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Roman catholic church of the Saints Peter and Paul

The parish church of the Saints Peter and Paul provides an attraction earlier known only by experts for baroque- styled buildings and arts. Not only is this church the urban symbol and landmark but also does it provide as the only church in Hessia late baroque frescoes.

Roman catholic parish church of the Saints Peter and Paul Roman catholic parish church of the Saints Peter and Paul

Nowadays‘ church was constructed in between 1730 and 1732 on the foundations of a predecessor church by the chief engineering architect Johann Farolsky, who had lived in Mainz.

In 1775 the painter Johann Baptist Enderele (1725-1798), living in Ulm/Söflingen, started to paint the frescoes first in the nave, then within the area of the somewhat elevated choir (apse),finalizing his artwork by painting the balustrades of both galleries. 

However, the vaults developped cracks and layers of dust and candle-soot appeared. Repair with plaster was done and the original frescoes had been painted over many times – unfortunately picturing scenes according to contemporary fashion. This happened repeatedly in 1852, 1896, 1930 throughout 1932 and finally again in between 1970 and 1972. 

Moreover, cracks on the walls - showing up in 1989 - asked for urgent static security measures in order to prevent collapse of the building. Exterior renovation with the current tints in white and red was accomplished in between 1993 and 1995.

Years ago, experts had largely consented in declaring that the precious frescoes would be irretrievably lost, mainly due to an overall sealing of the rooftimbers by using oily wood preservers. Oily chemical residue-leakage dripping down on the floor and penetrating the underneath ceiling produced large dark stains within the layer of those frescoes – thus devastating the original beauty and scenic expression almost beyond recognition. Only for the purpose of restoring those frescoes, a special method was developped and successfully applied. So today, after a restoration period of several years, those frescoes can be admired again by the visitor in all their original glory of colours and vividness –  treasures hidden due to later damage and paintings  -  almost invisible in between the period from 1852 until 2002! 

Textual copyright for this passage with kind permission by the Roman catholic vicerage, out of a brochure by the congregation of the Saints Peter and Paul, Hochheim.