By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Historical Sketch of the Cathedral of Strasburg
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical Sketch of the Cathedral of Strasburg" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Transcriber's notes:

      This booklet appears to end abruptly, but there is no
      evidence of any missing pages in the original copy.

      The "oe" and "OE" ligatures are represented as "[oe]"
      and "[OE]" respectively.

      Superscripted text is not displayed as such in the text
      version. Superscripts are displayed in the HTML version.

      On page 20, a cross symbol, which indicates year of death,
      is represented as {+}.

      A list of corrections will be found at the end of the

The Cathedral of Strasburg


A. Vix & Cie

[Illustration: Death of the Virgin Maria.]


Twenty fourth Edition

Published by A. Vix & Cie
31, Place de la Cathédrale

[Illustration: The interior of the Cathedral.]



Among the wonderful monuments to which the religious art of the
middle ages has given rise and which will for ever excite the
admiration of men, the church of _Notre-Dame_ or Cathedral of
Strasburg occupies one of the first ranks. By its dimensions, the
richness of the ornaments and figures that adorn its exterior, by
the majesty of its nave, and by its light steeple, which towers
towards Heaven with as much grace as boldness, this house of God
proclaims afar its destination and leaves a deep and indelible
impression on the soul of any one who gazes on it.

Exhibiting in all its different parts models of every epoch of
christian architecture, this Cathedral is for the artist a
subject of serious study and for the inhabitant of Strasburg a
venerable monument, which recalls to his mind the principal
events of the ancient history of our city.

According to some old traditions, the Cathedral is built on a
spot, which, from the remotest times, had been devoted to
worship. Originally this spot formed a hill sloping westward into
a cavity, which was filled up many centuries ago. Around it, the
Celts, the first inhabitants of our country, built their huts:
its summit was covered by the sacred wood, in the midst of which
rose the druidical _dolmen_. It was there that those barbarians
offered sacrifices to Esus, their God of war, sacrifices which,
in times of public calamity, were human victims.

After the conquest of Gaul by the Romans, a regular and fortified
town was very soon founded on the place hitherto occupied by the
scattered habitations of the Celts. The old name of _Argentorat_
was alone preserved; it signified a town where the river is
crossed over. It was there, according to tradition, that a temple
dedicated to Hercules and Mars succeeded the druidical forest.
There is nothing unlikely in these traditions; the high ground on
which the Cathedral stands speaks as much in their favour as the
pagan statues found in the neighbourhood[1].

  [1] A brass statue of Hercules, called _Krutzmann_, was found
  among the christian statues that decorated the Cathedral; it was
  taken down in 1525 and is no longer extant. A Hercules of stone,
  found no doubt when digging the foundations, is yet seen in a
  niche of the northward tower, where it juts out into the nave. A
  small stone figure of Mars, coming also from the Cathedral, was
  preserved in the town-library, but it appeared to be modern.

With respect to the first erection of a christian church in this
place, history is destitute of authentic facts. Some old
chronicles report that about the middle of the fourth century,
saint Amand built a church on the ruins of a Roman temple, but
the existence of this supposed first bishop of Strasburg is even
very doubtful. During the first years of the fifth century, the
invasion of barbarians filled the provinces of Gaul with terror
and devastation; the German tribes that crossed the Rhine
plundered the Roman city of Argentorat and its temples. Nobody
knows whether from that time new inhabitants settled in the midst
of these ruins, or whether they served but as temporary abodes to
the hordes successively coming into Gaul.

It was only after the conquest of that extensive country by the
Franks that, about 510, Clovis had a church built at Argentorat,
no doubt on the spot where the Cathedral now stands. The
architecture of that church was as coarse and barbarous as the
spirit of those times; it was built of wood and supported by
earthen walls, extending from East to West; on this latter end
was the front-gate and before it a portico; besides the principal
nave it had two aisles; the western side opening into a yard that
served as a passage to the priest's house.

In proportion as the town, the name of which was by the Franks
changed into Strasburg, increased in importance and population,
the Merovegian kings granted greater favours to the church
founded by one of their predecessors. The valuable donations they
bestowed on the bishopric of Strasburg, enabled the inhabitants
to embellish and enlarge the Cathedral. In 675 Dagobert II
granted to bishop Arbogast the town of Ruffach with the castle of
Isenburg and a vaste domain that he freed from tax and royal
jurisdiction and which on that account was called superior
_Mundat_. A no less important gift was that from Count Rudhart,
who made over to the church of Strasburg, in 748, Ettenheim with
several neighbouring villages on the right bank of the Rhine.
Many other eminent personages of this country increased
successively by their liberality the wealth of the episcopal see.
A great advantage was granted by Charlemain in 775, which was to
exempt the subjects of the bishopric from all tolls and taxes
imposed upon the traders travelling through the empire. At that
time considerable sums had already been employed to adorn the
interior of the Cathedral. In the year 826, the abbot Ermold the
Black, living in exile at Strasburg, speaks with enthusiasm of
the _beautiful temple of the Virgin_ and of the other altars that
decorate it. This ecclesiastic, with great ardour changed the
metal of the antique statues he could yet find into sacred
vases; a bronze Hercules, two cubits high, alone escaped the
pursuit of his pious zeal; after preserving it several centuries
in the Cathedral, it was at last sold, and is now at Issy near

A fire, which in 873 destroyed a portion of the church and all
its archives, occasioned, no doubt, important repairs, and this
event was the cause of a new royal confirmation of all the
possessions of the church. In 1002 it was plundered, profaned and
set on fire by the soldiers of Hermann, duke of Suabia and
Alsacia, who was then contending with Henry of Bavaria for the
imperial crown, Strasburg and its bishop Wernher having declared
for the latter. Subdued by Henry II, Hermann was compelled to
repair the damage caused to the church by placing at bishop
Wernher's disposal the income of the abbey of Saint-Stephen of
which he was the patron. With these funds, which the bishop
increased by means of a new levy of taxes and by indulgences,
he was preparing to restore his Cathedral, when in 1007 a
thunderbolt achieved its destruction.

He then formed the project of rebuilding the church on a plan of
much larger dimensions and after the style of architecture that
was then making its first appearance. The revenues of the
bishopric, contributions furnished by the clergy of Alsacia and
large sums of money granted by the head of the empire, afforded
Wernher the necessary resources for the execution of his plan.
This was examined and discussed in the presence of several
master-architects whom he had sent for. The plan once fixed upon,
stones were brought from the fine quarries of free-stone in the
Kronthal. The peasants and bondsmen of the country brought them
to the town where they were cut in the square then called
_Frohnhof_, between the Cathedral and the present palace. It was
during these labours that in 1042 the emperor Henry II came to
Strasburg; the dignified and austere deportment of the clergy of
the high chapter, the tranquillity prevailing under the roof of
the episcopal church, made such an impression on this prince,
that he for a moment resolved to resign the crown and solicit his
admittance among the canons of the Cathedral. The bishop appeared
at first to accede to this wish; but it was only to prescribe to
Henry, henceforth his subordinate, to resume the imperial
authority which Providence had bestowed on him; the emperor
acquiesced and perpetuated the remembrance of his pious wish by
the foundation of a royal prebend.

