The St. Leonard Church Basel
16 April 2021
The originally Romanesque church of St. Leonhard towers high above the Barfüsserplatz in the centre of Basel. The first construction of the parish church dates from around 1080. Nearby buildings housed the Augustinian monks.
The church bells determined the rhythm of life. Only the crypt of the Romanesque building has been preserved. The earthquake of 18 October 1356 razed the Romanesque church to the ground (except for the crypt).
The rebuilding took place in the Gothic style. Shortly before the Reformation, the last major renovation in the high Gothic style occurred (1481-1521). The first Protestant services occurred in 1525, and the church and abbey were transferred to the city. This early transfer is why the church was spared the iconoclasm of 1529. The statues and altars had already been removed and stored, including an altar by Konrad Witz (1400-1446).
The windows from the beginning of the sixteenth century also survived the reformation. The church is the French Reformed Church of Basel nowadays.
(Église française réformée de Bâle). Source: P. Habicht, Chr. Ph. Matt, St. Leonhard. Ein Rundgang durch Kirche und Geschichte, Basel 2008).