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:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.