When, in 1015, a sufficient quantity of materials was collected,
they set to work by digging the ground. At the depth of more than
five fathoms they drove down stakes, filled the space between
them with clay mixed with lime, fragments of bricks and coal; and
on this solid base were laid the foundation stones.

Tradition gives an account of a hundred and even two hundred
thousand men being employed in the construction of this church,
which work, thanks to the religious enthusiasm of that epoch and
the labours performed by vassals and workmen _for the salvation
of their souls_, advanced very rapidly.

In the year 1027 bishop Wernher set out for Constantinople, and
never returned to his native land. From that time we have but
imperfect and uncertain accounts touching the progress of the
building. All we know is, that in 1028 they had built up to the
roof. It seems likely from that account that this monument, built
in the byzantine style, at once so elegant and so simple, was
soon after completed by the erection of a tower, and that it
remained in the same state till, owing to sundry circumstances
and, perhaps, to bad construction, it began to need important
repair. It is impossible to determine the time when repairing the
church took place; however, this happened probably not before the
middle of the thirteenth century and in the then new style,
since called the Gothic order. This opinion is confirmed by the
ancient seal of our city, which likely enough and according to
the custom of those times, represents the front of the Cathedral.

That it had a tower in 1130 is a certain fact; for K[oe]nigscoven
speaks of its destruction by fire in the course of that year;
successive fires, in 1140, 1150, 1176 also materially injured the
beautiful edifice; besides, the continual wars and tumultuous
commotions of the time prevented the bishops from undertaking
essential repairs. It appears that these causes, by degrees,
brought on the complete ruin of bishop Wernher's constructions;
for unquestionably the part included between the nave and the two
towers dates but from the thirteenth century, and cannot have
been begun before the middle of it. What remained of the old
church was pulled down at that time and a new and more spacious
edifice was erected, built in the style then spreading over all
Europe. Considering the immense size of this monument, it is easy
to imagine that the work went on but slowly, and an old chronicle
mentions that on the 7th September 1275 they finished the middle
part of the superior arch-roofs, with the exception of the towers
in front. By whom these labours were directed is altogether

It was bishop Conrad of Lichtenberg who undertook to rebuild the
parts that were still in a state of ruin and thus at last to
accomplish this great work of the Cathedral[1].

  [1] «... _Ipsa ecclesia in meliorum statuum reedificetur_ ...»
  (See a charter of bishop Conrad of Lichtenberg, published by M.
  L. SPACE 1841, p. 6).

In order to execute this design, he published indulgences all
over the country; and after collecting large sums of money in the
town, he applied to the ecclesiastics of his diocese, asking
their own gifts and offerings as well as those of the faithful
under their direction; in a synod held in the diocese, the clergy
agreed to give up, during four years, a fourth part of their
revenues. Conrad entrusted the direction of this work to Master
Erwin of Steinbach, who, according to some old documents, was a
native of Mayence. This great architect began by rebuilding the
nave, the arch-roofs of which were completed in 1275. Then he
commenced the façade of the church and its towers from a plan so
bold and sublime that the conception of it places Erwin for ever
at the head of the architects of the middle age[1]. In 1276 they
laid the foundation of the northern tower; to consecrate the
spot, the bishop walked solemnly round it, then took a trowel in
his hand and thrust it into the ground, as a sign for beginning
the work. They relate that a quarrel having occured between two
workmen who both wished to work with the trowel the bishop had
held in his hand, one of them was killed. This murder was
considered as a very bad omen; Conrad ordered their labour to be
suspended for nine days; they were only resumed after he had
consecrated the place anew. The following year, on saint Urban's
day (25th May), Conrad himself laid the first stone of the tower.
In the midst of his warfares, this bishop always entertained much
affection for his Cathedral, as he beheld the gradual rising of
this _glorious work_, as an old inscription terms it[2]; in his
heartfelt joy he used to compare it to the flowers of May that
bloom in the sun[3]. To the very end of his life Conrad of
Lichtenberg neglected nothing to urge on the progress of his work
of predilection; after his death, in 1299, he received in it a
sepulchre worthy of him; his statue is still to be seen in saint
John's chapel. Yet, during the life of Conrad, the Cathedral was
shaken by several earthquakes in 1279, 1289, 1291; that of 1289
was so violent that the columns in the interior of the building
threatened for a moment to fall down. But a very favourable
circumstance happened in 1292, which was the surrender of the
_[OE]uvre-Notre-Dame_ to the magistrate of the city, who was
henceforth charged with the management of the revenues allotted
to the keeping in repair of the Church and consequently also to
the completion of it. A few years after, in 1298, a new
misfortune happened to the Cathedral. A fire, caused by the
imprudence of a cavalier of Albert I, during the sojourn of that
prince at Strasburg, consumed all the timberwork and threatened
even the pillars and walls. However the damage was promptly
repaired. In 1302 a bloody conflict between two citizens of the
town, which took place in the very chancel of the church,
required again a new consecration of it.

  [1] They still preserve in the records of the convent of the
  _[OE]uvre Notre-Dame_ several old drawings on parchment of the
  façade and towers; these curious designs belong to different
  epochs; according to the opinion of the _connaisseurs_, the
  oldest would most likely be that of Erwin himself.

  [2] _Anno Domini MCCLXXVII in die beati Urbani hoc gloriosum
  opus inchoavit magister Erwinus de Steinbach._ This inscription
  was formerly placed in the vault of the northern portal.

  [3] In a letter of indulgence.

After the death of bishop Conrad of Lichtenberg, who in the year
1299 was killed in a battle near Friburg, his brother and
successor, Frederic, showed no less ardour for the continuation
of this building; in 1303 he invited the curates throughout
Alsacia to exhort those of their faithful parishioners who had
horses and carts, to convey stones for the edifice; in 1308 the
magistrate of Strasburg, no doubt at the request of bishop John,
promised freepasses to all those who would bring stones or wood,
and he secured wine and wheat for the workmen.

Erwin superintended the works until 1318, when he died on the
14th of January. All the children of this grand master were
artists worthy of him: Sabina, his daughter, carved several
statues for the Cathedral; one of his sons, who died in 1330,
built the fine church of Haslach; his other son, John, succeeded
him in directing the works of the Cathedral, and he died in 1339.
In 1331 bishop Berthold of Bucheck built the chapel of saint
Catherine, which also contains his tomb. The disturbances and
calamities that desolated Strasburg during a great part of the
fourteenth century, the revolution of 1332 that altered the form
of the government of the town, the ravage caused by the black
plague in 1349 with the insurrections accompanying it, the
contest of bishop Berthold with his chapter and with the emperor,
all this retarded of course the progress of the construction of
the Cathedral. Nevertheless they terminated in 1365 the northern
tower; K[oe]nigshoven calls it the new tower, perhaps, because
they purposed erecting a pyramid on it, which was quite an
innovation in the architecture of that time. The southern tower,
which the chronicler calls the ancient one, because it was not
intended to be raised higher, was finished at the same time. The
name of the artist who made the plan of the pyramid and spire of
the northern tower is still unknown; nor is it known who built
the steeple which formerly rose above the _grande rosace_, or

In 1368 the church was again struck by lightning without
receiving much damage; in 1384 a fire that broke out in the
organ, burnt all the interior with the exception of the chancel.
Ever since that time large vats were set in the different parts
of the building and guardians placed in the interior and in the
towers. In 1429, John Hültz of Cologne was sent for to complete
this great work; ten years after, he finished the spire; on
Midsummer's day 1439, in the presence of a great multitude, he
laid the last stone, exactly a hundred and sixty two years after
Conrad of Lichtenberg had placed the first stone of this
monument; a statue of the Virgin Mary was also erected on the
knob terminating the spire[1].

