Memorial Church

Memorial Church © Klaus Venus

The tallest church steeple in the Palatinate dominates the cityscape. At just under 1,000 feet, it soars above all of the other buildings in the city, even the Cathedral. It belongs to the Memorial Church which was built between 1893 and 1904 in neo-Gothic style. 

 

Portico of the Memorial Church and Luther statue © Klaus VenusIts construction was supposed to be a reminder of the protest action that the imperial evangelical states brought to bear in 1529 at the Reichstag in Speyer. The Luther memorial in the vestibule and the adjacent statues of local Protestant rulers serve as reminders of this event.

During the cultural struggles at the end of the 19th century, relationships between Catholics and Protestants were tense. That had its impact on the construction of the Memorial Church which was, under no circumstances, to be any less assertive than the Cathedral. In any event, the construction was controversial, even for evangelical Christians.

The Protestants collected donations and even gained the support of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his wife, who donated the glass window in the apse. Following the plans of Julius Flügge und Carl Nordmann, the church was built very lavishly out of white-gray Vosges sandstone.

In 1979, the organ was replaced. The current organ comes from the Detlef Kleuker workshop and is, with its 95 registers, the largest organ in southwest Germany and the second largest mechanical organ in the world.

Organ concerts and matinees take place regularly in the Memorial Church.

 
 




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