The former Jesuit church from Molsheim (1615-1617)
Witness to the time of the Counter-Reform when, for a while, Molsheim became the religious capital of Alsace, opposing the Protestant town of Strasbourg, the young and fiery Society of Jesus was not only involved in teaching, but also in pastoral and missionary activities.
This church, built in only 2 years and 9 months, is one of the most magnificent and impressive in the country. It married tastefully the Gothic style and the modern architecture.
The Church of the Jesuits
The former Church of the Jesuits, which later came to be known as Molsheim's parish church, was built between 1615 and 1617 by architect Christophe Wambser.
A major land mark in the artistic evolution of the 17th century, the church was the main religious building erected in the Rhine Valley at that time.
The stucco decorations of the side chapels are the work of Jean Kuhn (1630) and have just been carefully restored. In the Chapel of our Lady (South side) the beautiful slab of Jean de Dirpheim (1306-1328) reminds us that the first hospital of Molsheim, founded by the same bishop, used to stand there.
The coat of arms on the key-stone of the Saint Ignatius Chapel is that of Archduke Leopold of Austria, brother of Emperor Ferdinand II and protector of the Jesuits in Molsheim. The organ was completed in 1781 by Jean André Silbermann. It is the only one in Alsace to have a "clavier d'écho" (keyboard) of 4 octaves.
To see inside :
- The choir
- The Virgin's chapel
- The Chapel of St Ignatius
- The Silbermann Organ
- The Carthusians'Cross