The Church of St. Sebald is the oldest of the two great parish churches of Nuremberg, the other is the Church of St. Lawrence, on the other side of the Pegnitz that runs through the city. St. Sebald is also the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church of the city, reformed in 1525. The proximity of the old town hall made it the church of the municipality of the city, and therefore its patrician families. In addition, the patron saint of the city, St. Sebald, has his tomb in the church. All this makes it has benefited from many gifts that are reflected in the richness of its decoration.
In place of the present church was a church dedicated to Peter, probably from the twelfth century, from which a crypt with two naves was found. The construction of the current church began in 1225. It was consecrated parish church in 1255, and completed in its first form in 1273. It is then a Romanesque basilica with double choir. It follows the model of St. Peter and St. George Cathedral in Bamberg, which, like it, has two choirs, two facades with towers and a polygonal apse. Thus, despite the Gothic design of the interior, the church shows elements of the Romanesque style. Soon, the church is changed. The works begin in 1309 with the removal of the lateral naves and widening of the wings; the walls are raised, then the chancel is built in late Gothic style, between 1358 and 1379. During the period of activity of Peter Parler between 1361 and 1372, the East choir, above the tomb of St. Sebald, is transformed into a very high choir with circular ambulatory, where the structure of church-hall is respected in the sense that the vaults are all almost the same height, according to the architecture of this time. The same concept can be found in the Nuremberg Church or the Wenceslas Chapel of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. It was during this time that the church changed its patron, from Saint Peter to Saint Sebald. The two towers are added in the fifteenth century. In the middle of the seventeenth century Baroque galleries were added, and the interior was remodeled in Baroque style. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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