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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Stefansstraße 9, Mainz, Germany
See all sites in Mainz


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

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Emy Evans (6 months ago)
The inside of the church is so adorable, esp. with the Chagall windows. Of course, inside is so solemn, it is a lovely place to meditate
Jaren Rogers (8 months ago)
Absolutely stunning church. Loved the deep blue stained glass hue of the interior. Highly recommend a quick stop if you're in the area.
Pasan Sensouk (11 months ago)
This beautiful church, it might look simple from outside but inside it's very beautiful, decorated with blue glass windows. It's recommended to visit in Mainz.
meiai (2 years ago)
There're many Stained glass of Chagall. So impressive and so calm place, easy to get there from Dom on foot. The garden also beautiful!! It's free, so I bought some post cards as donation.
Pavel D. (2 years ago)
Hidden gem of Mainz! I have been outside in the church cloistered courtyard, which is relatively small but very beautiful and picturesque, many times, however this was my first time inside the church and I was really impressed. I had no idea there was such a beautiful church in Mainz! This place is known for its unique stained-glass windows in luminous blue that were created by Marc Chagall. The light coming through the windows was absolutely stunning and created an almost unreal ambience, I felt like being under water. I have never seen such beautiful lighting in any church I have visited (visited mid-day with clear skies, so nothing was blocking the sun beams to enter the church). I also enjoyed the beautiful modern Organs near the chancel with the altar. There is a little gift shop inside, where you can buy souvenirs like postcards, books and magnets mainly with the blue window theme. Church is wheel-chair accessible and there is no entrance fee. Totally recommend to visit this church as pictures don't really do justice, you must see it with your own eyes to have the full experience. Visited in May 2022.
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