  [1] It was taken down in 1488.

At the time of the reformation the Cathedral passed over to the
protestants; it is true that on account of their worship, they
caused several chapels to be closed and some altars to be
removed, but they made no material change, nor spoiled any thing;
on the contrary, they watched with care over the magnificent
building and even caused important repairs to be made in it.
Several times it was very much injured by fire and by lightning,
particularly in the years 1540, 1555, 1568, 1624 and 1625. In
1654 the spire was destroyed by lightning; the skilful architect
Heckler was obliged to rebuild it sixty five feet high. By
the capitulation of 1681 the Cathedral was restored to the
catholics, who immediately began to repair it, but unfortunately
in that wretched style then prevailing, and when not the least
intelligence of christian art existed any longer, they pulled
down the lobby made by Erwin, so much admired in the middle age
as a masterpiece of elegance; in 1692 they adorned the interior
of the choir with wainscots of wood painted and gilt; in 1732
they widened it to the detriment of a portion of the nave, and
ten years later galleries were made for the orchestra. To punish,
as it would seem, those who were thus spoiling this wonderful
monument, an earthquake shook it in 1728; in 1759 it was struck
by lightning and considerably injured; the lead on the roof of
the nave was entirely melted, and the fine cupola or arched roof
that crowned the dome fell into pieces; the roof was then covered
with copper, but the cupola was not rebuilt. New destructions
awaited the Cathedral in 1793; in their fury of levelling, the
men who then ruled the country caused two hundred and thirty four
effigies of saints and kings to be taken down from their niches,
of which very few only were saved; the crazy jacobin Teterel even
proposed pulling down the spire, because, by its height extending
far beyond that of the ordinary houses, it was condemning the
principle of equality; the motion not being carried on. Teterel
obtained the assurance at least, that a large red cap made of tin
should be placed on the top of the Cathedral, and it was to be
seen among other curiosities in the town-library, before its

The year 1870, so full of important events for Strasburg, was
also fatal for the Cathedral, and during the seven weeks'
cannonading of the town the beautiful building was constantly
threatened with ruin. In the first period of the siege of
Strasburg, the Germans tried to force the surrender by the
bombardment and partial destruction of the inner town. In
the night of the 23rd of August began for the frightened
inhabitants the real time of terror; however that night the rising
conflagrations, for instance in St. Thomas' church, were quickly
put out. But in the following night the New-Church, the Library
of the town, the Museum of paintings and many of the finest
houses became a heap of ruins, and under the hail of shells all
efforts to extinguish the fire were useless. For the Cathedral
the night from the 25th to 26th of August was the worst. Towards
midnight the flames broke out from the roof perforated by shells,
and increased by the melting copper, they rose to a fearful
height beside the pyramid of the spire. The sight of this grand
volume of flames, rising above the town, was indescribable and
tinged the whole sky with its glowing reflection. And the guns
went on thundering and shattering parts of the stone ornaments
which adorned the front and sides of the Cathedral. The whole
roof came down and the fire died out only for want of fuel. The
following morning the ground in the interior was covered with
ruins, and through the holes in the vault of the nave one could
see the blue sky. The beautiful Organ built by Silbermann was
pierced by a shell and the magnificent painted windows were in
great part spoiled. Fortunately the celebrated astronomical Clock
had escaped unhurt.

As the Military Command continued for some time to occupy a post
of observation on the platform, the Cathedral was unfortunately
still longer the aim of German guns which every day surrounded
the building with ruins. On the 4th of September two shells hit
the crown of the Cathedral and hurled the stonemasses to
incredible distances; on the 15th a shot came even into the point
below the Cross, which was bent on one side, and had its
threatened fall only prevented by the iron bars of the lightning
conductor which held it.

After the entrance of the Germans into the reconquered town, the
difficult and dangerous work of restauration of the point of the
spire was begun at once and happily ended a few months after.
They work also constantly to make the other damages disappear,
and in a short time the magnificent house of God will be restored
to all its ancient splendour.


[Illustration: The Crypta.]


The first aspect of the Cathedral produces on the mind a deep
impression. One is seized with admiration and amazed at the first
view of this noble edifice whose steeple towers up so gracefully
and majestically. No doubt that examined in all its particular
parts, one may also be struck with the disproportion that exists
between them; the nave is not in harmony with the dimensions of
the tower, the chancel and transept still less so: but although
this want of uniformity may lessen the symmetry of the monument,
the impression it at first produces is no less extraordinary. And
besides, have not those different styles a particular interest
for those who study the history of architecture? In the Cathedral
are, as it were, brought together all the styles or orders of
architecture of the middle ages, from the byzantine art with its
grave simplicity, down to the last glimmerings of the gothic
art, now declining, and its works lined with an excess of
superfluous ornaments. The byzantine taste prevails in the first
constructions of the chancel and aisles and even somewhat in the
lower part of the nave; higher up, the style in which the ogive
was built extends to the other constructions and finally succeeds
to the former entirely.

The _façade_ of the church, of an imposing magnitude, cannot
be sufficiently admired; the massive walls are hidden by
_clochetoons_, arcades, small pillars and innumerable statues;
these decorations all wrought to great perfection, give to that
part of the edifice a nicety that makes it resemble a work coming
from the hands of a chaser. But how to describe, in the short
space which the limits of this sketch admit, all the details, all
the particular parts of our Cathedral? There is in it such a
profusion, such a richness, that to be properly explored, it
would require volumes. We must therefore limit ourselves to some
brief indications of the most interesting and essential parts[1].
Moreover a description of all the allegorical statues and figures
that adorn particularly the inferior parts of the building, would
be here so much the more superfluous, as an intelligent spectator
may easily understand them. All these fine ornaments are meant to
symbolize the mysteries of Redemption, taken from the principal
facts in Scripture and from the fundamental doctrines of the
christian faith. In this respect the lower tier is the most
remarkable; the middle one has neither the same beauty nor the
same religious signification; the third is the least satisfactory
both as regards execution and artistical conception.

  [1] We refer the reader who wishes to study the Cathedral in
  all its parts, to the following works: Grandidier, _Essais
  historiques et topographiques sur l'église Cathédrale de
  Strasbourg_, Strasb. 1782, in 8o.--H. Schreiber, _Das Münster
  zu Strassburg_, Freib. 1828, in 8o, avec 11 lithographies gr.
  in-fol.--_Vues pittoresques de la Cathédrale de Strasbourg_,
  dessins par Chapuy et texte par Schweighäuser, 3 livr. in-fol.
  Strasb. 1827. _La Cathédrale de Strasbourg et ses détails_, par
  A. Friedrich, 4 liv. gr. in-fol., renfermant 57 planches
  accompagnées d'un texte explicatifet historique. We regret to
  say that but one number of this fine work has been published
  (in 1839).--_Kunst und Alterthum in Elsass-Lothringen_, von
  Prot. F. X. Kraus, I. Band. With numerous wood-engravings. 1877.

