St. George's Church

Sélestat, France

St. George's Church site in Sélestat was first mentioned in records from the eighth century and was originally a baptismal chapel in the imperial palace built by Charlemagne, which the emperor is believed to have visited at Christmas in the year 775. The church stands on the remains of a large rotunda. Most of the Gothic basilica was built by Sélestat traders, a few metres from the Romanesque church of the priory of Sainte-Foy, the earlier church of the town, and its construction may be held to mark the growing wealth and independence of the merchant classes. Building of the new church started around 1220 and continued without interruption until the early fifteenth century. The side aisles were built during the first year, and the nave itself was raised in 1235.

The west end was constructed in the early 14th century. Similarly, the west tower, topped with an octagon with pinnacles, is dated to the 14th century, although the work was interrupted during this century. The construction of three large choir spans began at the end of the 14th century.

The construction of the tower continued during the 15th century and a rood screen was built in 1489 and 1490 by Conrad Sifer, but was destroyed during the French Revolution.

A door on the north wall of the transept was formed in the fifteenth century. A relief carved on the reverse is the veil of Saint Veronica, showing nails and the Holy Face. This relief could also be the work of Conrad Sifer. A staircase mounting the height of the nave bears the date 1615, the name of 'Stéphane Exstel' and a stonecutter's mark. Many other stonecutters' marks are also found throughout the building.



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Founded: c. 1220
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Manuel Garcia (10 months ago)
Such a beautiful petit cathedral
Dmitry Berezhnoy (3 years ago)
Beautiful stain glass crafted over multiple centuries. I loved the seasonal exhibition on the history of Christmas tree.
Claudio Kuenzler (4 years ago)
Beautiful church, set in a reddish stone tone (reminded us a bit of the color of the Cheateau Haut-Koenigsbourg). Both outside and inside architecture very nice.
Nancy Stefka (5 years ago)
Beautiful--- love that they play a recording of organ and choir music.
Tammy Bonafede (6 years ago)
A very ancient gothic church, very interesting,a must see.
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