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Architect Johann Balthasar Neumann
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Location near Bamberg, Germany   map
Date 1743 to 1772   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System masonry, cut stone
Climate temperate
Style Late Baroque or Rococo
Notes Daylight renders the lush, deeply sculpted interior.


Photo, exterior overview.

Photo, interior with lush ornamentation and daylight.
More images available on The GBC CD-ROM   Contributions appreciated



Axonometric Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

 Contributions appreciated

Discussion Vierzehnheiligen Commentary

"The pilgrimage church occupies a beautiful position over the river Main, opposite the monastery of Banz. Its restrained exterior has the form of a Latin-cross basilica with an impressive twin-tower façade. Upon entering the building, however, a different world is revealed. Within a seemingly infinite, luminous space a series of oval baldachins are placed. The rich and dynamic effect is structured by a regular system of colossal columns and pilasters. The longitudinal axis is emphasized by the large main altar in the presbytery, but equally strong is the center, marked by the splendid Rococo altar of the fourteen saints. An analysis of the spatial composition shows that two systems have been combined: a biaxial organism basically similar to the Hofkirche in Würzberg, and a conventional Latin cross.

— Christian Norberg-Schulz. Late Baroque and Rococo Architecture. p94-6.

"A hundred years after Borromini's Quattro Fontane, the Late Baroque/Rococo in South Germany and Austria broadened architectural horizons even further. Here will be found architecture, sculpture, and painting vibrant with light and so closely woven together that it is often difficult to know where one art form begins and the other subsides. It is an architecture of joy, and if the cornucopia at times overflows, so be it.

"Among the most spritely creations of this short-lived period—the engines of the Industrial Revolution were beginning to herald a new culture—is Vierzehnheiligen, the Church of Fourteen Saints, by Johann Balthasar Neumann. Within its sober, straight-sided outer shell (on pre-existing foundations), color and luminosity bursts forth. Its inner walls define ovals and circles, its piers vanish into the decorated planes of the ceiling, an altar stands triumphant, while light floods in and color snatches the eye. (As opposed to seventeenth- century Early Baroque churches, daylight plays an essential role.) There is here—as throughout this South German cultural period—a hint of the 'confectionery' (Pevsner), but architecture is richer for this hedonism, and so are we."

— from G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p114.

Sources on Vierzehnheiligen

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p150. — Available at

James Stevens Curl. Classical Architecture: an introduction to its vocabulary and essentials, with a select glossary of terms. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. ISBN 0-442-30896-5. NA260.C87. exterior view of west facade, f5.24, p117. — Available at

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p114. interior photo, p115. — Available at

Christian Norberg-Shultz. Late Baroque and Rococo Architecture. New York: Electa/Rizzoli, 1980. NA590.N63. ISBN 0-8478-0475-5. LC 82-62750. axonometric, p98. elevation, p97. section, p97. plan, p97.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Vierzehnheiligen


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