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Episcopalian Baroque residence at Lake Constance

Meersburg New Palace

Cherub's head with bishop's miter, stucco relief in the palace chapel, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
A grand and holy mass

The palace church

Artwork by the most famous artists of the period are on display in the palace church, which is majestically decorated in the Rococo style. Gottfried Bernhard Goetz, Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer and Andreas Brugger contributed to the design, creating a festive space for church services.

Organ loft in the palace church, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Nina Kreckel

Horse barn turned palace church.

Church and New Palace created together

Between 1741 and 1743, the lavishly decorated palace chapel was built in the east corner pavilion, commissioned by Prince-Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn. By removing the suspended ceiling, it was possible to turn the original horse stables and overhead tack room into a large hall. From outside, the church is indistinguishable, so completely was it integrated into the facade. The integration of this church marked the start of the conversion of the New Building to the New Palace.

Stucco sculptures at the high altar tabernacle in the palace church, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Elaborate sculptures decorate the high altar.

High-caliber artists created the decor

Andreas Brugger contributed to the magnificent Rococo decor, adding the images of the apostles to the pilasters in 1768. Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer sculpted the ornate stucco decor in 1741. The stucco work is completely white and stands out against the colorful stucco marble. The organ loft was added by Prince-Bishop Franz Conrad von Rodt between 1759 and 1762. The stucco elements along its balustrade were crafted by Carlo Luca Pozzi.

Altar figure of Mary in the palace church, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Altar figure of Jesus in the palace church, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Altar figure of John in the palace church, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The high altar displaying sculptures of Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

Portrait of Prince-Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Prince-Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn.

The chapel’s founding myth

Augsburg painter and copper engraver Gottfried Bernhard Goetz (1708–1774) painted the ceiling fresco in 1741, completing it in just seven weeks. It is situated above the altar and depicts the “Miraculous Consecration of Einsiedeln” in 948, when Christ himself is said to have consecrated the Swiss monastery church. In the right lower section of the fresco, Bishop Konrad of Constance is visible and the artist has painted him with the features of Prince-Bishop Damian Hugo von Schönborn.

Pulpit in the palace church with stucco adornment, Meersburg New Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Even the pulpit is magnificently decorated.

The palace church today

Since 1864, the palace church has been used as a parish church by the Protestant Church of Meersburg. In the church antechamber, on the second floor of the palace, the importance of church and art at the prince bishops’ court is referenced in two paintings and two sculptures. In addition to frescoes and stucco elements, the prince-bishops also commissioned a plethora of paintings, sculptures and goldwork for representational as well as meditative and liturgical purposes.

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