Inscribing the heritage in the long term: the construction of the Romanesque bell tower
Discover the restored vaulted room of the Romanesque bell tower, its ignored remains, including rare painted decorations of the thirteenth or twelfth century, visible on the arches.
A double renaissance
- The end of a paradox.
Since the construction of the present Romanesque Revival Church in the last quarter of the 19th century, the square bell tower room and the former north arm of the transept – the only survivors of the Romanesque church of 1140/60, “enlarged” in 1835/37 and soon ruined, were reduced to sheds: the vaulted bell tower room, the bell ringers' space until 1928 (when the bell was electrified) and the adjacent room, with the addition of a disgraceful staircase and mezzanine.
Over successive generations, statues, religious furniture, lapidary elements, paintings of sacred art not used, etc. were piled up and degraded there, in particular because of the airtight concrete floor that led to the raising of water in the walls.
- A double renaissance.
The work that has just been completed has therefore allowed a double renaissance: architectural (removal of the staircase and mezzanine, sanitation, highlighting elements of painted decorations almost all at the end of the work...) on the one hand, and destination on the other, in a unique exhibition space.
- A unique setting for rediscovered works, objects of restoration.
It is therefore in this rare setting that, thanks to a general inventory undertaken in 2013, a selection of these recovered treasures, studied and documented, can be presented, after the necessary restoration of many of them – objects of a subscription launched with the Heritage Foundation.
While waiting for the walls to dry from 6 months to a year, you will see in particular the large contemporary sarcophagus of the Romanesque church, brought to light during previous campaigns of work (years 1980/90). Its beautiful lid is adorned with a tree of life: a whole symbol!
About the venue
The bell tower, listed(classified) in conformance with(for) historic monuments in 1841, is the unique(only) vestige of the Romance church of the second quarter of the XIIth century. It is the knight Burkhard of Gueberschwihr, founder of the abbey of Marbach, which is undoubtedly at its origin. The rest of the building was rebuilt between 1874 and 1878 under the direction of the architect Jean-Baptiste Schacre father (1808-1876). He(It) raised(drew up) plans in a neo-Romanic style, with many(a lot) essential and a big(great) concern(marigold) of harmony with the old(former) bell tower of the preserved XIIth century.