The abbey of Saint-Etienne of Marmoutier : the largest, the oldest, the most beautiful Alsace
You will not be able to move to the side of the abbey on the market-place of Marmoutier !
This monastery colossal is the most beautiful of Alsace. The oldest too, as it was built in 589. The abbey of Saint-Etienne is a benedictine church classified as a historical monument. It contains within it a small wonder : one of only three organs preserved in the famous organ builder André Silbermann.
Then, ready to go back in time ?
The abbey of Marmoutier : a Story of more than a millennium
Built in the Sixth Century by irish monks, including St-Léobard, with the financial assistance of the king of Austrasia, Childebert II, who endowed the abbey of a large estate, it was destroyed in a fire. The monastery was restored in 724 by the fifth Abbot, Saint-Maur where does the name Maurimonastérien given to the inhabitants of Marmoutier. It then became a royal abbey, whose wealth and prosperity was possible thanks to the merovingian kings and large areas. In 824, a second fire ravaged. Its reconstruction marks the beginning of the installation of the monks and of its prosperity until the Twelfth century. From the Fourteenth to the Fifteenth century, the abbey has some difficulties : the local lords, the Geroldseck, have the power and the property of the monastery, the Peasants ' war, the germans of 1525 and the Thirty Years war of 1618. She will regain the prosperity until the Revolution, when its assets were sold and the buildings devoted to the monastic life destroyed, the only remains of the abbey church that we admire today.
The abbey church Saint-Etienne : a mix of architectural styles harmonious
Different epochs and in different architectural styles are represented : a chorus neo-gothic-baroquisant, a massif of the western Novel and a gothic nave, all co-existing yet in harmony.
The grand facade romano-byzantine, composed of three arches, with two square towers to the left and to the right, holds a small fantasy : lions, bears and gargoyles come together for the pleasure of the eyes, small and large.
The nave dates back to the Xiii century as reflected in the central part and the low-sides.
From 1972 to 1978, excavations have taken place in the abbey, and announced the crypt burial of Saint-Léobard, as well as the remains of the foundation of the abbey of which he was in the initiative. We went to the crypt mortuary by a spiral staircase located to the right of the choir of the abbey church at the level of the south transept. It shows the evolution of the architecture since the ancient times before the christian era.
The abbey of Marmoutier : the case of an organ Silbermann
This organ, as well as that of the abbey of Saint-Maurice d Ebersmunster, and the abbey church of Saint Cyriac of Altorf, are the only ones that we have preserved the famous organ builder André Silbermann.
The organ of the abbey of Marmoutier was an aesthetic close to the organs of Paris 1700s. Manufacturing jobs lasted 3 years, from 1707 to 1710. However, it was in 1746 that the son Silbermann, Jean-André, completed the organ, a common practice at the time, by adding four new games to the pedal and a Cromorne the positive.
The organ happened ages until 1954. Dedicated to a probable degradation, of young people who are engaged in its restoration.
The records of the organist american Neville Smith, in 1956, became worldwide know in the organ and took part in the renaissance of the invoice organ.
Finally, in 2009 and 2010, a large-scale restoration allowed various tweaks, fixes and repairs.
The organ that you will see during your stay in Carpe Diem is currently in its original condition. The instrumental part and the buffet were classified as a historic monument respectively in 1971 and 1972.
If you wish to visit the Alsace region of france and spend an excellent stay in our cottage, please do not hesitate to me contact !
Useful Information :
Archaeological crypt : access (charges 2€)
Free access to the abbey
Address : 9 Place du General de Gaulle, 67440 Marmoutier
Phone : 03 88 71 46 84