  • Sibylle Setzler, Wilfried Setzler: Collegiate Church of Tübingen. History, architecture, art treasures. A guide , Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Tübingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-928011-66-2
  • Stefanie A. Knöll / Dirk Kottke: The grave monuments of the collegiate church in Tübingen , Theiss, Stuttgart 2007 (Contributions to the history of Tübingen, Volume 13), ISBN 978-3-8062-1915-9 .
  • Tilmann Marstaller , Andreas Stiene: The roof works over the choir and nave of the Tübingen collegiate church . In: "Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg" 35th year 2006, issue 2, pp. 78–86 ( PDF )
  • Ev. Church district Tübingen (Ed.): Churches in the deanery Tübingen - silent treasures, art and culture ; Tübingen 2000, page 84 f
  • Hermann Jantzen: Stiftskirche in Tübingen , Theiss, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-8062-1112-4 (= contributions to the history of Tübingen 5)
  • Evangelical Churches and Christian Art in Württemberg 1957-1966 - A Cross Section ; Ed. Association for Christian Art in the Protestant Church of Württemberg - Adolf Gommel; Stuttgart 1966, Figs. 28–33, 74
  • Oskar Heck: On the repair of the nave of the Protestant collegiate church in Tübingen ; in: Newsletter of the preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg, 11th year 1968, issue 1, pages 12-17
  • Urs Boeck: The Tübingen St. George's Church in pre-Gothic times . In: "Der Sülchgau" 9, 1965, ISSN  0940-4325 , pp. 65-71
  • Urs Boeck: A glass book of piety. Description and reconstruction of the stained glass by Peter Hemmel in the choir of the Tübingen collegiate church . In: "Tübinger Blätter", Volume 45, 1958, pp. 56–63 ( digitized version )

Web links

Commons : Stiftskirche Tübingen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Stefan Schäfer, the rebirth of old myths in the unconscious discourse of the population of southern Germany in the three decades after the Second World War. In: Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde 75, 1982. pp. 56–116.
  2. a b Entry on Tübingen on LEO-BW . Accessed November 14, 2014.
  3. a b c Sights of the city of Tübingen . Accessed November 14, 2014.
  4. a b Dagmar Zimdars (arrangement): Georg Dehio: Handbook of German Art Monuments. Baden-Württemberg II. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin and Munich, 1997, ISBN 3-422-03030-1 , p. 716.
  5. a b c Götz Adriani , Andreas Feldtkeller (ed.): Tübingen. Cultural monuments. Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen, 1978, p. 12.
  6. a b c Zimdars (arrangement): Georg Dehio: Handbook of German Art Monuments. Baden-Württemberg II. P. 717.
  7. Overview of the collegiate church St. Georg . Accessed November 14, 2014.
  8. Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance, Building and Property Management (ed.): Land Baden-Württemberg. Churches and monasteries. (Series: Belser Excursion Guide, Volume 2.) Belser, Stuttgart and Zurich, 1980, p. 206.
  9. a b c Zimdars (arrangement): Georg Dehio: Handbook of German Art Monuments. Baden-Württemberg II. P. 718.
  10. Tilmann Marstaller, Andreas Stiene: The roof works on choir and nave of Tuebingen Collegiate Church , accessed on May 3, 2016th
  11. The tower of the collegiate church and its bells , accessed on May 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Fritz von Graevenitz: Sculpture in Sun and Wind - Experiences and Sensations in the Execution of the Four Evangelist Symbols on the Tower of the Tübingen Collegiate Church , Stuttgart 1933.
  13. [1]
  14. Dr. Klaus Mohr: A guided tour through the collegiate church in Tübingen on July 19, 2007. Tübingen-Kilchberg ( full text )
  15. ^ Description of the organ on the website of the Stiftskirche Tübingen . Accessed March 22, 2019.
  16. Do you know Tübingen? - The bells of the collegiate church
  17. ^ A b Hans-Joachim Lang : The Dominica in the collegiate church bells is 600 years old , Schwäbisches Tagblatt, August 29, 2011.
  18. Andreas C. Zell: Detailed oddities of the Würtemberg University of Tübingen. 1743, p. 102.
  19. ^ The collegiate church on TÜpedia
  20. The bells of the collegiate church: The Gloriosa.
  21. YouTube video: Tübingen Stiftskirche Gloriosa
  22. YouTube video: Tübingen Stiftskirche historic bells
  23. Peter Ertle: That darkens me divinely. Tagblatt, March 22, 2008.
  24. Glockenspiel of the collegiate church
  25. Information on the carillon

Coordinates: 48 ° 31 '12.3 "  N , 9 ° 3' 21.6"  E