St. Leonhards Church – Frankfurt

This beautiful church with its’ 2 crusader helmet towers, dates back to 1219 and contains myriad treasures. Located on the Main River, just past the Eisener Steg bridge and the Römer, it is easy to find.

Opening times: Sat. & Sun. 11:00-18:00

This church was an important way station and gathering point for pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compestela in Spain. Archeologists believe there was an earlier chapel dedicated to St. James (Jakob in Germany) underneath the present-day church. An altar was found, with multiple scallop shells that predate this church. In front of the church is a sculpture depicting pilgrims on their way to Spain.

St. Leonhard’s has some very interesting vaulting. Each section of the church has a different, unique style. The ceiling in the choir area has what is called “star vaulting” and it is believed that Madern Gaertner, the architect for the Kaiserdom and the Eschenheimer Turm, designed this around 1430.

This left nave of the church is still being renovated and not open to the public, but once it opens we will once again be able to see the unique, Hanging Vault (1500s) as well as the Jakobs Way and Jerusalem portals dating from 1219-1220.

In the choir area, are several beautiful frescos that range in age between 1440 and 1600, but unless someone is there to take you up there, they are hard to see. The 3 altars all date from the early 1500s and are very beautiful. The Flemish “Mary Altar“, to the left of the choir, is exceptionally detailed and dates from 1480. Because they are still working on the church, doing construction in the naves, this altar remains closed.

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