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The stained-glass windows of the Collegiate Church Saint-Thiébaut.

The chancel of the Collegiate Church Saint-Thiébaut exhibits Alsace's most complete collection of stained-glass windows from the 15th century. From the point of view of the iconography and style, and in spite of the restorations that have been made, these windows remain of great interest.

The iconographic cycles follow one another from North to South, according to an order which corresponds to a medieval conception of the world.

Chancel of the Collegiate Church Saint-Thiébaut (Stained-glass window N IV to S V)

The stained-glass windows of the chancel in the Collegiate Church are composed of eight decorated or figured windows representing Genesis ( N IV), the Ten Commandments and the prophecies ( N III), Christ's Life ( N II), the Passion of Christ ( N I), The Virgin Mary's life (S II), Saint-Thiébaut's Miracles ( SIII), Saint Catherine ( S IV) and Saint-Thiébaut ( S V).

Genesis (NIV) :

 This window is composed of 48 panels, the first part depicting the creation of the Universe through several stages.

  • Creation of the four elements. Ville de Thann    
  • Creation of the sun, the moon and the stars.
  • Separation of land and water.
  • Creation of plants.
  • Creation of animals.
  • Creation of Man
  • Representation of Christ (God surrounded by angels)

In the second part, the panels depict Adam and Eve's life, their exclusion from heaven, their life on Earth, Abel's murder and Cain's flight, Adam's illness, his son Seth bringing him the oil of mercy from Heaven and Seth placing the olive branch on Adam.

In the last part, you can discover God ordering Noah to build an ark in anticipation of the Flood, the building of the Ark, the Deluge and the building of the Tower of Babel.

The Ten Commandments and the messianic prophecies. (N III):

This window is also composed of 48 panels divided into two parts.
The lower part refers to the Decalogue. Each scene occupies two superimposed panels.
On the upper panel, there is a bust of God holding a speech scroll announcing the commandment or the theme.

On the lower panel,you can see ten sections, each one having two scenes placed side by side and showing on one side the respect to a commandment and on the other side the disrespect to this commandment.

The upper part represents King David, God and the apostles, the Last Supper, the Jesse Tree, Pentecost and the Resurrection.

Christ's Life (N II)

These 48 panels represent the first part of Jesus' Life since his birth. The last panel represents the angels holding the instruments of passion and refers to the last part of Jesus' Life.

Christ Passion (I)

This window is composed of 49 panels which represent the last part of Jesus' life: first the disbelief of the Jews towards Christ, then Christ's crucifixion, his Ascension, Pentecost and finally his resurrection.
The windows N IV to N II were created around 1423-1425.  

The Virgin Mary's Life (S II)

This window is composed of 48 panels symbolizing the life of the Virgin Mary until her coronation and her death, these scenes can be compared with those which are represented on the great tympanum on the main facade of the Collegiate Church.

Saint-Thiébaut's miracles (S III)

The scenes are shown on huge medallions which represent Saint Thiébaut's relic arriving in Thann and the bishop of Gubbio's servant kneeling in front of the staff in which the relic was hidden. On one of them, the Count of Pfirt is holding a model of the church he was going to build and he is presenting it to Saint Thiébaut. The panels also depict the miracles accomplished by Saint Thiébaut such as the exorcising of a woman, the rescuing of a ship in the North Sea, the extinguishing of a fire in the Town of Wolin in Pomerania (Poland) and the resurrection of a man in Hamburg.

Three saints and the martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (S IV)

The window is composed of 39 panels representing Saint Catherine, Saint Anthony the Hermite and Saint George.

A female Saint and Saint-Thiebaut (S V)

The window is composed of 36 panels. The representation shows Saint-Thiébaut being venerated by two kneeling pilgrims who are being crowned by angels. The female Saint is unknown although several suppositions have been made :

  • It could be Saint Margaret, but the dragon which would allow us to recognize her is missing.
  • The publications of the Collegiate Church recognize that it might be Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Odilia or Saint Helene .

The windows S II to S V were realised around 1423 – 1430.

The stained-glass window on the Northern aisle of the Collegiate Church Saint-Thiébaut.(Stained-glass windows N V to N VIII)

These windows are patterned and emblazoned. The patterns are topped by architectural scenery. The rest of the window is colourless.

The stained-glass window N V shows the Holy Family. Joseph can be seen with carpenter tools, Jesus carrying out carpentry and the Virgin Mary spinning with a distaff.
The stained-glass window N VI shows the Virgin Mary and some Saints, such as Saint John the Evangelist.
The stained-glass window N VII represents the Virgin Mary and the Saints with donors, such as Saint Peter with Theobald Lupfrid, clerk of the town or the canon and priest Nicolas Wollfach who wrote the book listing the miracles of Saint Thiébaut (around 250 miracles).
The stained-glass window N VIII represents figures of Saints, such as the Saint Abbot or the Saint Priest holding a book

These windows were created around 1455.

Stained-glass window of the west wall of the Northern aisle (Stained-glass window N IX)

The stained-glass window N IX is missing. It was supposed to represent Pharaoh's Dream and Joseph's Triumph but it was replaced by The Last Judgement in 1913. It was damaged during the war and replaced in 1924 by a window representing the same scene of the Last Judgement. The window was destroyed in 1944 and hasn't been replaced so far.

The exact creation date of this window is unknown, but it was donated by Maréchal in 1861.

Stained-glass window of the Chapel Saint-Thiébaut (Stained-glass window S VI)

The stained-glass window S VI is dedicated to the relic of Saint Thiébaut and was replaced in 1922 by a panel showing the Saint holding the Collegiate Church and being venerated by two pilgrims

This stained-glass window was made around the middle of the 19th century and was replaced in 1922.

Stained-glass windows of the Chapel of the Virgin (Stained-glass windows S VII to S XI)

  • The stained-glass window S VII represents the Annunciation.
  • The stained-glass window SVIII represents the Nativity scene.
  • The stained-glass window SIX represents the Lamentation of Christ.
  • The stained-glass window S X represents the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
  • The stained-glass window S XI represents angels.

The original stained-glass windows were made in the 17th century, later Maréchal replaced three windows which were destroyed during the First World War. The actual windows date back to 1953-1954 and were made by Le Chevallier (he also restored the stained-glass windows at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris).

Stained-glass windows of the western bay of the southern aisle (Stained-glass windows S XII and S XIII):

  • The stained-glass window S XII represents the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • The stained-glass window S XIII represents the Seven Sacraments.

These stained-glass windows were made by Ott in 1923.

The stained-glass window on the Western wall of the Northern aisle (N IX) as well as the stained-glass windows of the Chapel of the Virgin (S VII to S XI) and of the Western bay of the Southern aisle (S XII and S XIII) were destroyed during the First and Second World Wars.

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