Paroisse protestante de Montbéliard Temple Saint-Martin
Eglise Protestante Unie de France  Paroisse de Montbéliard 18 rue Viette 25200 Montbéliard Pasteur Carine Frank Téléphone +33 3 81 91 03 69 Mobile +33 6 59 58 11 57 pasteur@temple-saint-martin.org
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH “SAINT-MARTIN” - MONTBÉLIARD The church The reformation in Montbéliard The   church   of   Saint-Martin   de   Montbéliard   was   built   between   1601   and   1607,   and   is   the   oldest   monument   Reformation   era   that   can   be   found   in   France. Although   other   Huguenot   temples   have   been   built   in   France   second half of the 16th century, all of them have later been destroyed. Its building was the work of two men: Prince Frederick I and architect Heinrich Schickhardt. Frederick   was   born   in   1557   in   the   Castle   of   Montbéliard,   a   few   months   before   the   passing   of   his   father,   After    completing    his    studies    in    Stuttgart    and   Tübingen,    he    returned    to    Montbéliard,    where    he    sovereignty from 1581 onwards. A   proud   and   authoritarian   character,   his   curiosity   and   open-mindedness   would   lead   him   to   do   much   for   of   the   county.   He   ruled   with   an   absolute   power,   only   moderated   in   Montbéliard   by   the   Magistrate.   Being   he   had   authority   in   civilian   and   military   affairs,   as   well   as   in   religious   (he   was   also   prince-bishop)   and   (along   with   the   Magistrate).   During   the   27   years   of   his   reign,   the   region   experienced   an   unprecedented   areas   such   as   urban   planning   and   architecture,   scientific,   technical   and   agricultural   development,   as   religious organization. Born   in   1558   in   Herrenberg   (Württemberg),   Heinrich   Schickhardt   was   raised   in   a   lower   middle-class   joining   the   Dukes   of   Württemberg’s   architecture   workshop,   his   talents   as   a   designer   and   decorator   noticed.   As   a   result,   he   was   gradually   put   in   charge   of   more   important   works,   notably   the   reconstruction   Clerval, which had been devastated by a huge fire. It   was   on   this   occasion   that   he   met   young   prince   Frederick.   Both   men   had   the   same   age   and   shared   for   architecture,   and   before   long,   Frederick   asked   Schickhardt   to   go   into   his   service.   Schickhardt   accepted,   Montbéliard   in   the   year   1600.   One   year   later,   Frederick   asked   him   to   build   a   church   which   would   be   Lutheran religion. The   population   growth   of   the   city   (having   gone   up   from   2000   inhabitants   in   1590,   to   3600   in   1618),   crowd   of   French   Huguenots   who   had   came   to   Montbéliard   in   the   wake   of   wars   of   religion,   is   without   cause of the construction of Saint-Martin, which would be built in the same spot than a older and smaller edifice. Some   German   historians,   however,   have   a   more   romantic   explanation:   according   to   it,   Frederick   had   survived   storm   during   a   journey   to   England,   and   consequently   sworn   to   build   seven   churches   to   the   glory   vowing is not customary in the Lutheran tradition, one can emit doubts about the veracity of this story... However,   one   thing   that   is   for   certain   is   that   the   building   of   Saint-Martin   was   as   much   a   proof   of   power   one of excellence for the architect towards his prince. The   first   stone   of   the   current   church   was   laid   in   1601   on   Thursday,   March   5th,   in   the   presence   superintendent,   the   ministers,   the   castle’s   governor,   and   all   other   authorities   from   the   city   and   principality.   was engraved in the building’s foundations, on the side of the town hall. It translates as follows: IN THE YEAR OF SALVATION 1601, ON THE 3RD DAY OF THE NONES OF MARCH, IN THE REIGN OF EMPEROR RUDOLPH II This first stone was laid so that, with God’s help, the very noble Prince and Lord Frederick, Duke of Württemberg and Teck, Count of Montbéliard, out of pious generosity, as a replacement of an older and smaller building, ordered that another one, great and new, be built. This is the work of Heinrich Schickhardt von Herrenberg, highly renowned architect. MAY THE GOOD LORD GRANT THAT THIS PLACE SERVE TO PRAISE CHRIST AND TO CELEBRATE HIS GLORY AND TO FURTHER HELP IN THE BUILDING OF HIS CHURCH DEUS OPT. MAX. AMEN. The   fabric   of   the   building   took   four   years   to   build,   from   1601   to   1605   (the   South   portal   is   dated   1604).   