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Saal church

Saal church Saal church | © 

The former Pfalz church is now at the centre of the quarter of the town known as the “Saal area“. The transept, apse and the towers on each side of the choir are from the high Middle Ages. Opposite is the nave, which was not rebuilt on its foundations until 1964. The bell tower in the corner of the transept and the main aisle comes from 1861. On the exterior the historical parts (red) are distinguished from the later additions (yellow). Earlier research regarded the Saalkirche as Charlemagne‘s Pfalz chapel. Excavations by W. Sage and H. Ament in 1960 -1963 first led to a new date: ceramic remnants of the oldest stone floor go back to an era after 900, which shows that the building was incorporated into the others during the Ottonian reign.

The geographical position of the Saalkirche follows that of the older Aula regia, whereby the long axis formed by the west portal and the apse in the church is oriented on the west and east portals of the Aula regia. The Carolingian predecessor was located to the north of the Saalkirche during archaeological excavations in 2004. During renovations in the 12th century, the building decoration was renewed in the romanesque style, recognisable, for example, on the round arch frieze of the apse, on the moulding and impost and the ashlar with the figure of a lion on the tower north of the choir. The church now serves as a protestant parish church. A permanent exhibition in the northern transept provides information about the Ottonian period in the Pfalz.

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