Ottmarsheim Abbey-Ottmarsheim, France - C. XI
Scale: 1/130 Approx. Nº of pieces: 4.200 Difficulty degree: 7/10 Sizes (Mm.): 345 x 230 x 235
The Romanesque church of St. Pierre et Paul is in Ottmarsheim, in eastern France. A few kilometres from Mulhouse, it is situated on the border area between Germany and France that the River Rhine maps out. With its octagonal ground plan it imitates the Chapelle Palatine d'Aix la Chapelle, where Charlemagne established his residence. The Chapelle Palatine, which was inspired by the temples and sanctuaries of the Roman emperors of Constantinople and northern Italy, became the architectural referent for the Ottonian emperors of the 10th and early 11th centuries. Its ground plan and architecture have been reproduced many times with more or less precision. L'Abbatiale d'Ottmarsheim is a necessary monument in order to discover 11th century Romanesque art. The builder was Rodolphe d'Altenburg in 1030. The church was consecrated in 1049 by Pope Leo IX, who came from Alsace. L'Abbatiale d'Ottmarsheim is the oldest building in the whole of the Alsace region that is still in a good state of conservation, since the majority of castles and old constructions in the area date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The original ground plan of the Abbatiale d'Ottmarsheim was simple: two concentric octagons extended by a tower in the west and a square choir to the east. Later on, in the 15th and 16th centuries, two Gothic chapels were added, one on each side of the choir. All these elements converge towards the central octagon. Just like the outside, the interior decoration is very sober. Today only a few fresco paintings survive. It is more than likely that the entire surface of the walls and vaulting were covered with these paintings. The closeness of the altar and the smallness of the central octagon create an intimate and welcoming atmosphere that, once inside the church, is inducive to meditation.