Ötlingen (Baden Württemberg), St. Galluskirche. Foto/Photo: TES.

The St. Gall Church in Ötlingen

Gallus was an Irish monk who followed the Rhine with his companions around 600 AD. He ended up in the area of today’s St. Gall. After he died in 640, his followers built the first church of the later abbey of St. Gall in 719.

In the 8th century, this abbey had possessions in the Markgräflerland (in the later Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany). It was culturally one of the most important abbeys north of the Alps.

The foundations of this church can be found under the floor of the present-day church in Ötlingen (Baden Württemberg). The St. Gall Church (St. Gallus Kirche) was first mentioned in 1275.

The frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries show scenes from the New Testament and the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul. The top row shows pictures of St. Gallus’s life and two deacons. St. Gall holds the bishop’s staff in his hand. A large image of the apostle is attached to the wall of the church tower.

A severe earthquake hit the area in 1356. It destroyed Ötlingen and the church. Renovation soon followed, and the choir was extended to the east, given its late Gothic architecture. The church also received a sizeable Gothic tabernacle.

The church converted to the Protestant faith in 1556. The House and Grand Duchy of Baden have always been closely connected to the church and the village. Baden’s yellow-red coat of arms is, for this reason, the keystone of the chancel arch.

(Bron: H. Saecker, Die St. Gallus. Kirche in Ötlingen, Ötlingen 2007).