St. Egidien is considered a significant contribution to the baroque church architecture of Middle Franconia.
The first church building was probably built in the years 1120/1130 on the site of the second, northern Nuremberg royal court. The royal courts administered royal possessions, agriculture and forestry. Thus, it had the status of a royal church.
Around the year 1140 Emperor Conrad III and his wife Gertrud raised the foundation to the rank of a benedictine abbey and endowed it generously. They made Carus, Abbot of the Scots Monastery, Regensburg, their royal chaplain and the first Abbot of St Egidien. The monastery was rich immediately and subordinate in secular terms only to the Holy Roman Emperor. The first monks came from the Scots Monastery, Regensburg and St. James's Abbey, Würzburg.
In 1418, the monastery was impoverished and in debt. The altar vessels were mortgaged, and the Scots Monastery, Regensburg no longer guaranteed the debt. The abbey was taken over by German Benedictines from Reichenbach After the take-over the monastery was partially rebuilt, and the church and chapels were renovated. The Irish monks had to come to terms with the new regime or leave the abbey.
At the Reformation in 1525 the monastery was dissolved, and the monastic estates transferred to the city authorities. After the Peace of Augsburg there were two unsuccessful attempts to recover the former monastic estates for the Benedictine order, firstly in 1578 by the Scottish Bishop John Lesley on behalf of Mary, Queen of Scots, and from 1629 to 1631 by a Commission for the Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg to implement a Roman Catholic Restitution Edict. On 6 and 7 July 1696 a fire destroyed the monastery and church.
The church was rebuilt in the baroque style. The foundation stone was laid on 14 October 1711. The architects were Johann Trost and Gottlieb Trost. It was the largest construction project in Nuremberg in the 18th century. The stucco decorations were done by Donato Polli. The frescos were painted by Daniel Preisler and Johann Martin Schuster.
The church was badly damaged during the Second World War in an air raid on 2 January 1945. The roof on the nave, crossing, transepts and choir collapsed and the outer walls were badly damaged. It was rebuilt between 1946 and 1959 by the Nuremberg architect Rudolf Gröschel in an economic interpretative way, as the costs to reconstruct the baroque interior with its ornate detail was unaffordable at the time.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.