The Early Eighteenth Century Abbatial Church of St. Maurice in Ebermunster, France

L'Eglise St. Maurice is the former abbey church of the Benedictines of Ebermunster and while the church, like the name of the village itself, has a distinctly Austrio-Germanic tone to it, it is actually located in France.  This influence is perhaps made all the more understandable given that many of the artists were Tyrolean (and some German) which was a district located within the Austrio-Hungarian empire.

The foundation of the abbey itself dates back to the seventh century, but of the present abbey church is, needless to say, much more modern having been completed in 1727. 

The church famously includes a pulpit which has as its pedestal the Old Testament figure of Samson holding it up.

The great organ was built by Andreas Silbermann

However, while there is much in this beautiful former abbey church of interest, it is the high altar and tabernacle which I specifically wished to draw our readers' attention to.

The high altar of St. Maurice was designed and built in 1728 by a local carpenter by the name of Jean-LĂ©onard Meyer. It is a marvellous piece of work. The entire altar is constructed of wood and gilt in gold leaf. The tabernacle door contains a particularly beautiful image of the resurrected Christ:

The form of the altar with its long gradines (made longer to hold six large candlesticks proportionate to an altar and reredos of this scale) will no doubt remind many readers of what is frequently found throughout Italy, most especially the north of Italy.

Between the altar, tabernacle and the well proportioned candlesticks and candles placed upon it, this particular altar manages to remain the central focus despite the grandeur of the reredos behind, not to mentioned the rest of the surrounding church.

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