The Church of St. George (Reichenau)

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The Church of St. George is a Roman Catholic Church. It is part of Reichenau Abbey founded in 724, located on the island of Reichenau on Lake Constance in southern Germany. The island is home to the churches of Saint Mary, Marcus, Peter and Paul. The Church was built in the late 9th century to house the relic head of Saint George, a gift from Pope Gregory II, which commemorated a visit to Rome by Abbot Hoito in 896.

The church is owned and run by the Catholic Church of St. George Fund. The church interior is decorated with wall paintings that depict stories and figures from scripture and was designed for those who dedicate their lives to prayer and worship. The church hosts frescoes were added in the 10th century. The wall paintings typify artistic expression from the Middle Ages and are unique for their age and location. They are the only preserved complete set of wall paintings produced north of the Alps before 1000 AD.

The frescoes are divided into three zones. The first and lowest zone is located between the nave and the arches. The second zone is above the arches. Third and highest zone is located above the windows. The lowest panel depicts the monasteries at Reichenau Island. The second is the most researched zone. It portrays Christ’s miracles. The top panel depicts Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles. Each fresco details a specific story from the life of Christ. Descriptive inscriptions, or Tituli, accompany the paintings.