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Pfarrkirche Aschach an der Donau

Aschach an der Donau, Oberösterreich, Österreich
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The late Gothic church was consecrated in 1490 under Count Siegmund von Schaunberg. The parish church with the "miraculous" Danube cross and the cot boat

The name of the village of Aschach is mentioned as early as 777 in the Kremsmünster monastery charter. The history of the parish church of Aschach can be traced back to the 14th century. There were already places of worship in Aschach before the parish constitution in the 11th century. Two churches are mentioned in the Schaunberger Urbar in 1371: the "chirchen", which is our parish church, and "sand Larentzen", which is the hospital and cemetery church.
Count Siegmund Schaunberger had a late Gothic building erected in 1490.
The rising masonry makes up the majority of the building fabric of today's parish church.

A dedicatory inscription carved in stone and dating from 1490 is walled in above the vestry door. It states that this chapel was consecrated in 1490, on the Tuesday before St Pancras Day, and that regular services were celebrated from the Thursday before St Urban's Day. Remarkably, this is one of the first church inscriptions in German and Gothic script.
The church was dedicated to St John the Baptist and Bishop Nicholas.
For a long time it was a branch church of the parish of Hartkirchen. It was not until 1784 that Emperor Josef II. Aschach was separated from the mother church and elevated to an independent parish. The baroqueisation of the late Gothic church had already begun before this. The baroque cupola was added as early as 1750.
Due to its proximity to the Danube, the building was repeatedly affected by floods and ice flooding. It often happened that the masses of water penetrated the church. Sometimes the water reached up to 1 metre above the pews. These disasters caused major damage to the masonry and woodwork, which meant that repairs were always necessary.

However, there was an event in 1693 that gave the church a beautiful additional inventory. In this year there was another flood. Two sailors discovered a heavy wooden cross with the crucified Christ painted on it and brought it ashore. The sickly Stefan Mitterbauer took care of the work of art and had it renovated. During this work, he became completely healthy. He associated his healing with the cross. As a result, it was given the name "Danube Cross" or "miraculous cross".
When it was fully restored in 1701 and given Baroque decorations, it was given its place above the high altar.
In 1789, another ice storm caused extensive damage to the parish church.
The inhabitants of Aschach asked the district office for financial support, but this was refused. A proposal was made to demolish the desolate old church and elevate the Laurentius Chapel to the status of a parish church. However, the people of Aschach firmly rejected this proposal. The new sacristy was built, the second gallery for the organ and singers was installed and the nave was remodelled with a great deal of effort and dedication.
In 1844, the parish priest had the so-called "Zugebäude" built on the north side of the church to protect it from possible ice floes. An altar and the Holy Sepulchre were placed in the additional space.
This transformed a narrow Gothic nave into a Baroque one.
Inside, the first thing you notice is the high altar. The painting, by an unknown Spanish master, shows the enthroned Mother of God with the two patron saints of the church, St John the Baptist and Bishop Nicholas, surrounded by three angels. The painting was donated by the patron saint, the Austrian ambassador in Madrid, Ferdinand Bonaventura Count Harrach.
A work of art from the 15th century can be seen in the chancel. It is a marble relief depicting Jesus on the Mount of Olives. As was customary at the time, it bears the coats of arms of important families.
Time has also left its mark on this church. It was therefore necessary to renovate and extend the church in this century. Prof Dr Clemens Holzmeister was recruited for this in 1973. He succeeded in fulfilling the requirements for the preservation of historical monuments, the preservation of the site and liturgical requirements in an excellent way.
In order to provide space for even more people, a breakthrough with an extension was made on the south side. In addition, the roof truss was repaired and the roof renewed, and the exterior façades and tower were replastered. On the outside facing the Danube, two frescoes commemorate the two patron saints of the church: St John the Baptist and Bishop Nicholas. The new windows were designed with antique glazing. The high altar had to be repainted and gilded. The side altars and organ were in need of restoration. Prof Dr Holzmeister designed the chandelier that adorns the church today. These and other renovations allow the church to shine in its current splendour. On 11 . December 1977, Auxiliary Bishop A. Wagner performed the ceremonial reopening and consecration.
In 1984, the sculptor Ägydius Gamsjäger created the "Kripperlboot". This hand-carved relief has transferred the Christmas story to the Danube. It can be seen in the church all year round.
he aforementioned Laurentius Chapel is located in the middle of the cemetery and was converted into a funeral parlour in 1987. The building structure and the entire rising masonry belong to the Romanesque period. It has long been suspected that the church actually has Roman roots, which could also be indicated by the patronage of St Laurence. Excavations carried out by the Federal Office for the Protection of Monuments revealed thick, 2 metre-deep foundations made of hewn oauders, which were covered in traces of lime mortar. In the west wall, made of reddish granite blocks, there is a remarkable Gothic pointed arch portal. The high altar shows an altarpiece of St Laurentius.
This text and the pictures are taken from the book "Kirchen, Klöster, Pilgerwege und Österreich - Sakrales Kulturgut in Oberösterreich" by Franz R. Vorderwinkler.

268 m

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Suitable for wheelchairs: Not all of the legally stipulated ÖNORM are complied with. In principle, this object is suitable for wheelchairs and no assistance is necessary.

  • ground level accessible
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  • Entrance to the building


Pfarrkirche Aschach an der Donau
Kirchenplatz 1
4082 Aschach an der Donau

Phone +43 7273 6357
mobile +43 676 87765580
E-Mail pfarre.aschach.donau@dioezese-linz.at
Web www.dioezese-linz.at/aschach-donau

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