St Sebastian in Bonn, Germany. Built immediately after the Kulturkampf between 1888 and 1908 in a historistic style. Sebastian’s narthex, a small outer front hall, is featuring a row of columns with beautifully modeled capitals. They depict the four evangelists, framed by a pious angel and a roguish devil.
This is a shot I’ve taken almost ten years ago: a panoramic view of the Forum Romanum in Rome. I really recommend visiting this astounding place: you almost physically feel the connection to times long ago, and you feel how close you get to them. You will find many ruins of Roman cities in Europe, but you won’t find a similar place like this forum, that is residing in the heart of the eternal city for more than 2000 years.
Now for something completely different: La Maddalena in Rome is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene. It is situated at a very beautiful square I unfortunately failed to photograph adequately (next time!) and Rome’s only true Rococo church.
The following decades were under the banner of restoration. In architecture, as well as in politics: several autocratic principalities (or better: dictatorships) and a lot of kingdoms were constituting that part of Europe formerly known as Germany. The old empire was broken, there was no emperor, no (more or less) united German state, and the prince-electors and prince-bishops had lost their power, their dioceses, and the greatest part of their property.
(There was just that short episode, when the defeated French army annexed the cathedral in 1813 and used it as pigsty and sickbay. The greatest part of the wooden equipment was used up in those days.) 1814 the spook was over.
But, as so often in history, it was one man who did the magic: Joseph Ludwig Colmar (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Ludwig_Colmar) rebuilt and reconsecrated the cathedral. With a little help from Napoleon Bonaparte. Colmar’s influence also helped saving Speyer Cathedral.
Most of the treasures were destroyed or sold; the new era of freedom, equality, and fraternity was needing money. All these secularized churches and monasteries were quite valuable; and if not the buildings itself, so was the ground they were built on.
For centuries, the bishops of Mainz were entombed in the cathedral. Their epitaphs are still decorating the walls and pillars till today. After the fall of Mainz in 1793 and the following French occupation this era was ended. The cathedral was secularized, became a military depot, and a few years later there were even plans to completely knock it down
In 1767, a thunderbolt was hitting the cathedral, and once more it burnt down. Reconstruction was headed by Franz Ignaz Michael Neumann, son of Balthasar Neumann, a famous Baroque architect. Everything could have been nice after that, but then the Frenchmen came. The greatest parts of the city of Mainz, including the cathedral, were destroyed by cannon fire in 1793.