builders were involved in it, one from Montbéliard and the other from Württemberg. The   materials   used   in   the   construction   all   came   from   the   region:   the   limestone   was   from   Vandoncourt,   from   Chagey   and   Champey...   In   total,   more   than   20,000   stones   had   to   be   cut   and   sculpted.   The   framework   three   weeks   during   the   month   of August   1604,   using   fir   wood   from   Porrentruy   and   oak   wood   from   Etobon   More   than   500   elements   were   used   to   put   it   together,   some   of   which   were   49   feet   long.   On   the   other   work dragged on; indeed, the 60,000 necessary tiles had to be brought from Montbéliard and Héricourt. The   nave   measures   internally   121   feet   in   length   and   52.5   feet   in   width,   and   the   36   feet-high   ceiling   is   the   nave   to   which   it   is   suspended.   The   central   medallion   that   formerly   housed   the   Württemberg’s   coat   represents the Good Shepherd, work of an anonymous painter of the 17th century. The   Tuscan   pattern   chosen   to   decorate   the   façades   is   characteristic   of   the   Italian   Renaissance:   thirty-four   rest   on   an   8   feet-high   pedestal.   Doubled   at   the   corners   and   at   the   central   part   of   the   apse,   these   pilasters   bays   lengthwise   and   three   widthwise. The   bays   are   lit   by   windows   topped   by   broken   pediments,   which   and rounded. The   portals   are   surmounted   by   similar   broken   pediments   and   an   oculus,   and   are   ornate   with   painted   blazons,   (but   one)   would   disappear   during   the   French   Revolution.   Moreover,   the   Southern   portal   bears   a   dedication   translates as follows: Through pious ardour, the very noble Prince Frederick, Duke of Württemberg and Teck, Count of Montbéliard (etc.) put up this new temple in the glory of our Lord. MDCIIII Work of Heinrich Schickhardt, Herrenberg’s architect 1604 The mark of sculptor Pierre Aigner can be seen under the text. The   dedication   took   place   on   October   18th,   1607,   in   the   presence   of   the   local   authorities,   leading   citizens   nine   “maîtres   bourgeois”   and   members   of   the   “corps   des   XVIII”,   along   with   a   great   crowd   of   commoners.   the minister Samuel Cucuel was later followed by a Holy Communion service. Sadly,   the   church’s   inner   decoration,   the   façade’s   pediments,   and   the   belfry   that   Schickhardt   had   designed   finished.   This   interruption   of   the   work   might   have   been   caused   by   pecuniary   difficulties   or,   more   likely,   death,   which   happened   in   1608.   Indeed,   more   modest   and   less   attached   to   Montbéliard,   his   heirs   quickly   idea   of   pursuing   any   expensive   project   in   the   city.   Another   element   that   needs   to   be   taken   into   consideration   political, economical and social difficulties that existed at the time. After   various   restorations   (notably   the   one   conducted   in   1837),   the   face   of   Saint-Martin   is   not   the   same   The pulpit was formerly on the left side of the building, and the window that is masked by it today used to be open. A   temporary   bell   tower   had   been   built   in   1677,   and   although   it   originally   housed   three   bells   that   had   been   castle, it now only contains the bell from the ancient abbey of Belchamp. The bell bears the following inscription: VOX MEA CONCTORUM SIT TERROR DOEMONUM May my voice be the terror of demons Brother Jehan Vaucher, abbot, 1517 The church The reformation in Montbéliard THE REFORMATION IN MONTBÉLIARD In   1520,   Ulrich,   Duke   of   Württemberg   since   1498,   was   banished   from   the   Empire   by   Charles   V   and   Montbéliard.   Eager   to   recover   his   properties,   he   contacted   some   bankers   based   in   Basel   in   order   necessary    funds.   There,    he    met    disciples    from    Zwingli    and    Oecolampade;    seduced    by    their    innovative    converted   in   1524   and   called   on   Farel,   a   preacher   born   in   Gap,   to   teach   the   principles   of   the   Reformation   Montbéliard. As   early   as   1525,   external   pressures   (notably   from   the   archbishopric   of   Besançon   and   some   princes)   made   Ulrich’s   situation   all   the   more   difficult   by   threatening   to   make   him   lose   the   support   he   had   on   the   other   side   of   the   Jura   Mountains.   After   having   been   sent   back   by   Ulrich,   Farel   decided   to   join   This   first   attempt   to   introduce   the   Reformation   in   Montbéliard   might   therefore   be   considered   somewhat   1530,   Ulrich   got   back   his   lands   in   Württemberg,   and   entrusted   Montbéliard   to   his   brother   Georges.   called   on   a   new   reformer   by   the   name   of   Pierre   Toussain,   former   canon   of   Metz,   who   had   been   trained   Toussain   then   started   to   organize   the   Protestant   community   of   Montbéliard.   In   1538,   mass   was   abolished,   chased   away   and   churches   were   assigned   to   the   Protestant   service.   In   1541,   Ulrich   took   Montbéliard   and   entrusted   the   county   to   his   son   Christophe,   a   committed   Lutheran.   It   was   in   1541   that   Protestantism   established   in   Montbéliard.   In   1548,   Charles   V   laid   on   Catholicism   to   the   whole   Empire.   However,   lasted but a few months. In   1552,   Christophe   definitely   laid   on   Lutheranism   in   Montbéliard.   In   1559,   influenced   by   Toussain,   he   with   the   aim   to   control   religious   life;   amongst   other   things,   the   ruling   stated   that   school   was   to   become   both boys and girls. From   1562   onwards,   many   Calvinist   Huguenots   who   had   been   chased   away   from   France   in   the   wake   came   to   find   shelter   in   Montbéliard.   But   before   long,   dissensions   with   the   Lutheran   prince   arose.   In   colloquy   was   organized   in   Montbéliard,   but   the   Lutherans   from   Württemberg   led   by   Andreas   and   the   led   by   Theodore   Beza   failed   to   find   an   agreement.   In   1588,   the   prince   settled   the   question:   being   Lutheranism   would   from   then   on   be   the   one   and   only   Church   admitted   in   Montbéliard.   As   a   consequence,   Calvinists left the city. In   1677,   French   troops   occupied   the   city. After   having   ordered   his   soldiers   to   raze   it   to   the   ground,   Louis   change   his   mind,   impressed   by   the   determination   shown   by   the   German   princes.   As   a   result,   only   fortification were destroyed. Catholicism was then restored for a few years. The introduction of the Reformation throughout the county had some very important consequences: -   Compulsory   education   −owed   to   the   obligation   to   read   the   Bible−,   combined   with   the   introduction   of   people of Montbéliard an open-mindedness by far superior to that of the neighbouring cities. - The   arrival   of   a   new   immigrant   population,   generally   of   a   high   social   level,   stimulated   the   local   trade   indeed,   at   the   time,   the   county   was   isolated   from   its   neighbours   by   a   strong   border,   and   its   inhabitants   themselves   to   produce   the   main   part   of   their   resources. This   situation,   however   uncomfortable,   encouraged   Montbéliard   to   think   and   promoted   spirit   of   enterprise:   they   had   to   put   up   with   the   necessity   of   living   “among   Relations   with   the   neighbouring   provinces   were   scarce,   and   this   situation   gave   rise   to   a   feeling   of   belonging   −people   started   to   take   pride   in   being   different   from   the   rest−,   a   distrust   towards   one’s   neighbours   and   off; in short, a true “community feeling” linked the people of Montbéliard. In   1712,   a   census   showed   the   following   figures:   by   then,   the   population   of   the   city   included   2507   Calvinists,   34   Anabaptists,   and   59   Catholics.   The   people   of   Montbéliard   who   had   accepted   the   Reformation   but without a fight, had become committed Protestants, proud of their difference. This   situation   would   become   more   and   more   pronounced   in   the   course   of   the   18th   century:   in   population    had    reached    27,000    inhabitants,    out    of    which    only    500    (under    2%)    were    Catholic.   Montbéliard   to   France,   the   mingling   of   populations   quickly   resulted   in   an   increase   of   this   percentage:   represented 10% of the overall Christian population, and by 1920, this number had gone up to 50%, to reach 85% today.
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