Reworking for a munnerstadt “gesamtkunstwerk”: renovation of the parish church

reworking for a munnerstadt 'gesamtkunstwerk': renovation of the parish church

Inside the plaster is crumbling. A net is stretched across the nave of the munnerstadt parish church of saint mary magdalene to protect visitors from falling debris. The good news: the renovation will start soon. First, the roof and the historic glass windows in the choir room will be renovated in a first construction phase after easter. The interior renovation is then to follow. The estimated cost of the entire work is about 3.2 million euros. The bishopric of wurzburg is contributing around two million euros. "During the work on the windows and roof, sunday services will take place as usual in the church", says augustine father markus reis, parish administrator of munnerstadt.

The parish church in the historic center of the city, which has a population of around 3700 in its core area, is a work of art of the highest order with its gothic choir architecture, the nave from the real period, the romanesque tower, the famous high altar by tilman riemenschneider and the only known paintings by veit stob.

Happy coincidence

Even more significant, however, are the stained glass windows dating from around 1420. "They are considered the most significant windows between erfurt and nurnberg", says rice. The fact that they have been preserved at all is due to several lucky "coincidences" the parish priest of munnerstadt had it removed during the second world war and had it walled into the so-called knight’s chapel. "That got him in a lot of trouble for decomposition of military strength." On the other hand, an air raid bomb that hit the choir room was a stowaway.

The 450-seat parish church was last renovated inside in the 1970s. "The fact that we’re only having to do it again now shows that the people responsible did a very good job back then, explains rice. In 2010, the bishop’s building office drew up a first construction report. During a preliminary examination of the delicate grisaille paintings from the real period, a restorer found that about 30 percent of the interior plaster no longer adhered properly. These are among the few surviving examples of this type of painted wall ornamentation from this era.

Take pressure off the north wall

Then it was found that a rib on the north wall of the church turned slightly to the east. "As it turned out during investigations, this probably stems from work on the roof truss around the middle of the 19th century. From the beginning of the twentieth century." At that time one wanted to take pressure from the north wall with a special construction, but apparently exactly the opposite was achieved. "The agreement on how to solve the problem and at the same time preserve the historical beams, some of which date back to the 15th century. The origin of the nineteenth century has lasted a long time. The bishop’s building office, a structural engineer, the state office for the protection of monuments and an architect were involved." According to rice, an aubengerust will be erected and the entire church roof will be covered with a foil roof. Then the roofing will be completely removed and the roof truss will be reworked and finally the roof will be completely re-roofed.

Extensive cleaning of the glass windows is on the program. "Where necessary and possible, should also be restored." Some panes showed signs of mold. This interference must be slowed down or stopped if possible. The protective glazing should also be renewed. "Whether some kind of rear window heater is needed to reduce moisture is still unclear", so rice.

Because the work on the windows will require a scaffold in the choir room, the parish will make a virtue of necessity. "The museum am dom in wurzburg and the bavarian national museum in munich are planning "exhibitions" with parts of the altar that have been removed from storage, says rice. In any case, originals of some central figures have long been in munich. "By easter 2020, we hope that this first phase of construction will have been completed – if there are no unpleasant surprises." Work is already underway in munnerstadt to renovate the interior of the stadium.

Liturgical reorganization of the church

On thursday, 21. March, there will be a colloquium on site with the diozesan art commission, which will be about the liturgical reorganization of the church. The city parish church, the "gesamtkunstwerk", should remain the liturgical center of the catholics of munnerstadt.Pow

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