Monday, 2 September 2013

dynamic duo: parish church of saint cecilia

Taking a leisurely but unwanted drive to start the work-week, and having learnt about the further collaborations of master architect Johann Bathasar Neumann and fresco artist Christoph Thomas Scheffler, I stopped in the town of Heusenstamm by Offenbach. On my way to see the baroque church, among their , I first passed under a very fancy (prunkvolle) gate, which the German Emperor Franz I had built in honour of his son's, Josef, being crowned the king of the Romans in Frankfurt am Main.
This post is  a precursor to becoming ruling the parallel Holy and Roman Empire of the Germans, and keeping control in the Hapsburg family.
Franz was residing at the Palace of Heusenstamm for the event—the Schloss is today used as the town's city hall and holds other administrative offices, surrounded by a palatial garden.
The town itself, after the extinction of earlier, founding dynasties, was firmly under the control of the dukes of the Schรถnborn family, prince-bishops and electors of Wรผrzburg and Bamberg.
Family members, I learnt, were buried in the crypt of this church, which with the support of her famous relations Duchess Maria Theresa had commissioned. I marveled at the ceiling, depicting among other things the resurrection of Lazarus, and discovered that the patroness, a Roman maiden that got cold-feet before marriage for pious reasons (quite a common reason for beatification back then, it seems) became, for singing at her wedding, in a round about way the muse of church music and someone for composers to look to for inspiration. In fact, the Cecilia that Paul Simon extols in the famous song is a little prayer for frustrated song-writers, lamenting the distractions that come with the lifestyle.