Church of St. John (Regensburg)

Article

January 24, 2022

Collegiate Church of St. John in Regensburg is the spiritual center of the Collegiate Foundation of St. John, which was founded in 1127. It is dedicated to two saints: John the Baptist (Remembrance Day, June 24) and John the Evangelist (Remembrance Day, December 27). The church is located in the immediate vicinity of St. Peter's Cathedral, between Domplatz square in the south and the Bishop's Court in the north.

History

In the place of today's church, there was originally a building, which can no longer be precisely located, and which served as the baptistery of the then Regensburg Cathedral. The originally Oton building was later demolished so that the Regensburg church could expand to the west. Already in the middle of the 11th century there was no baptismal church, but according to the description of the town, perhaps a parish church. The great city fires in Regensburg in 1152 and 1176 probably affected not only the cathedral, but also the church of St. Jana. Around 1220, the atrium between the church and the cathedral was restored; in the episcopal crypt below the cathedral, a preserved free column and several wall pillars can be seen from this building. Even in the 13th and 14th centuries, the church of St. Several side chapels were added to Jana. In the second half of the 13th century, the construction of the new St. Peter's Cathedral began. When the collegiate church prevented the further expansion of the western facade of the cathedral in the 14th century, its demolition was agreed in 1380 in exchange for the construction of a new building with five altars; The Gothic construction of the collegiate church was probably completed for the most part in 1381 and was already on the site of the current church. It was a two-nave hall church with a flat ceiling, the south nave of which on the upper floor contained the monastery archive and the chapter hall. A single-nave presbytery was attached to the north nave. Adjacent to the north side of the church is a massive square tower; it was equipped with a clock in 1628, which is still functional. A crypt was built under the then choir around 1630. The Collegiate Church was at that time surrounded by low commercial buildings and connected to the north tower of the cathedral by a wall that existed until the 20th century. Around 1730, the collegiate church received a new organ, the Baroque cabinet of which has been preserved. The church underwent a radical Baroque reconstruction between 1766 and 1769, when the two naves were joined into a large hall with a flat ceiling, which was decorated by the Bavarian court painter Johann Nepomuk Schöpf with three ceiling frescoes. The western facade was designed symmetrically, but without an ornamental gable. The originally Gothic choir was separated by a wall and divided into two floors with a mezzanine. During the overall reconstruction, the equipment was partially restored. The image of Jesus' baptism for the new main altar also dates from Schöpf and was created in 1769. From 1874 to 1878, another reconstruction of the exterior and interior took place, during which, among others, the carpenter Johann Kohlhaupt, a carpenter, created a new main altar in the Neo-Renaissance style designed by Landshut sculptor Paul Weiss. In 1882, the church received a new organ from Johann Anton Breil. On June 24, 1887, a fire broke out in the northern episcopal court, which quickly spread to the collegiate church and largely destroyed the results of the recently completed reconstruction. The tower burned down, the roof structure was destroyed, the flat ceiling was damaged and the organ was damaged. As a result, in connection with further demolition measures in the south cathedral square, the demolition of the collegiate church was even considered, which should have provided a better view of the west facade of St. Peter's Cathedral with the recently completed towers. In the end, however, there was a reconstruction, during which, for example, the tower was restored to its original state, but the interior of the church was modified neo-baroque. An ornamental shield with a statue of John the Baptist was created on the west facade

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