Leonhardskirche (St. Leonard's Church), Basel

Leonhardskirche (St. Leonard's Church), Basel

Leonhardskirche is a reformed Protestant (Evangelical) church. It sits on a hill which was once part of the 12th-century fortifications of the inner wall ring still visible today on the sparsely structured, huge west wall. The exact year of St. Leonhard's origin is unknown. There is evidence of a three-aisled Romanesque basilica built in the area from around 1080 and consecrated in 1118. The crypt of this building exists today, with some wall paintings and graves dating from the 12th century.

The earthquake of 1356 destroyed a large part of that building and adjacent monastery, following which a new high Gothic basilica was built on the ruins of the old church, circa 1360. The crypt was constructed over with a flat-roofed long choir and two chapels (Marienkapelle, St. Theobald chapel). In addition, a bell tower was built.

From 1481, the church was converted into a three-nave Gothic hall church, with the nave eventually receiving a star vault – by 1521. An inscription on a buttress mentions the year 1492, at which time the construction was still underway.

The city of Basel acquired both the monastery and the church on January 31, 1525. In 1529, during the Reformation, the altars, pictures and other elements of the building were destroyed, and so St. Leonhard's became one of the four Protestant churches in the city, along with the Minster, St. Peter's and Martin's.

Of all the former monastery structures, only the cemetery hall to the north (dated 1450) has remained. Throughout 1964-1968, the Leonhardskirche underwent archaeological survey and complete renovation.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Leonhardskirche (St. Leonard's Church) on Map

Sight Name: Leonhardskirche (St. Leonard's Church)
Sight Location: Basel, Switzerland (See walking tours in Basel)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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