Saint-Morand Priory Altkirch : Altkirch Tourism

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Saint-morand priory

Saint-morand priory
Saint-morand priory

68130 Altkirch

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The Saint-Morand priory , located in Altkirch in Alsace, is mentioned for the first time in 1105. This first priory which consisted of a small wooden chapel dedicated to St. Christopher, was delivered by Count Frederick of Ferrette to Hugh, abbot of Cluny Benedictine. Hugh gave the burden to evangelize southern Alsace to the monk Morand. Born in 1049 in Worms, Germany, Morand knew the language of the region and travelled in the Sundgau area for 10 years, making conversions and healings, until his death in 1115. His burial in the center of the church made him the new saint of the Saint-Morand priory.

After a fire the priory was rebuilt in stone in 1191. In 1621, after the Thirty Years War, property and buildings were entrusted to the Jesuits by Archduke Leopold of Austria. The priory occupied by the troops of Turenne was burned in 1674. The priory was rebuilt and enlarged between 1750 and 1756 according to Johann Caspar Bagnato's plans. Following the dissolution of the Jesuit order in France, the priory came back into the hands of the Benedictines in 1764. The priory was seized as national property in 1790 and sold in lots. The church and the surrounding cemetery remained the property of Altkirch. After several projects (hospital, school, fire station ...), the city of Altkirch bought all the buildings in 1828. The city built a hospital on the site which opened in 1929.

To date, the hospital still occupies buildings that had been restructured and expanded several times. The church, in Romanesque Revival style, was rebuilt in 1886 according to architect Charles Winkler's plans. Many paintings and decorations highlight the Saint-Morand priory.

The cemetery adjoining the church is the old cemetery of Altkirch. The cemetery was abandoned in 1877 after the opening of the new cemetery near the city. The cemetery stands today as a repository of funerary monuments.

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