[Illustration: Porch of Saint-Lawrence.]

The whole of the façade is formed of the two fore-parts of the
northern and southern towers and of the large central porch;
these three distinct portions are separated by counterforts or
pillars which divide, as it were, the frontispiece into three
broad vertical bands, each of which has its portico. These
porticos and their frontons are ornamented with a great many
statues and bas-reliefs, some of which pulled down during the
revolution, have since been replaced. The large figures in the
left portico are twelve virgins, wearing diadems and trampling
down human forms representing the seven deadly sins. On both
sides of the right hand portico are seen the ten virgins of the
parable; to the group of the wise virgins on the right is joined
the statue of Jesus-Christ; the foolish virgins composing the
group on the left side, have among them an allegoric figure
expressing the lust of the world: on her head is a wreath, in one
hand she holds an apple, the ancient symbol of lust; her back
bears hideous vipers, to portray the sad fate which must be the
inevitable result of inordinate earthly desires.

All these statues, now blackened by the centuries that have
passed over them, have all a stern appearance, like those that
deck the magnificent middle porch representing either prophets of
the Old Testament, Apostles or fathers of the Church. In the
arches of these three porticos are figures of a smaller size,
which like the bas-reliefs of the tympans, exhibit either scenes
taken from Scripture, or saints and angels. In the tympan on the
right hand door, Jesus is seen seated on a rain-bow, and over him
is the Resurrection of the dead and the Judgment-day. On the
butting pillar that divides both folds of the middle porch[1], is
placed a blessed Virgin holding an infant Christ in her arms. The
fronton of this portal is formed by two triangles and adorned
with many figures; that on the summit of the interior triangle,
which first strikes the eye, is king Solomon seated under a
canopy; on both sides of him are fourteen lions raised on steps
or benches that draw near towards the top and join near a Virgin
Mary sitting with the infant Christ on one arm and holding a
globe in her other hand; she is the Patroness of the church.
Above her a radiated head, representing God the Father, forms the
point of the triangle that encircles the inside fronton, which is
decked with figures playing on different musical instruments. On
the sides facing the North and South, the two towers have each a
large window with most beautiful _rosaces_. Over the window on
the South side is seen a very old sculpture, the grotesque
figures of which represent the night revelling of sorcerers. The
frontons of the other porticos are also adorned with _rosaces_.

  [1] The beautiful folds of the middle door, mounted with artful
  bronze ornaments which were executed in Paris after the designs
  of the architect of our cathedral, Mr. Klotz, were hung up in

On the second tier of the middle porch is a large rose-window
that occupies the whole width of it. It is surrounded by a
detached arch, which as much on account of the elegance of its
workmanship, as of the boldness of its construction, is one of
the most admirable parts of the Cathedral. The large painted
windows have been repaired by skilful artists, Mr. Ritter and Mr.
Müller. Where the second tier begins, at the bottom of the
rose-window, are four equestrian statues, placed in niches in the
counterforts, three of which, those of Clovis, Dagobert and
Rodolphe of Habsburg, were erected in 1291, the fourth, that of
Louis XIV, was placed only in 1828. Clovis and Dagobert were the
benefactors of the church of Strasburg. Rodolphe stands there,
less on account of his liberalities to the Cathedral, than for
having been to the last the valiant friend of the Republic of
Strasburg. King Louis XIV accompanies the three others, rather
from adulation than any other cause. On the upper tier of the
façade are placed the equestrian statues of king Pepin the Short,
of Charlemain, Otho the Great and Henry I the Fowler. On the
south-side are seen in the first tier the emperors Otho II, Otho
III and Henry II; in the upper tier of the same side, the
equestrian statues of Conrad II, Henry III and the statue of
Henry IV. On the north-side of the façade are the equestrian
statues of Charles Martel, the Franconian majordomo; of Louis the
Debonair and Lotharius, the son of Louis the Debonair; at last
in the upper tier, the statues of Charles the Bald, king of the
West-Franconians and the equestrian statues of Lotharius II and
Louis the German ({+}876).

Over the rose-window, but still in the compartment of the second
tier, is a gallery furnished with the figures of the Apostles,
and above them is placed Jesus-Christ holding in his hands a
cross and banner. In the lateral towers, the same tier is taken
up on each side by a high broad window in the shape of an ogee,
before which rise very slender pillars. Exactly over these
windows, on the third tier and also on each side, are three very
high and narrow windows; the middle part, though wider, has but
two, rather small ones, and surrounded by some statues. This very
massive portion of the building betrays at first sight its later
origin; when Erwin's plan was abandoned, this part was added to
fill up the empty space between the two towers; these were
already completed, and even have on the third tier their windows
looking into the central porch, but which are at present hidden
from the outside. That part of the middle porch is used as a
belfry, four large bells are suspended in it, the largest of
which, cast in 1427, weighs nine thousand kilogrammes, and serves
to announce great festival days; it is also rung at the death of
renowned personages, or in case of fire.

It was only in the year 1849 that the front was ornamented with
statues representing the day of judgment. This group, consisting
of fifteen gigantic figures, was made after the old drawings
preserved in the archives of the _[OE]uvre-Notre-Dame_.
Jesus-Christ, as judge, is in the middle, with Mary and John the
Baptist on either side; they are surrounded by angels sounding
the trumpet of dooms-day, or bearing the instruments of our
Saviour's passion; beneath are seen the Evangelists, having men's
bodies surmounted by the heads of the four symbols which
generally accompany them.

