St. Stephen’s Church

Mainz, Germany

In 990 AD, Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire, endowed a collegiate foundation in Mainz and had the church built as the “Empire’s Place of Prayer”. The constructor of the cathedral was himself laid to rest in St. Stephen’s in 1011. The new Gothic building was erected between 1290 and 1335. It stands on the foundations of the basilica built in Ottonian-pre-Romanesque style around 990. When the (gun) Powder Tower located nearby blew up in 1857, St. Stephen’s was also badly damaged. The rich baroque decoration was removed during the reconstruction.

St. Stephen’s is the only German church for which the Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) created windows. He completed his final window shortly before his death at the age of 97. Nineteen later and deliberately more modest windows in the side aisles by Charles Marq, from the Atelier Jacques Simon in Reims, serve to lead up to the masterpieces. Chagall worked together with Marq for 28 years.

Anyone who has seen the famous windows should not afterwards fail to take a walk around the most beautiful late-Gothic cloister in Rhineland-Palatinate. This was the place of burial of many of the 600 canons. Tombstones and the coats of arms of the capitular families recall their memory. The coats of arms are enriched by modern keystones donated by the federal and state governments, the bishopric and city of Mainz. Works of art, such as the enthroned God the Father from the 15th century, or the late Gothic sculpture of St. Anne, the Virgin and the Christ Child, should also not be overlooked. For some years in St. Stephen’s, children have been baptised in the original Gothic baptismal font from 1330 again.

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Address

Stefansstraße 9, Mainz, Germany
See all sites in Mainz

Details

Founded: 1290-1335
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

More Information

www.mainz.de

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francisco Javier Quiroga (18 months ago)
Beautiful stained glasses!
Kai Wang (2 years ago)
It’s not easy to go there from cruise ship. But it worthy the long walk
Karel Buizer (2 years ago)
The blue windows are the prime attraction in this church, the blue ambient light is very special and unlike anything you have ever seen in any other church. Also the modern organ is very harmoniously integrated in the classic decor. Outside there is a very quiet cloister that has some very nice details, definately worth a walk around.
Clement Law (2 years ago)
I visited St. Stephan to see the blue stained glass windows by the artist Marc Chagall. It was wonderful! The stained glass created great mode different from most other churches. Highly recommend if you are in Mainz!!
Chris Schmandt (2 years ago)
Stunning blue aura inside on a sunny day. A cool and refreshing stop on a hot afternoon. The windows are just amazing and light up the whole church
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