St Georgen Church, Sankt Georgen im Schwarzwald, Germany

Max Oberbaurat Schätzle
Date Built
1960 - 1961
The church was designed by Max Oberbaurat Schätzle, then head of the Archbishop construction office in Konstanz.  The church’s website contains an explanation from the architect of his ideas and plans for the church.  A translation of that information suggests that one of the issues that influenced the design was the limited space available.  The plot of land was quite tight.  The architect felt that accommodating 750 seats was going to be a challenge (the following translation clearly leaves something to be desired).  “From the outset it was clear that the required to accommodate the faithful base could not be built in the form of a single nave. This would have resulted in an intolerable large building mass. As most appropriate solution, there was a three-aisled cross section with relatively low side aisles, in order to keep as small as possible the extent of the nave. ....

..... Lack of space in the interior have been thoroughly studied in a large model, especially the lighting, which at first seemed a bit unusual by the narrow slits between the slats. One sees in the church practically no windows. Nevertheless, met a soothing, almost indirectly acting brightness space and distorts so in any way from the altar area as the spiritual center from.”
  So in essence the solution to fitting the congregation into the limited space was to make a three aisle layout and despite the lack of large windows the building is both bright and soothing.

The nave of the new church was completed in 1961 and dedicated on October 15, 1961. 

Although there is a plaque on the building that is dated 1960.

The tower took longer to build.  The construction of the tower required an excavation that was more than four meters deep which was difficult given the rocky subsoil  The clock is housed at a height of 21.50 meters. Each of the four dials have a diameter of 3.50 meters and the big hand is 2.05 meters long, and the small measures 1.70 meters. A total of approximately 200 cubic meters of concrete and 15 tons of steel were needed to construct the tower.  It was completed in the late summer of 1962 and consecrated on October 28 of that year.

Some items were salvaged from an earlier church and installed in this new building.  This included the high altar, the two side altars, the tabernacle, the baptismal font and the organ.

When the old church was thoroughly renovated in the '50s, the organ was renovated by the Freiburg company Dold.  After that church was demolished in 1960 the organ was dismantled. The cost of building the new church meant that there wasn’t enough money to buy a new organ so the old organ was installed, temporarily in the new building.  Temporary turned out to be 30 years. 

In the 1980s the church “.... was visibly unsightly, .... the technical facilities were outdated.  A renovation program saw “... the insulation ... replaced and the walls repainted. In addition, new lamps were installed, giving the church a special accent.  ...  The side altars were dismantled. (and) stone was used in the creation of almost circular island and altar .... In the middle (a) newly designed altar found its place, which is now ...  closer to the community. ....

As part of the church renovation ... the longstanding desire for a new organ could be realized. At the Easter Vigil 1990, the new instrument was first heard.”

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