Above the middle porch and the southward tower, is the platform,
very spacious and surrounded by a handsome balustrade; on it is
built a small house for the guardians charged to strike the hours
and ring the alarm bell in case of fire. From the top of this
platform one enjoys a magnificent view; the wonderful panorama
that unfolds itself from there, has been drawn with as much taste
as accuracy by Mr. Frederic Piton, a zealous _amateur_ of our
local history. Towards the North, in the direction of the Wacken,
an island near Strasburg, is seen on the horizon the mountain of
the _Pigeonnier_ (_Scherhol_ in German), at the foot of which
lies Wissemburg; to its right rise the peaks crowned by the ruins
of _Gutenberg_ and _Trifels_, and the famous _Geisberg_ taken by
storm in the war of 1870. On the other side of the Rhine, whose
majestic stream the eye can easily trace, the long range of the
mountains of the _Black Forest_ limits the horizon. The first
peak that is seen is that of the _Eichelberg_, at the opening of
the valley of the _Murg_; then comes the _Fremersberg_, the
_Mount-Mercury_, the mountain with the ruins of _Yburg_; all
these names are known to those who have visited Baden. Beyond
these summits is the high level ground of the _Hornisgründe_, on
the other side of which is seen, in the midst of a forest, the
dark lake named _Mummelsee_. Farther on, eastward, beyond the
arsenal of Strasburg and the village of Kehl, you observe the
castle of _Schauenburg_, near Oberkirch, where the valley of the
_Rench_ begins. After gliding over the ruin of _Fürsteneck_ and
_Schauenburg_, the eye rests on the stately buildings of
_Ortenberg_, rebuilt after the middle age architecture, at the
entrance of the valley of the _Kinzig_. Directing your eye more
towards the South, you discover the mountains of _Triberg_, and
close to them those of _Lahr_; then comes the loftiest peak of
the _Black Forest_, the _Feldberg_, 1494 metres high. Farther on
the eye may discover (if tine) the _Ballon_ and the _Blauen_,
behind the hills of the _Kaiserstuhl_; thence this ridge of
mountains is lost sight of. In the plain, between the Rhine and
the Vosges, a double row of poplars points out the _Canal_ (from
the Rhone to the Rhine). The first peak seen in the range of the
Vosges towards the South-East is the _Ballon of Sultz_, 993
metres high; the eye then discovers in a western direction the
ruins of the three castles of _Egisheim_, _Haut-Hattstatt_ and
_Landsberg_, the top of the _Ballon_ of _Gebwiller_, 1426
metres high the _Hoheneck_, the ruins of the old castles of
_Kientzheim_, _Rappoltstein, Hoh-_ (High) _K[oe]nigsburg_,
_Ortenburg_, _Bernstein_, _Frankenburg_ and the summits of the
_Bressoir_ and _Ungersberg_. Looking in the direction of
Saint-Thomas' church, at one glance the eye overlooks the country
of the old _Hohenburg_, so picturesque and so rich in monuments
and historical associations: the castle of _Landsberg_, the rock
of the _Mænnelstein_, the convent of _Sainte-Odile_, behind which
rises the level ground of the _Champ-du-Feu_; further on to the
right, are the ruins of _Girbaden_, the peaks of the _Donon_ and
_Schneeberg_. Here the mountains are by degrees lost from sight
in the distance; on the horizon one may however distinguish the
towers of the castles of _Geroldseck_ and _Hoh-_ (High) _Barr_,
in the vicinity of Zabern; then nothing more is seen but meadows,
forests, fields, from the centre of which you see now and then
the modest church-steeples of the numerous villages that cover
the fine plain of Alsacia.

On the North side stands a tower of an octangular form,
supporting the spire. This tower consists, as it were, but of
strong buttresses adorned with small columns and statues, and
having large apertures in which very high windows are set and
take nearly the whole breadth on the four sides, where they are.
Among the statues that face the platform, one must be noticed as
being, according to tradition, that of Erwin of Steinbach. In
the interior of this tower are the bells that strike the hours,
that which is called the gates' bell (_Thorglocke_)[1] and also a
clock made in 1786 by two clockmakers of Strasburg, Maybaum
father and son. An inscription over the door leading to the
platform recalls to mind the earthquake of 1728, so violent that
the water was raised from the reservoirs and thrown to a distance
of eighteen feet[2]. In front of the four principal sides of the
octagon tower are turrets with winding stairs, and consisting but
of a series of windows that rise in a spiral form. These elegant
turrets seem hardly to rest on any thing; besides the gallery
that covers them, they communicate with the principal tower but
by means of flat stones that serve as an entrance into a gallery
of the interior of the arch-roof, and which lie at a height of
almost thirty metres. According to the old drawings, these
turrets should have been surmounted by pyramidal spires. They
terminate in a gallery that surrounds the tower, from whence one
enjoys a most admirable view. It is from that spot that rises
the spire (_flèche_), which is an octangular pyramid of an
extraordinary boldness, offering to the astonished gazer nothing
of a massive construction. Six successive tiers of little turrets
are thus pyramidically placed one above the other[3]. Eight
winding stair-cases, narrow and of rich open carvings, lead the
visitor to a massive spot commonly called _the lantern_; higher
up is _the crown_[4], which is not reached without danger, by
means of steps placed outside, and with no other protection than
the wall to which they are fastened; above another widened place,
called _the rose_, the spire is nothing but a column whence jut
out horizontal branches to give it the aspect of a cross. The
monument terminates in a _knob_ being 0m .460 in diameter and to
which ever since 1835 a lightning-conductor has been adapted; one
may climb there but with the aid of iron bars to which you must
cling with hands and feet. The total height of this stately
building is 142m.

  [1] So called because it was rung morning and night before the
  opening and closing of the city gates.

  [2] In the interior of this tower and on the balustrade are seen
  a great many names of foreigners who have visited the Cathedral.
  Among these names are some of celebrated persons, as G[oe]the,
  Herder, etc.

  [3] Above the first tier of the turrets is seen around the spire
  (flèche) the following inscription:

      _Christus nos revocat. Christus gratis donat.
       Christus semper regnat. Christus imperat.
       Christus rex superat. Christus triumphat.
       Maria glorificat. Christus coronat._

  [4] Besides some other inscriptions on the spire, you read round
  the first gallery of the crown these words:

      _Jesus Christus verbum caro factum est,
       Jesus Christus, et habitavit in nobis,
       Jesus Christus, et vidimus gloriam ejus,
       Jesus Christus, gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre._

                                (S. John. 1. 14.)

[Illustration: The column of angels.]

The nave, decked with a copper roof, abounds no less in
decoration than the front. It has large ogive windows adorned
with _rosaces_; at the place where the buttresses, equally carved
with _rosaces_, join the counterforts or pillars, they have at
their tops fine clochetoons; a great many statues and grotesque
figures of heads complete the ornaments of this part of the
church. Two galleries, one under the windows, the other below the
clochetoons of the counterforts, lead from the towers to the
cross-aisle. This, as we have already said, is still byzantine
in several parts of it. The southern porch, formed by two
semi-circular doors made evidently at one of the remotest periods
of the Cathedral, is adorned with bas-reliefs and statues;
according to tradition, it is reported that two of these statues
are the work of Sabina of Steinbach. One is a woman in a
triumphal posture holding in her hands a communion cup and a
cross; she is the symbol of the church that vanquished the
synagogue; the other, a symbol of the latter, is a woman looking
down, blindfolded and leaning with pain on a broken spear, whilst
the laws of the twelve tables drop from her left hand. On the
parvis before this porch is erected, on the left, the statue of
Sabina herself, and on the right, the statue of Erwin of
Steinbach, both due to the chisel of Mr. Grass.

The wall of the upper tier has openings for several windows of
an ogive form, above which a gallery runs all along; two
round-windows take up the third tier. The northern portion of the
cross-aisle has more generally preserved the byzantine manner
than that we have just spoken of; however, this intermixture with
the gothic style denounces latter renovations. The ancient porch,
the remains of very old constructions, is masked by a fore-front
that belongs to the last period of the gothic art, and which was
built in 1494 by James of Landshut; this new porch (_porch of St.
Laurence_), though handsome in its _ensemble_, is wanting in that
noble simplicity and purity of taste that distinguishes the other
parts of the Cathedral; it is overloaded with ornaments, and its
statues have a stiffness that is found nowhere else.

The octangular dome over the chancel is also of the byzantine
era; however, it has been renewed in several parts. In the place
of the deformed cupola, destroyed by the fire of 1870, a handsome
pyramid has been erected in the year 1878, after the plans of Mr.
Klotz, architect of the Cathedral.

