The Jesuit church was built between 1733 in 1756 as the Court Church of the Mannheim electors Charles Philip III and Charles Theodore to a design of the Italian architect Alessandro Galli da Bibiena. It was completed in 1760 and consecrated to St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier by the Prince Bishop of Augsburg, Joseph of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Features of the exterior are the twin towered facade of red sandstone, the statues of the four cardinal virtues, the Pheme, by Baroque sculptor Paul Egell, which adorns the 75 m-high dome.
The marble pilastered interior is in a late Baroque-early classical style. Egid Quirin Asam from Munich was instructed to decorate the church. He decorated the dome with scenes from the life of the order's founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, while the nave had an over 400 square metre fresco whose content referred to the subject of the high altar, namely the Mission of St. Francis Xavier to India.
On the occasion of city's 300th anniversary in 1906 the church was extensively renovated. The two statues of the founders of the Jesuit order in the lobby are by the sculptor Thomas Buscher. During the Second World War, the church suffered severe damage from British and American air attacks, especially the choir and the dome. After the war it was decided to rebuild the church in its historical style with the use of original parts in the reconstruction of the approximately 20 metres high marble altar of Peter Anton von Verschaffelt, and the electoral pews.
Even today, this church is still very rich in Baroque art. It has, the six side altars and font by Verschaffelt. In the crossing beneath the dome there are four frescoes representing the continents by the Mannheim Baroque painter Philip Jerome Brinckmann. The confessionals were reconstructed like the electoral pews. The most important sculpture is the 1747 'Crowned Silver Madonna' of Augsburg silversmith, Joseph Ignaz Saler. The destroyed frescoes by Egid Quirin Asam were not restored. Today's pulpit was only placed here after the war. It was created in 1753 and originally came from the Carmelite convent in Heidelberg. In the lobby there are very richly ornamented wrought iron gates made by the Mannheim master locksmith Philip Reinhard Sieber in 1755 and two monuments of the church from 1906.
The main organ case in the west gallery is built according to a design of the elector’s court sculptor Paul Egell. It survived the bombing and the small damage it suffered was repaired in 1952. In 1965 an instrument from the workshop of Johannes Klais of Bonn was installed. In 2004 this was optimized acoustically. The four manual organ has 62 registers. In the left side gallery is the choir organ. The case is by an anonymous artist. It was constructed for the Catholic Church in Fuerth in Odenwald in 1751/52. In 1961 it was transferred to Mannheim and contains 16 registers from the case of the post-war Egell organ. The instrument is now technically unreliable and will be replaced by a new one.
To take into account the current requirements of the liturgy the high altar was reconstructed and the choir redesigned. Klaus Ringwald created an altar of silver and bronze, with a new design of the sanctuary and four very large candlesticks. In the new marble floor of the nave a memorial plate with the names of the Jesuits buried in the crypt together with the name of the longtime rector and the Mannheim honorary citizen Fr. Joseph Bauer.References:
The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.
In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.
The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.
The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.
In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.
The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.