St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden

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St. Bonifatius
BD 20100423-Bonifatiuskirche-A0065.jpg
50°4′46″N8°14′22″E / 50.07944°N 8.23944°E / 50.07944; 8.23944 Coordinates: 50°4′46″N8°14′22″E / 50.07944°N 8.23944°E / 50.07944; 8.23944
Location Wiesbaden, Hesse
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status Parish church
Dedication St. Bonifatius
Consecrated 1849 (1849)
Functional statusActive
Architect(s) Philipp Hoffmann
Diocese Limburg
Province Cologne
Music group(s) Chor von St. Bonifatius

St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, is the central Catholic parish and church in the capital of Hesse. The present building was designed by architect Philipp Hoffmann in Gothic Revival style and built from 1844 to 1849. Its twin steeples of 68 m (223 ft.) dominate the Luisenplatz. The parish is part of the Diocese of Limburg.

Wiesbaden Place in Hesse, Germany

Wiesbaden is a city in central western Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. As of January 2018, it had 289,544 inhabitants, plus approximately 19,000 United States citizens. The Wiesbaden urban area is home to approx. 560,000 people.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Hesse State in Germany

Hesse or Hessia, officially the State of Hesse, is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; the largest city is Frankfurt am Main.



The first church St. Bonifatius

The first church St. Bonifatius, 1830, collapsed on 11 February 1831 Erste Bonifatiuskirche Wiesbaden.png
The first church St. Bonifatius, 1830, collapsed on 11 February 1831

As Wiesbaden was Protestant after the Reformation, the first Catholic parish after the Reformation was founded in 1800. The congregation first met in a Bethaus (oratory) in the Marktstraße. It soon became too small for the growing number of Catholics in the town, which prospered as a spa and Residenz of Nassau. The parish received grounds adjacent to the Luisenplatz from the Duke of Nassau, and from 1829 to 1831 Friedrich Ludwig Schrumpf built a rigidly Neoclassical church, in keeping with the buildings around the square. Soon after the building was completed, it collapsed on 11 February 1831. A likely reason is insufficient foundation on ground which had previously been ponds. [1] [2] [3]

A spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan. Day spas are also quite popular, and offer various personal care treatments.

House of Nassau diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe

The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The lords of Nassau were originally titled "Count of Nassau", then elevated to the princely class as "Princely Counts".

Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, and the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.

The second church St. Bonifatius

On 24 May 1843, the young Philipp Hoffmann received the commission to build a church. He had already participated in building the town castle. His design is reminiscent of Gothic architecture, but also includes elements of Romanesque architecture and naturalistic ornaments to be found later in the Jugendstil. The foundation was laid on the day of the patron saint St. Bonifatius, on 5 June 1845. The interior was consecrated by the Bishop of Limburg Peter Josef Blum on 19 June 1849. [1] A rib vault is supported by 22 columns. The facade was completed in 1856, and the towers in 1866.

Philipp Hoffmann (architect) German architect

Philipp Hoffmann was a German architect and builder, principally known for his work in the Nassau capital in Wiesbaden.

Romanesque architecture architectural style of Medieval Europe

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.

Patron saint saint regarded as the tutelary spirit or heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person

A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.

In World War II the church suffered severe damage. An air raid on 2 February 1945 destroyed all the windows, the roof, and part of the vault. Repairs made in 1949 replaced the vault with a simple construction. The vault was re-built in a general restoration in 1965, which also took into account the changes of the Second Vatican Council. A new altar by Elmar Hillebrand was added in 1967. The new windows are stained glass in mainly white, red and blue, designed by Johannes Beeck. Sculptor Karl Hoffmann created a crucifixion scene and a sculpture of both St. Francis and Teresa of Ávila. [1]

Second Vatican Council Roman Catholic ecumenical council held in Vatican City from 1962 to 1965

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.

Stained glass decorative window composed of pieces of coloured glass

The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objects d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Teresa of Ávila Roman Catholic saint

Saint Teresa of Ávila, actually, Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman with Jewish roots, who chose a monastic life in the Roman Catholic church. A Carmelite nun, prominent Spanish mystic, Religious reformer, author, theologian of the contemplative life and mental prayer, over four centuries later she earned the rare distinction of being declared a Doctor of the Church. Active during the Counter-Reformation, she reformed the Carmelite Orders of both women and men religious. The movement she initiated, was later joined by the younger Spanish Carmelite friar and mystic, Saint John of the Cross. It led eventually to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites, A formal Papal decree adopting the split was issued in 1580.