Up to 1772 the lower part of the lateral fronts of the church was
disfigured by paltry decayed houses; the same year they were
pulled down and in their places the present porticos were built,
which are not wanting in elegance: the shops and stalls that
formerly obstructed in so disgraceful a manner the access to the
nave, have also disappeared; and the porches have been repaired
with a great amount of good taste.

The view of the _interior_ of the nave leaves a deep impression.
It is mysteriously lighted by magnificent painted windows, and
supported on each side by seven large pillars, composed of round
agglomerated columns. The two first of these pillars, more
gigantic than the rest, support also the towers; the total
elevation of the upper arch is more than 31 metres. The interior
front, over the principal porch, is adorned with a beautiful
sculptured round-window; between this and the grand rose-window
is a glass gallery. Above the arches that unite the pillars on
both sides of the nave and all along is a fine gothic gallery,
serving as a basis to large windows, similar to those of the
lower sides of the church. The lower part of the wall of the
latter is ornamented with a range of small columns, joined
together by og-arches. The magnificent windows of this church
represent subjects and personages of Scripture and Legend. Among
the artists who have painted these windows, the oldest one known,
is master John of Kirchheim; those made after his drawings were
put up in 1348; there is no doubt that many of his works still
adorn the Cathedral. The names of John Markgraf, James Vischer
and the brothers Link were mentioned later. At the latter part of
the eighteenth century John Daniel Danegger painted also some,
which, however, owing to their mediocrity, have since been
removed. For some years past they have undergone considerable
repair under the direction of artists of talent and well
acquainted with the science of antiquities. The painted windows
of the upper galleries of the nave represent the seventy four
ancestors of Jesus Christ; higher up are the images of saints and
martyrs; in the right aisle, over the vestry, is seen the
gigantic figure of saint Christopher: on the South side, of the
six windows that have each sixteen divisions, the four first
contain some scenes from the history of the Bible; the two last,
the day of Judgment and the celestial Jerusalem. On the North
side, in an equal number of windows, you see the birth of Jesus
Christ, the wise men, and the portraits of several German
emperors; the last of these windows represents a series of the
oldest events in Scripture. The effect produced by these
beautiful windows is greatly increased since they had the happy
idea to wash away the daubing with which, about thirty years ago,
they had besmeared the inner walls of the Cathedral; by these
means the bare part of the wall, a fine stone of a rosy tint,
which served for the construction of the church, is rendered
visible; it was a measure that bespoke much good taste and
knowledge of the christian art.

On the left side of the nave is fixed the organ which extends up
to the superior arch. It is a master-piece of work of Andrew
Silbermann, who was one of the most able organ-builders of his
time and who built it in 1704. Pierced by a shell during the
bombardment of 1870, this organ of Silbermann has been restored
by a distinguished organ builder of our city.

On the same side, at the fifth pillar, stands the pulpit, erected
in 1486 by John Hammerer, by order of the magistrate, for the
celebrated preacher Geiler of Kaysersberg. This work of
sculpture, remarkably delicate, is adorned with nearly fifty
little statues, the meaning of which is easy to understand. The
canopy is of a modern style, and was made in 1824 to replace a
more ancient one, perhaps the first erected in 1617, which has
been handed down to us as a most simple piece of workmanship, and
made of lime-wood. At the foot of the stairs are two figures, a
man in the posture of rest and a woman praying; we may justly
suppose that they are meant for the maker of the pulpit and his


The chancel is joined to the nave by two pillars of very large
dimensions and whose tops belong to one of the constructions
anterior to the gothic order. The magnificent lobby built by
Erwin of Steinbach was taken down to make room for the taste
prevailing in the seventeenth century; it was demolished in 1682.
Two high and circular columns support the cupola of the chancel
and separate it from its two aisles; in the centre of each of the
latter stand also columns to sustain the arch-roofs; that of the
northern part is round, whilst the column of the southern aisle
is composed of a collection of very slender pillars, probably of
a later construction; this long, thin and gracious column bears
in its corners some statues, the fineness and gracefulness of
which recall to mind the work of Sabina of Steinbach. Beneath are
the four Evangelists; above four angels holding trumpets, and
uppermost the Saviour and three angels with the implements of the
Saviour's passion in their hands; it is called the angel's column
or Erwin's column. On the large pillar which unites the nave to
the chancel, are two inscriptions in commemoration of the famous
preacher Geiler of Kaysersberg who, for many years, displayed his
eloquence from the pulpit of the Cathedral. In this same aisle is
erected the statue of bishop Wernher, meditating the design of
the church laid before him. Opposite this statue, the work of Mr.
Friderich, is the celebrated.

Astronomical Clock.

As early as 1352 an astronomical clock was begun under bishop
Berthold of Bucheck, and finished two years after by an unknown
artist, in the time of John of Lichtenberg. It was fixed to the
wall facing the present one. The frame-work of that first clock
was all of wood; the stones that formed its basis are to this day
seen projecting from the wall. It was divided into three parts;
the lower part contained a universal calendar; in the middle was
an astrolabe, and in the superior division were seen the three
wise men and the Virgin Mary carved in wood; the wise men bent
every hour before the Virgin, by means of a peculiar mechanism,
which at the same time put in motion a chime of harmonious sounds
and a cock crowing and flapping his wings.

The exact time at which this clock, which in the fourteenth
century must have been a wonderful piece of workmanship, and was
called the clock of the three sages, ceased going, is not known:
it had been stopped for a long time, when in 1547 the magistrate
of the town decided on having another made and putting it
opposite the old one, in the very place the clock now occupies.
Three distinguished mathematicians furnished the plan and
superintended the execution of it: they were Dr Michel Herr,
Christian Herlin, professor of mathematics at the school of
Strasburg, and Nicholas Prugner, who, after preaching the
reformation at Mulhouse and at Benfeld, occupied himself at
Strasburg with mechanics and astrology. These three learned men
began this work, but did not terminate it; it was resumed in the
year 1570 by a pupil of Herlin, named Conrad Dasypodius of
Strasburg, where he was a professor of mathematics. Dasypodius
drew the design of the clock, but its execution was confided to
two skilful mechanics of Schaffhouse, the brothers Isaac and
Josiah Habrecht; Tobias Stimmer, also of Schaffhouse, had the
charge of the paintings. This master-piece of the mechanical art
of the sixteenth century was completed in 1574; it ceased going
in 1789. As the exterior distribution of the present clock is
nearly the same as that of the old clock, we shall abstain from
describing the latter. In 1836 the corporation of the town of
Strasburg adopted the resolution of causing this curious monument
to be repaired. To Mr. Schwilgué, a distinguished mechanician of
Strasburg, his native place, this remarkable work was entrusted;
he began it the 24th of June 1838 and finished it at the end of

