Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Church

Rouffach, France

The Église Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption Church) is a Roman Catholic parish church of the town of Rouffach in southern Alsace. It is one of the largest medieval churches in the Haut-Rhin département.

The church is made of yellow and pink sandstone and was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, with Neo-Gothic additions. The oldest part of the building, the transept, dates from the second half of the 11th century; the nave is from the 12th and 13th century and displays both late Romanesque walls and early Gothic side portals; the choir is in late Gothic style. Work on the building both outside and inside continued until 1508; however, the twin-towered façade remained unfinished.

A rood screen that had been built around 1300 was demolished in the 18th century and only two lateral staircases remain. Notre-Dame de l'Assomption suffered severe damage during the French Revolution and now appears relatively unadorned on both the outside and the inside.

The great façade portal was vandalized during the French Revolution, when the statues and other sculptures that adorned it were shattered. On the front gable and the clerestory area, as well as on top of the apse, regions too high to be reached by ladder, some sculptures are still to be seen. Inside, some late gothic capitals still testify to the ornamental style employed by some of the church's designers.

Rouffach's main church owns a pipe organ from the year 1855 (a work by Claude-Ignace Callinet) in which some of the pipes from the previous organ, of 1626, are still to be found. These are the oldest still-functioning organ pipes of Alsace. The rose window of the façade (14th century) is, by the number of lancets composing it as well as by overall design, the most complex in Alsace, before the much larger one of Strasbourg Cathedral, which has only 16 lancets. Apart from the baptismal font, the tabernacle and the tombstone of the knight Werner Falk, all three in an ornate Gothic style, the rest of the interior furnishing is mainly Neo-Gothic.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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User Reviews

Dmitry Berezhnoy (3 years ago)
Beautiful gothic church with complicated history. Pretty much the only thing to see in this village.
Anton Ivanov (3 years ago)
Immerse yourself in Gothic architecture, Neo-Gothic, Romanesque architecture...
Erika Murbache (5 years ago)
The church was closed and we couldnt see it inside. Outside it is needing some repairs. There is a little market by the side of the church on saturdays, there you will find nice cheese, dried meat, fresh fruits and vegetables
Philippe Meyer (5 years ago)
Such an impressive building located in a very remote place
RR (6 years ago)
Beautiful cathedral. The bells are wonderful to hear.
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