Church music

The organ, expanded by Hugo Mayer Orgelbau in 1985 Wiesbaden, Bonifatiuskerk, orgelgalerij.jpg
The organ, expanded by Hugo Mayer Orgelbau in 1985
Project choir on the organ loft, part of the 21st Wiesbadener Bachwochen on 7 November 2015 St. Bonifatius Wiesbaden 2015 Cantique.JPG
Project choir on the organ loft, part of the 21st Wiesbadener Bachwochen on 7 November 2015

An organ was built in 1954 by Orgelbau Romanus Seifert & Sohn  [ de ]. In 1985 the instrument was expanded by Hugo Mayer Orgelbau; in 1995 three electronic bass stops were added. [1] Since 1981 the Kantor has been Gabriel Dessauer. He is the conductor of the 120-member Chor von St. Bonifatius, founded in 1862, the children's choir Kinderchor von St. Bonifatius, and the Schola for Gregorian chant. The church choir sings at services, including regular orchestral masses of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert for Christmas and Easter. Every year, typically on 3 October, a choral concert is performed. Also presented yearly are choral and organ concerts organised around a theme, called Boni-Musikwochen, including concerts of organists such as Kent Tritle and Ignace Michiels, and the project choir Reger-Chor. On 7 November 2015, as part of the 21st festival Wiesbadener Bachwochen, the church presented a concert dedicated to French church music, Gabriel Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine and Requiem and Olivier Latry's Salve Regina. A project choir of 150 singers performed, led by three conductors of the Diocese of Limburg, with soloists and members of the orchestra of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. [4]

Hugo Mayer Orgelbau is a German organ builder in Heusweiler, Saarland, building pipe organs in the third generation. It was founded in 1952 by Hugo Mayer (1912–1980) in Brebach and moved to Heusweiler in 1957. His son Gerd Mayer took over in 1974. His son Stephan has been leader of new instruments (Neubauabteilung) from 1996.

Gabriel Dessauer German cantor, concert organist and academic

Gabriel Dessauer is a German cantor, concert organist and academic. He has been responsible for the church music at St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden from 1981, conducting the Chor von St. Bonifatius until 2018. He is an internationally known organ recitalist and was an organ teacher on the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik Mainz. In 1985, he founded the German-English project choir Reger-Chor. He has lectured at international conferences, especially about the music of Max Reger, who was a member of the parish St. Bonifatius.

Chor von St. Bonifatius choir

The Chor von St. Bonifatius is a German mixed choir, the church choir of the parish St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden. It was founded in 1862 as a male choir and was a mixed choir from 1887. From 1981 to 2018, it was conducted by Gabriel Dessauer, who founded two children's choirs. The group sang the first performance in Germany of John Rutter's Mass of the Children and performed in Azkoitia, San Sebastián, Görlitz, Bruges, Macon and Rome. Colin Mawby composed for the choir the Missa solemnis Bonifatius-Messe for the 150th anniversary, celebrated on 3 October 2012. From 2019, the choir has been conducted by Roman Twardy.


The priests of St. Bonifatius were at the same time Stadtdekan (dean) of Wiesbaden, including:

A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and many Lutheran denominations. A dean's assistant is called a subdean.



Gottfried Kiesow  [ de ]: Architekturführer Wiesbaden - Durch die Stadt des Historismus, 2006, ISBN   3-936942-71-4, pp. 75 (in German)

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Detlef Gottwald (2008). "Kirche St. Bonifatius" (in German). Wiesbaden. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  2. Gottfried Kiesow: Das verkannte Jahrhundert. Der Historismus am Beispiel Wiesbaden, Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz, 2005, ISBN   3-936942-53-6, p. 128 (in German)
  3. "Historicism / Bonifatiuskirche". Wiesbaden. 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  4. Kösterke, Doris (9 November 2015). "150 Chorsänger erarbeiten an einem Tag Aufführung zweier Kompositionen von Gabriel Fauré". Wiesbadener Kurier (in German). Retrieved 9 November 2015.