The Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church is one of the most important church buildings in Strasbourg. The church has been Lutheran since 1524 and its congregation forms part of the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine.
The oldest part of the church is the small lower church used as a burial crypt, which is the remains of a Columban church erected in the 7th century. Three of the four arched galleries of the cloister date from the 11th century, the fourth arched gallery is from the 14th century. The Gothic main building, with its numerous chapels and the lavish rib vault dates from the 14th century. There are many frescoes from this time and the following one-and-one-half centuries, memorial slabs and monuments, the baptismal font, the central painting of the high altar and the choir screen, now unique in Alsace, which have also been maintained.
In 1780, the now nationally famous choir organ of Johann Andreas Silbermann was built (restored in 1948 and 1966 according to the rules of the Organ reform movement). Helmut Walcha recorded a large part of his performances of Bach's organ works here. The pulpit also dates from the same century, as well as another altar.
Between 1897 and 1901, the church, which had fallen into disrepair, was fundamentally overhauled by the Karlsruhe architect Carl Schäfer, one of the most important representatives of neo-Gothic sacred architecture in Germany. At that time, the entrance was moved to the side and a new main portal was created, a copy of the northern entrance of the facade of the Strasbourg Cathedral. The cloisters were painted in polychrome, following the example of the Hortus Deliciarum. The life-sized baptismal angel statue, along with the chapel and the choir glass windows, also date from this time.
An organ built in 1762 by Johann Andreas Silbermann in the Catholic part of the two-part church of that time was transferred in 1865 to the St. Moriz Church of the parish of Soultz-les-Bains. There, it has been restored to its 1848 condition, a compromise between the original baroque Silbermann settings and the later Romantic tone and harmonic extensions, by the family of Alfred Kern & fils between 2006 and 2008.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.