It is one of the most beautiful pieces of workmanship of our
age; its mechanism is entirely new and in accordance with the
present state of the science of astronomy, which as is well
known, has attained a very high degree of certainty and
exactness. Mr. Schwilgué has not made use of any of the pieces of
the old clock, which are deposited in the chapel of the
_[OE]uvre-Notre-Dame_; by comparing them with the pieces
composing the new clock, one may judge of the progress of science
and of the talents of the modern artist. M. Schwilgué preserved
of the former clock only its fine case, the paintings and
ornaments of which were carefully repaired. In this he had many
difficulties to overcome, as well for the proper arrangement of
this mechanism and lodging it in a space that was often very
limited, as for making the old signs or indications accord with
the movements of the clockwork. Of these many were marked only in
painting, and must have been renewed after a certain time, as for
instance those for the eclipses, which now by a most ingenious
mechanical combination will henceforth last for ever. The little
statues which hitherto had no articulation, are now moveable; the
twelve Apostles have been added to the former number of them. The
figure of Death, formerly on the same level with that of
Jesus-Christ, is now placed in the centre of figures representing
the four ages of life and striking the quarters of hours; the
idea of assigning this place to the image of death is assuredly a
more rational and finer one than that which prevailed in the old
distribution of the figures. Childhood strikes the first quarter;
Youth the second; Manhood the third, and Old Age the last; the
first stroke of each quarter is struck by one of the two genii
seated above the perpetual calendar; the four ages strike the
second. Whilst death strikes the hours, the second of these genii
turns over the hourglass that he holds in his hand. The image of
the Saviour stands now on a higher ground; at the hour of noon
the twelve Apostles pass bowing before him; he lifts up his hand
to bless them, and during that time, a cock, whose motions and
voice imitate nature, flaps his wings and crows three times.

Mr. Schwilgué has altered the old calendar into a perpetual one
with the addition of the feasts that vary, according to their
connexion with Easter or Advent Sundays. The dial, nine metres in
circumference, is subject to a revolution of 365 or 366 days,
according as the case may be. Mr. Schwilgué has even indicated
the suppression of the secular bissextile days. He has moreover
enriched his work by adding to it an ecclesiastic compute with
all its indications; an orrery after the Copernican system,
representing the mean tropical revolutions of each of the planets
visible to the naked eye, the phases of the moon, the eclipses of
the sun and moon, calculated for ever; the true time and the
sideral time; a new celestial globe with the procession of the
equinoxes, solar and lunary equations for the reduction of the
mean geocentric ascension and declension of the sun and moon at
true times and places. A dial placed without the church and
showing the hours and days, is put in motion by the same
mechanism of the clockwork.

The camerated roof of the back part of the chancel was formerly
covered with paintings executed in 1686 representing Dooms-day. A few
paintings only adorned till now the interior of the Cathedral,
among which the most remarkable oil-paintings, executed by
artists of Strasburg, are: the _Shepherd's Adoration_, by Guerin,
the _Laying in the tomb_, by Klein; the _Ascension_, by Heim, and
some others. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the
chancel was several times and in different ways enlarged and
disfigured by ornaments little correspondent with the elegance and
grandeur of the gothic order. Tribunes, stairs and wainscots that
formed a strange contrast with the rest of the edifice were added.
The altar, adorned in 1501, with fine figures carved in wood by
Master Nicholas of Haguenau, was changed in 1685 by order of bishop
William Egon of Fürstenberg; that new altar, covered with a
baldachin, was destroyed by fire, and in 1765 the present one,
which has nothing in its form worthy of notice, was erected. Great
repairs were begun some years ago under the direction of the city
corporation, struck, as every body was, by the great disproportion
between the chancel and nave. It was resolved to restore the
chancel to its primitive form and arrangement, and thus to
reestablish the due proportions between that part and the rest of
this magnificent church. This great labour is now finished. Their
natural complement, as required by the style of this part of the
pile and its extensive fronts and arch-roofs, is the execution of a
certain number of monumental paintings, intrusted to two
distinguished artists, Prof. Steinle, Director of Städel's
Institute in Frankfort a/M. and the historical painter Steinheil
in Paris, a native Alsacian. The former is charged with the
execution of the fresco-paintings in the chancel and lateral
naves, whilst the latter undertook the reestablishment of the
paintings that represent the Dooms-day on the upper wall of the
chancel, in front of the great nave. Both works, begun in 1876,
came in sight for the visitors of the Cathedral, at the end of

In restoring to this part of the edifice its former appearance,
it has highly augmented the effect produced on the inward aspect
of the Cathedral; now also may be decided the question, hitherto
doubtful, of the exact time at which the chancel was built; with
certainty, it may already be said, that it was not erected, as
was often affirmed, in the time of the emperor Charlemain.

[Illustration: Astronomical clock.]

In removing the superfetations that had taken place during these
two last centuries, and in reestablishing the architectural forms
that the wretched style then prevailing had concealed, a
succession of large ogive arches of an admirable and powerful
proportion which form the inferior part of the Apsis, and support
a gallery serving as a basis to the upper story, have come to
light. On this story, which is separated from the _cul-de-four_
(spherical vault) by a single moulding, are three large ogive
windows, the middle one of which is of colossal dimensions, and
between the columns below are in a symmetrical manner placed, on
each side, the doors of the treasury and chapter-room, and in the
centre lies the bishop's throne, the niched vault of which is
still more richly decorated; between the intermedial arches are
the staircase doors leading to the gallery.

The _Apsis_ is not very deep and terminates by a segment, cut out
of a masonry work outwardly square; entirely devoted to the
sanctuary, it only contains the high-altar, the twenty four
stalls of the chapter and a necessary room to perform divine
worship. In 1878 an accompanying organ has been erected on the
left side. This beautiful instrument, made by Mr. Merklin, the
skilful organ-builder of Lyons, is a masterpiece of art and taste
that enhances indeed the chancel of the Cathedral. In front and a
few steps lower down lies the chancel, destined to the inferior
clergy and choristers. This chancel surmounted by a large
octagonal cupola, the external part of which was struck by
lightning in 1759, is placed at the intersection of the transepts
and nave; open and lighted on all sides, one can admire the
boldness and majesty of the columns and basis that support the
arched roofs. The cripta or subterranean place, extending under
the whole length of the chancel, is worthy of notice; it has also
been recently restored. It is of an older order than the
constructions of Erwin of Steinbach; it is perhaps the remainder
of the edifice erected by bishop Werner, at the beginning of the
eleventh century; the shape of the pillars, their cubical tops
or chapters, the arches exclusively semi-circular, bring us back
to those times. This crypta, that remained unimpaired during all
the changes which the Cathedral must have undergone in the course
of so many centuries, forms a nave with two arch-vaults and a
round chancel. All along the walls of the nave are stone benches.
Four of the inner pillars have still hinges affixed to them which
prove that this portion of the crypta could be closed by a double
door. At its entrance is what is called the holy tomb, a very
ancient group of figures representing Jesus Christ and his
disciples on the mount of Olives, at the moment when the soldiers
are going to seize the Lord: this group comes from the chapel of
the Augustines, erected in 1378; it was placed in the crypta in

The most ancient of the present chapels of the Cathedral is that
of Saint-Andrew, in the South aisle of the chancel; it is
remarkable for the details of its columns and for its ornaments
of a very old style; it contains the tombs of several bishops,
the oldest of which is that of Henry of Hasenburg, who died in
1190. Behind the North aisle of the chancel, is Saint-John the
Baptist's chapel, also very old, and being now lower than the
pavement of the Cathedral. Besides several epitaphs, one here
sees the fine gothic sepulchre of bishop Conrad of Lichtenberg,
who died in 1299. The colossal statue of that prelate lies on a
stone and has still some marks of the colours with which it had
formerly been painted; in one hand he holds a book, in the other
was his crosier of which only the lower part is now left; his
head covered with the mitre rests on a cushion and his feet lie
against a lion[1]. Near the entrance of this chapel, surrounded
by an elegant railing, is the baptismal-font of sculptured stone,
the master-piece of Josse Dotzinger of Worms, who died in 1449.

