Thursday, April 2, 2009

Neighborhood Naves

The beauty of being in Europe is finding average, ordinary, every-day churches that are extraordinary. I don’t think Europeans even notice it. When you have amazing churches on every other corner, what’s another one. But when you are an American and not accustomed to such beautiful architecture, such spiritual centers, each and every one blows you away. I’m not talking about St. Peters in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, or even the Frauenkirchen in Munich. I’m talking about the churches in the neighborhood that are used as parish churches and have been a central part of the community for 100 years. A good example of that is St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the North end of the Maxvorstadt neighborhood. It was built in 1898 in a neo-baroque style (buildings that display Baroque style but are not built in the Baroque period of 17th and 18th centuries) with one single tower. The entire nave was destroyed in WWII, reconstructed in 1950, and stabilized in the late 80s. That tower looks more than 200 feet above Jospehsplatz, the North Cemetery, and the shopping street of Agustenstrasse.

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