“Andernach”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/rhine/h_andernach/town/index.html is a lovely medieval walled town on the River Rhine and a stop for the river cruise boats. Views of the town from the river are dominated by the towers of the Church of Maria Himmelfahrt, a wonderful Romanesque building dating from around 1200.
It was quite late when we docked at Andernach and time for mass. I slipped into the back of the church and soaked up the atmosphere. I could follow much of the service by the cadences of the voices rising and falling in prayer.
If the outside of the building is impressive – Romanesque architecture at its best, the inside is equally so. An arcade of sturdy pillars supports a triforium with the round clerestory windows above. There are brightly painted borders on the arches and the ceiling ribs are painted. There are paintings of the stages of the cross above the arcade arches and a large mural on the back wall. There are more paintings on the walls of the apse at the east end of the church. This is a colourful church and even on a dull evening the colours glowed.
At the back of the church is a lovely stone carving of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placing the body of Christ in the tomb overlooked by the four Marys and St John the Evangelist.
At the end of the north aisle is the original high altar, dating from the early C17th with lovely alabaster reliefs depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the Annunciation and the Presentation in the Temple.
This is a very attractive church. There is no information in the church and only a certain amount on the internet in German. It is open daily from 9-6.
“There are more pictures and information here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/rhine/h_andernach/church/index.html