  [1] The epitaph of Conrad is as follows:

       «_Anno domini MCCLXXXXIX kal. Augusti obiit Conradus
       secundus de Lichtenberg natus, Argentinensis episcopus,
       hic sepultus. Qui omnibus bonis condicionibus, quæ in
       homine mundiali debent concurrere, eminebat; nec sibi
       visus similis est in illis. Sedit autem annis XXV et
       mensibus sex. Orate pro eo._»

The first chapel built in the Cathedral was Saint-Lawrence's,
next to the North portal of the transept. It was the oldest
parish in the town and diocese of Strasburg; the vicar of
Saint-Lawrence was the first archpriest of the diocese and at the
same time grand-penitentiary of the Cathedral. This chapel,
decayed with time, was rebuilt after the plans of master James of
Landshut, who died in 1495, and was completed in 1505; when in
the course of time it became too small for the parish, it was
transferred in 1698 into the neighbouring chapel of Saint-Martin,
which had been built in 1420 and then assumed the name of
Saint-Lawrence's chapel that it retained ever since. Among the
sepulchral monuments it contains, is seen that of Mr. de la
Bâtie, in his live time commander of Strasburg. In this chapel is
the entrance to the vaults, where to this day the bishops' mortal
remains are deposited.

The chapel opposite the latter, on the right side of the church,
is dedicated to saint Catharine; it was erected in the year 1331
by bishop Berthold of Bucheck who is interred in it. It was newly
arched in 1542 and formerly contained the holy tomb. The
entrances both into this and the chapel of Saint-Lawrence are
decorated with several old statues; in Saint-Catharine's chapel
is the tomb of Conrad Bock, a nobleman of Strasburg, who died in
1480; this work is remarkable for the manner in which the
numerous figures that surround the bed of the dying man, are
grouped together.

The sepulchral stones that served as flag-stones or pavement in
the interior of this large building, have long ago been removed.
Besides the sepulchral monuments and inscriptions already
mentioned we shall note the epitaphs of Erwin of Steinbach, of
Husa his wife, and of his son John, at the lower part of the
buttress in the little yard behind Saint John's chapel[1]; also
the inscription to the memory of Conrad Gürtler, who bequeathed
to the chapter of the Cathedral his house, a large building in
the rue du Dôme; this inscription is opposite that of Geiler of
Kaysersberg; finally, in one of the vestries is the epitaph, in
german verses, of the celebrated printer John Mentelin of

  [1] _Anno domini MCCCXVI. XII Kal. Augustii obiit Domina
  Husa uxor magistri Erwini. Anno domini MCCCXVIII. XVI Kal.
  Februarii obiit magister Erwinus gubernator fabrice ecclessie
  Argentinensis. Anno domini MCCCXXXVIII. XV Kal. Aprilis obiit
  magister Johanni (sic) filius Erwini magistri operi huius
  ecclesie._--There was formerly on that spot a burial ground; it
  is very likely that Erwin and his family were buried there. When
  some years ago, they were digging a waste-well for the lightning
  conductor, they discovered an old coffin of stone, broken and
  filled with earth and bones. All these remains with the exception
  of some fragments taken away by some curious amateurs, were
  deposited in a vault.

We shall add one word more on the _foundations_ of the Cathedral.
Every one knows the old story, according to which this edifice
rests on piles, between each of which it were possible to go in
boats on canals extending even under the place Gutenberg. As far
back as the seventeenth century, they dug to a considerable
depth, and have since several times renewed the experiments, to
ascertain the nature of the foundations, that have been found to
lie very deep and to be very solid, formed of masonry reposing on
clay mixed with gravel; under a portion of the nave this bottom
is reinforced by oaken piles.

Through a door on the right of saint Catharine's chapel you enter
the area of the workhouse of the stone-cutters of the Cathedral
(_Steinhütte_). These workmen, even to this day form a particular
corporation that seems to have originated in the days of Erwin of
Steinbach; at all events it is a certain fact that the masons of
the Cathedral were from the beginning a body, distinct from the
ordinary masons; that they have not admitted among them every
one who presented himself, and that they had secret signs to know
one another. This (_loge_) society of the masons of the Cathedral
has become the cause of many others in Germany; Dotzinger, the
successor of John Hültz as architect of this church, united them
all in one body; a general meeting of the masters or chiefs of
the different _loges_, held at Ratisbon in 1459, adopted certain
rules and regulations, and chose as their grand-masters the
architects of the Cathedral of Strasburg, where the principal
loge or lodge (_Haupthütte_) was established. Maximilian I
confirmed the establishment and the rules of this corporation on
the 3d October 1498. At the beginning of the eighteenth century
it was transferred to Mayence.

It has already been stated that at a very remote period the
Cathedral had received rich and important donations composing the
_[OE]uvre-Notre-Dame_, the revenues of which were originally
under the direction of the bishops; but as they squandered them
away «leaving the building to decay,» the chapter assumed their
administration in 1263, after the war between the town and Walter
of Geroldseck; however, the canons did no better and in 1290 the
magistrate of the city was obliged to take back from them the
management of the revenues. The estate and income of the
_[OE]uvre_, employed only for keeping in good order and for
repairing the Cathedral church, are still managed like other
property that belongs to the city; the collector of the revenues
is appointed by the city corporation, who also names the
architect and sculptor of the _[OE]uvre_. The receiver's office
is in a handsome house (_Frauenhaus_), built in 1581, after the
taste of those times, situated opposite the South side of the
Cathedral. In that house, where the old plans of the church and
the pieces of the old clockwork, above mentioned, are carefully
preserved, we have also to admire the light and elegant
construction of the staircase.

      *      *      *      *      *


The following changes have been made as needed to facilitate
reading: standardized punctuation and accents, moved
illustrations, and renumbered and moved footnotes.

Additional changes are listed below:

   Page 7: Changed "enthousiasm" to "enthusiasm" for consistency.

   Page 16: Changed "pittoresqu s" to "pittoresques" and
            "counter-forts" to "counterforts."

   Pages 20 and 34: Changed "doomsday" and "dooms-day" to
            "Dooms-day" for consistency.

   Page 21: The phrase "if tine" matches the original text.

   Page 22: Changed "Landsburg" to "Landsberg."

   Page 23: Changed "plat-form" to "platform."

   Page 24: The measurement "0m .460" matches the original text.

   Page 26: Changed typo "is" to "it" and changed "bizantine" to
            "byzantine" for consistency.

   Page 32: Changed "clock-work" to "clockwork."

   Page 40: Changed typo "eigtheenth" to "eighteenth."

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historical Sketch of the Cathedral of Strasburg" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.