For hundreds of years, through war & disaster, the Veitskapelle and its paintings survived for two major reasons:
1. It was a private chapel, not for the simple farming folk of Muhlhausen.
2. Muhlhausen was a knightly holding, considered *outside* the Duchy of Württenberg. /3
What did this mean? Well, it mean that for hundreds of years, through the Reformation and religious war, nobody could get into the place to smash stuff up. It was a private place of worship, passed down through noble families. /4
The place was built in the 1380s by local lord Reinhard von Muhlhausen, as a memorial to his brother, Eberhard.
Both had made crazy money as bankers for Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV in Prague, so the place was dedicated to St Wenceslaus & St Vitus - popular Bohemian saints. /5
St Vitus (Veit) has his story told on the inside of the chancel.
He was a child martyr from Sicily who was supposedly killed in the very late 3rd century.
Since they did a lot to him, there's a lot of segments. /6
If you've heard of St Vitus, odds are you've heard of his most famous escape from almost certain death.
They threw the little guy in a cauldron of boiling oil and pitch, but he (supposedly) emerged unscathed! /7
The Veitskapelle is very, very useful to art historians, due to the quality of the paintings - they've only ever needed a little of cleaning, no major restoration work.
They give great details of clothing and architecture at the end of the 14th Century in Central Europe. /8
During WW2, the boys of the Royal Air Force absolutely obliterated the local parish church, St Walpurga's.
So, the doors of the Veitskapelle were thrown open to the people, and it's had a thriving congregation ever since. /9
Apart from the paintings, I adore the funeral effigies of 16th century nobles that litter the church.
They're very... expressive. I feel you can tell quite a bit about them from their features and poses. /10
The Veitskapelle is 5 mins walk from the Muhlhausen U-Bahn station - you can't get very lost, it's the very last stop.
If you're ever thinking of coming to Stuttgart, and you'd like to see it, get in touch at least a week beforehand, and I'll tell you how to get in. /10
Hope you enjoyed that!
I do these threads for the pure enjoyment of them, but if you'd like to help me put these weird and wonderful places on Twitter, you can always leave a tip! /FIN http://ko-fi.com/mikestuchbery
You can follow @MikeStuchbery_.
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