St. Augustine's Church

Mainz, Germany

The mendicant order of Augustinian hermits had a monastery in the Augustinerstrasse from 1260 until 1802. The one-aisled church was newly constructed, together with the monastery, from 1768 to 1772. The Diocesan Priests’ Seminary has been located here since 1805. The ornamentation of the church is so rich because patrons generously supported the work: The Elector did not want a “peasants’ church” in his residence city. The façade shows the vivid forms of Main-Franconian baroque and a Coronation of the Virgin by the Mainz sculptor Nikolaus Binterim. In the interior, the painter Johann Baptist Enderle from Donauwörth glorified the life of the Father of the Church, Augustine, in large, bright ceiling frescos. Johann Heinrich Stumm built the divided organ with the centre window in1773; it is one of the few surviving instruments of this dynasty of organ builders.

A lime wood sculpture from 1420 smiles out of a niche between the south side altars: Mary with the Child Jesus playing – an unusual work of Gothic art in its brightness which is assigned to the “soft style”. The highly venerated miraculous image was rescued from the burning Church of Our Lady in 1793. In the high altar is an iconographic rarity: At the death of Christ, God the Father lets “Mankind’s certificate of debt” be torn up by a putto.

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Founded: 1768-1772
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Emerging States (Germany)

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www.mainz.de

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