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Polski arrow Interesting Places arrow Interesting places in Goerlitz arrow St Peter and Paul church
St Peter and Paul church

The most magnificent building in Goerlitz. The beginnings of the temple, colloquially called Peterskirche, probably dote back to the 1220s. In 1423, the church was started and expanded in the Gothic style. Because of the Hussite Wars, the construction works were completed only in 1457 (the church was consecrated by Meissen bishop - Rasper von Schonberg). Expansion of thebuilding was also carried on ot the end of the 15th century (among other architects Conrad Pfliiger was involved). As a result of the works o church with five aisles and beautiful Gothic vaults was created. In 1509, the burghers from Zgorzelec endowed the temple with sheet copper to replace the former shingle roof. In 1525, Frank Rotbart, o son of the local tanner, started preaching Lutheran sermons here. Even then Peterskirche made a great impression oitscontemporaries. When leaving Zgorzelec, Czech King Ferdinand I who stayed there in May 1538 instructed the councillors to paint the church and send the picture to Prague. Unfortunately, on 19 March 1691, the rich decoration of the temple was burnt to ashes by a horrible fire (36 altars were destroyed then among other things). At the end of the 17th century the church was begun to be rebuilt, taking the opportunity to enrich it with new elements. In the years 1697-1703, the Emperor's organ constructor, Eugenia Casparini (actually Caspar, as his family was of Lusatian rather than Italian origin), built the so-called "Sun Organ" for St Peter and Paul church, which was hailed as the most beautiful organ "to the north of the Alps". In 1696, a huge bell was cast for the local temple, one of the biggest in Germany. During the First World War it was melted down for the needs of the army (there is a plaster copy of it in the southern aisle). As regards the furnishing of Peterskirche, the Baroque altar and two confessionals, one of which on the left) was made by Casper G. von Rodewitz, are worthy of notice. It is worth mentioning that some elements of the former furnishing are in Poland (e.g. the Gothic sculptures of St Peter and Paul are kept in Warsaw). In spite of repeated conversions of the building, a beautiful late Romanesque portal has survived. Under the altar there is St George chapel sculpted in rock. The chapel was made in the years 1423-1432 (vaults are from around 1461). The two slender neo-Gothic church towers, without which Peterskirche is difficult to imagine, were added only in 1889-1891.

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