imperial chapel


Chapel of the Imperial Palace in Bad WImpfen/Germany (~1160)

The “Pfalzkapelle” hasn’t lost it’s awe inspiring effect. It’s facade is styled to be a reminder for the people going to mass of who is in charge.

Holy roman emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa had it’s own entrance to the  chapel on the second floor, directly adjacent to the palace, which once stood on the left side. A transverse arched window with a very ornate column marks the inner gallery, where the emperor could follow mass, looking down on his subjects.

Their entrance lies directly beneath the emperors gallery, so they literally had to walk and stand beneath his feet. But that alone was not enaught for an emperor. The right side of the front shows two bass relief columns, framed by the worldly domain of the emperor. It’s like calling out: “You, who stand there, are all mine!”.

But even the emperors domain has a boundary: a sharp ledge on top of the wall marks the border between the mundane world and heaven, resembled by the rooftop.

The chapel originally had a romanic apsis, which was replaced in 1333 by a gothic choire (to be seen on the far right side). The chapel was dedicated to St. Nikolaus of Myra.