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Opposite Chagall. The Organ, Fraumünster, Zurich, Switzerland | by Rana Pipiens
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Opposite Chagall. The Organ, Fraumünster, Zurich, Switzerland

It's a bit disorientating to enter the marvelous gothic Fraumünster - once dedicated to Our Lady - in Zurich. The Benedictine convent of which it was part was founded in 853 by Ludwig II the German (806-876) for his daughter Hildegard (828-ca.856). The original chapel was rebuilt in this magnificent gothic style in 1250. And it must have been an amazing sight in its heyday. But then came Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), the reformer of Switzerland, who had the convent 'dissolved' in 1524. The church was stripped of Catholic, colorful furnishings and remade into a strictly Protestant house of worship. There is of course no altar now, but the choir has those famous Marc Chagall (1887-1985) stained-glass windows which draw in the crowds.

Chagall's Modernism is off-set, though, by the stunning Neo-classicist organ exactly opposite. It was built in 1953 by Orgelbau Genève and is the largest organ of Canton Zurich, with some 5793 pipes. I'd have liked to hear it but my time here was too short...

It seems to me the high-vaulted Gothic Fraumünster is not really well balanced with that Modernism on the left as you enter and Neo-classicism right. But it's food for thought about the remnants which the transitions of history leave behind...

This photo was taken as I was standing on the very place where there was once the main altar.

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Taken on August 28, 2012