Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comburg Abbey

Our Ambrosian writer Nicola de’ Grandi, tireless traveler and photographer that he is, recently visited several churches and Benedictine abbeys in German; here are some pictures from the abbey of Grosscomburg near the town of Hall in Swabia. Particularly interesting is the large medieval chandelier, which is made to represent the heavenly Jerusalem as it is described in the Apocalypse; this is one of only three that survive of the dozens made in the Middle Ages. Most of Comburg’s moveable metallic objects were melted down during Germany’s gigantic theft of church property known as the Sekularisation, and innumerable artistic treasures lost in the process. (In a recent post, you can see a chandelier broadly similar to this in one of the monasteries on Mt Athos, starting at about 1:13:00 in the video.)

The modern altar has a very beautiful gold and silver 12th-century frontal built into it.
The tomb of one of the founding abbots sits in the middle of the choir.
The baldachin over the preaching pulpit is decorated with figure that represent the seven capital vices, an unusual motif to be sure, but evidently meant to indicate that in the sermon, one will learn the remedies for them and hear exhortations to the contrary virtues.
Comburg was founded in the later 1070s; in many churches of the Romanesque period, the belltower was built onto the façade, and one entered the church by passing through its base.
Tomsb of the abbots.
The chapter hall.
The cloister

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: