Holy Cross Church, Frankfurt-Bornheim

Holy Cross Church, Frankfurt-Bornheim

The Holy Cross Church (German: "Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche") is a Roman Catholic church in Bornheim, Frankfurt am Main (Germany). It was built by Martin Weber from 1928 to 1929, on a rise then known as "Bornheimer Hang". The church is an unusual example of interwar modernist church architecture of Bauhaus architecture.

The church was finally completed on 25 August 1929 and handed to the Catholic congregation of Bornheim. It was badly damaged in the Second World War, and afterwards rebuilt with money donated for the purpose.

It is branch church of the parish St. Josef and lies in the Diocese Limburg. The diocese gave a new regulation to the church from 1 August 2007 and settled in it the center for Christian meditation and spirituality.



The Holy Cross church was built in 1929 from the master of church building Martin Weber and is at the edge of the housing development at the Bornheimer Hang. The holy cross church was the second catholic church in Frankfurt-Bornheim. The parish was an outsourcing of the later neighbour fold St. Josef, the first catholic church in Bornheim. Reason was the expansion of the quarter Bornheim eastward at the Bornheimer Hang with the new settlement of the town planner Ernst May who built many new apartment buildings. This caused a growing number of catholics who were living in the quarter. On 3 August 1927 the jury decided in a competition for the draft with the name slope crown from the master of church building Martin Weber. The building model called the architect slope crown, since the church should crown the Bornheimer Hang (slope). On 19 February 1928 the construction work began with the first cut of the spade. The 18. March 1928 was the day of the laying of the foundation stone. The topping-out ceremony was celebrated on 14 September 1928. On 25 August 1929 the church was inaugurated. The name was selected, since medieval Frankfurt possessed several the holy cross dedicated places. One of it was the chapel of the hospital to the holy cross which was donated in 1343 by Wicker Frosch. It formed with the chapel of the Katharinenkloster which was built in 1354 a small double church, the predecessor building of the today's Evangelical-Lutheran Katharinen church [Pfarrgemeinderat Heilig Kreuz (Hrsg.): "50 Jahre Heilig Kreuz in Frankfurt 1929-1979", Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 1979] . Until 1950 were the Holy Cross parish financially still a part of the St. Josef parish with which it has a common church executive committee.


In the time starting from 1933 also the Holy Cross parish was under suppression by the National Socialists (“Nazis”) and from 1939 has also lost fold members in the Second World War. The windows at the west side of the church were destroyed on 4 October 1943 by parts of an attack, which should meet the water works near the cemetery of Bornheim. During the first large-scale attack on Frankfurt in the evening of the same day also the windows of the eastern side and the parsonage building were destroyed by a bomb row, which came down in the garden plots at the Bornheimer Hang. With the next large attack on the city on 29 January 1944 parsonage building was heavily met. At the night from the 18. to the 19. March 1944 the church was hit by several incendiary bombs, which pierced the roof timberwork. The bombs could extinguished inside the church. On 11 December 1944 the church was hit by three bombs, which tore the large outside staircase at the west side of the tower and the auxiliary chapel in the tower hall. Now a large hole was into the west side of the nave. The services had to be held thereafter in the heating plant room underneath the towerKath. Pfarramt Heilig Kreuz (issuer): "30 Jahre Heilig Kreuz-Pfarrei Frankfurt a. M. Oktober 1959, Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 1959] .

Post-war period

The heating plant room underneath the tower was used until 1. July 1946 as church. During the time of the reconstruction starting from 26 September 1948 the parish hall which is under the church was used as a church beneath the church. 1950 Holy Cross became its own parish with its own church executive committee. 1951 the order for the re-establishment of the church could be given. 1952 the inside of the church were restored. 1957 the kindergarten in the west of the church was built. In 1965 a stage for events was built in the parish hall under the church ship during a renovation. In 1968 the altar area was transformed, a consequence of the liturgy reformation by the second Vaticanian council. The altar was shifted, so that the priest could celebrate the service turned to the fold. A stone lectern replaced the torn off pulpit. The old altar was replaced by the baptismal font. In 1969 the first election of the parish council took place. In 1975 the board of directors elected by the parish council replaced the church executive committee. In 1990 a further transformation of the altar was executed. The baptismal font now was located in the entrance hall of the church. Starting from 1991 the minister of the fold was also simultaneous ministers of the parish Maria Rosenkranz in Frankfurt-Seckbach. 1992 the church interior was restored to the original condition [ Paul Bachmann / Anja Haag / Ingeborg Lüddecke (editorial staff): "Festschrift zum 75. Jubiläum der Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche Frankfurt-Bornheim 1929 – 2004", Pfarrgemeinderat Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 2004] .


At 1. August 2007 the diocese Limburg intended the church on instruction of former bishop Franz Kamphaus to the center for Christian meditation and spirituality. The center is a pastorale institution of the diocese [ [http://bistumlimburg.de/index.php?_10=45d2f09ax402b7e24.pdf&_0=16&sid=56c1f6f0b95aab39a3cdb98a07ad9f2a Amtsblatt des Bistums Limburg 2007 Nr. 2 vom 1. Februar 2007] ] and is subordinate to the departmental head for pastoral services of the episcopalian chair [ [http://www.bistumlimburg.de/index.php?_1=42821&_7=m_42822&_0=14& Kurie des Bistums Limburg] ] . In the center services, meditation courses, meditation days, religious accompanying discussions and other meetings are offered. A padre of the Franciscan [ [http://www.franziskaner.de/ Homepage des Ordens der Franziskaner in Deutschland ] ] takes the responsibility for the offers [6] (director/conductor of the center), as well as of two mission-medical sisters [ [http://www.missionsaerztliche-schwestern.org/frankfurt.html Homepage der Missionsärztlichen Schwestern in Frankfurt ] (instructors)] . The target group are mainly Christians, addresses themselves however to humans of all denominations, world views and cultures. The team [ [http://meditationszentrum.bistumlimburg.de/index.php?_1=148196&_7=m_147777&_0=14&sid=69e13009d7fc5c9ce6c9c6eeca335792 Team of "Holy Cross – center for Christian meditation and spirituality"] ] publishes regularly a program [ [http://media14.roadkast.com/bolimburg/Programm08_09_download%20(2).pdf Programm von "Heilig Kreuz - Zentrum für christliche Meditation und Spiritualität"] ] . With the mechanism of the center the Holy Cross church lost its past role as a parish church. Today the past Gemeindegebiet belongs of holy cross again to the parish pc. Josef from that the fold had once come out. The two catholic Bornheimer municipalities were united, with a part of the Gemeindegebietes of the past parish St. Michael, to the new parish St. Josef. Together with its mother fold St. Josef in fount home and the neighbour parish Maria Rosenkranz in Seckbach forms a common pastoral area in which an intensified co-operation is to take place. Approximately 10,000 fold members count to the unified new parish. This is thereby the largest church fold in the diocese Limburg.

The building

The church sketch is an advancement of the sketch of the Bonifatius chuch in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. The architect Martin Weber designed the church in iron concrete skeleton building method. The church ship is aligned in north south direction. The altar area is at the north end. After its inauguration the interior was first red-pink-cross-hatched painted. In the Second World War the church and the adjacent parsonage building in the Kettelerallee were damaged by several bomb hits. The windows of the church were destroyed 1943 by the pressure waves of bomb explosions in the proximity. The large main stairs at the tower were destroyed 1944 by a bomb hit and the church roof was stoken through by incendiary bombs. After the reconstruction in 1951 the church interior has a white painting at the walls with an orange cover. The new church windows were again glassed in a yellowish colour. 1990 was begun extensive renovation work, during which the altar area was transformed. In 1992 for reasons of monument protection the interior got back its original painting. The church possesses a three voices ring. Under the church is the crypt, which was submitted on the occasion of the establishment of the center for Christian meditation and spirituality of a basiclying renovation and transformation. Beside the crypt is a large meeting hall, the parish hall of the former Holy Cross fold. Inside the basis of the tower is in addition the tower hall, which is also used the new St. Josef fold. At the walls in the rear part of the church inside and the external walls of the side courses is a painted cross way of the artist George Poppe. Also the Pietà of the sculptor Arnold Hensler [Franz Manneck / Anneliese Hollerbach: "Kreuzweg Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche Frankfurt am Main-Bornheim", Sachausschuss Liturgie und Katechese Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 2004] forms a part of the cross way. At the altar side is a large cross transformed in the reconstruction 1952. The painting on it shows the up-purchasing Jesus. Up to the war two large painted angels were on the left and on the right beside the cross at the wall. At the southern external wall of the tower ends the bell chair basic bar in four winged animal figures with the heads of a human, a lion, a bull and an eagle. They symbolize the four evangelists. On property are in addition the 1957 established kindergarten, a parsonage building with a parish office and dwellings, a building with group and club areas, as well as a football pitch used by young people.


Continuative informations


* Kath. Pfarramt Heilig Kreuz (issuer): "30 Jahre Heilig Kreuz-parish Frankfurt a. M. Oktober 1959", Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 1959
* Pfrarrgemeinderat Heilig Kreuz (issuer): "50 Jahre Heilig Kreuz in Frankfurt 1929-1979", Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 1979
* Paul Bachmann / Anja Haag / Ingeborg Lüddecke (editorial staff): "Festschrift zum 75. Jubiläum der Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche Frankfurt-Bornheim 1929 – 2004", parish council Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 2004
* Franz Manneck / Anneliese Hollerbach: "Kreuzweg Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche Frankfurt am Main-Bornheim", Sachausschuss Liturgie und Katechese Heilig Kreuz, Frankfurt am Main 2004

External links

* [http://www.stjosef-bornheim.de St. Josef parish website]
* [http://meditationszentrum.bistumlimburg.de Heilig Kreuz - centre of meditation]
* [http://www.ofmcap.org/de/ifs.htm Franziskani Institut for spirituality (IFS)]

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