St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church, Saint Louis
Initially, the church was built to serve the spiritual needs of about 500 German immigrant families who had settled in the "Chouteau's Landing" District, a commercial and residential neighborhood in pre-Civil War era St. Louis. The church played a vital role in providing the German immigrants with a sense of community and identity.
In the 1950s, many of the original families had moved out of the city, and the church saw an influx of refugees from Hungary after World War II and the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. This led to the church being unofficially referred to as the "Hungarian Church" and provided new life to the parish.
The church's architecture is of great significance, designed by George I. Barnett and Franz Saler, two renowned architects, in the early 16th-century Mannerist style. The nave is rectangular and forms a cross with the transept, with the sanctuary at its head. The choir loft is located on the second tier of the two-tier balcony at the rear of the church. The church's ornate wooden-carved organ case and stenciled display pipes are among the oldest in St. Louis.
The interior of St. Mary of Victories is equally remarkable, being the first interior in a St. Louis church whose design was based on liturgical studies. The interior was developed and constructed by Max Schneiderhahn, the first professional church artist in the city. As a German immigrant, Schneiderhahn studied at a German university and two monasteries, bringing the craftsmanship tradition of liturgical art to the St. Louis area. Schneiderhahn conceived and executed the altars, statuary, steepled baptismal font, communion rail, carvings, and frescoes, along with painting the Stations of the Cross.
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St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church on Map
Sight Location: Saint Louis, USA (See walking tours in Saint Louis)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
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