Ludwigskirche in Old Saarbrücken is a Lutheran baroque-style church. It is the symbol of the city and is considered to be one of the most important Protestant churches in Germany. Ludwigskirche and the surrounding Ludwigsplatz were designed as a 'complete work of art', in the sense of a baroque place royale, by Friedrich Joachim Stengel on the commission of Prince William Henry. Construction was begun in 1762. After the death of William Henry in 1768, work on it was stopped due to lack of funds. The church was finally completed in 1775 by his son, Louis, and it was also named after him.
In 1885-1887 and in 1906-1911, the church underwent restoration. During the Second World War, Ludwigskirche was almost completely destroyed. After a bombing on October 5, 1944, only the surrounding walls remained. Rebuilding began in 1949, however it has still not been completed. The main reason for this long delay was the fierce dispute, which lasted from the 1950s into the 1970s, about whether the baroque interior, which had been completely lost, should also be reconstructed according to the original plans.
The ground plan is shaped somewhat like a Greek cross; the arms are 38.5 m and 34.2 m long and are each 17 m wide. There are niches on the outside which contain statues of the four Evangelists by Francuß Bingh. The stone balustrades were decorated with 28 figures, also by Bingh, depicting the apostles, prophets and other Biblical people. The interior of the church is decorated with ornamental stucco. Each of the four arms of the cross has a gallery supported by two to four caryatids. The floor is made of sandstone.
Special features of the interior are the arrangement of the church by and large along the width of the church, on the one hand, and the placement of the altar, pulpit and organ over each other (a so-called 'pulpit-altar'), on the other hand. The arrangement with the altar, pulpit and organ is rather unusual for a Lutheran church, but it had already been used by Stengel in some of his earlier buildings.
Stengel designed not only the overall plan of the church and the surrounding palaces, from the handles for the doors to the overall grounds, but he also fit the church and the square into the two main viewing axes of the city's layout. One of these axes, from the 'Alten Kirche' (Old Church) in the city district of St. Johann, through the Wilhelm-Heinrich-Straße of today and the main entrance, up to the altar, is still visible today. The other axis points over the exit, which faces the Saarland state chancellery today, toward the former royal summer residences on Ludwigsberg, the so-called Ludwigspark.
The restoration of the original white paint on the exterior is still currently being disputed. Whether it was already lost during the 19th century or during the air raid 1945 is not clear, but it would be important for fitting the church into the surrounding buildings of the square, but it has become quite a strange idea to many local residents in the past decades.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.