The current building of Church of Our Lady dates from the 13th century. The church was originally dedicated to Saint Vitus. It served as market church of the city and later also as church of the city council. Around 1020, a new building was erected of which only the crypt still exists, decorated with medieval frescos. The church was extended to form a basilica in the middle of the 12th century. Around 1220, it was consecrated to the Virgin Mary. From 1230 onwards, it was rebuilt in the early Gothic style as a hall church. A westwork with two towers was added. For many years, the northern tower contained the archive of the city council of Bremen, known as the Tresekammer. In the 14th century, the choir was extended.
The interior was damaged by fire in 1944, but much less than the other medieval churches of the city. When the new organ was installed in 1953, the acoustics were so poor that in 1958 the city assigned Dieter Oesterlen to manage the church's refurbishment. The residual medieval plastering and the remains of the frescos were removed, leaving plain brick walls. In 1966, the French artist Alfred Manessier was charged with redesigning the 19 windows that had been destroyed during the Second World War. Inspired by verses from the Bible, he embarked first on the design of the four main windows, employing brightly coloured stained glass representations with expressive linear patterns.
The flour of the church comprisies some medieval tombstones, but there are no medieval sculpures, if there had been any, they have been removed during the reformation. But there are two sculptures from the 19th century.
After World War I, the architect Otto Blendermann from Bremen and the sculptor Friedrich Lommel from Munich created a war memorial in honour of the dead soldiers of Bremen garrison. In 2011, it was converted into a memorial for all victims of all wars. Since then, panes of opalescent glass on the walls bear a biblical admonition to keep peace, and panes of opalescent glass hiding the sculpture bear the names of the soldiers.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.