The catholic church, the “Transfiguration of Christ” is the tallest church in the Black Forest.
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History of this Feldberg church
When approaching the Feldberg from Titisee, it is possible to see the Transfiguration of Christ Church, built in the early 60s by the Karlsruhe architect Rainer Disse, at the top of the pass on the right hand side. The church’s foundation stone reads 1963.
The origin of the church is the “Maria Rast” Chapel by the Feldberger Hof Hotel, built by the “Feldberg mother, Fanny Mayer”. For many years, the Caritas House‘s Herz Jesu Chapel was home for the Feldberg Catholics – until the Transfiguration of Christ Church was consecrated by Archbishop Hermann Schäufele in 1965.
The size of the church (area 30 x 30 m, 250 seats) clearly indicates that those responsible for building the tallest parish church in Germany (1,260 m above sea level), did not just have the parish community of Feldberg in mind but also the thousands of visitors that are attracted to Feldberg as a tourist destination each year.
Those approaching this Feldberg church from the main road and the Kreuzweg will initially notice the towering roof. Its outer tip rises above the hillside like the bow of a ship. It instinctively makes us think of the song “Ein Schiff, das sich Gemeinde nennt” (literally: “A ship that calls itself community”). The stern is similarly formed by the tower on the side of the mountain.
Between the right-angled, inward-facing concrete slabs are three bells in separate enclosures. They make us think of Petrus’ commitment in the story of the Transfiguration of Christ:“Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses, and one for Elija”(Mt 17,4). The bells are named after the three disciples that Jesus took up the mountain with him: Petrus, Jacob, and John.
The two mighty, iron-cast gates that lead into the church symbolise the Old and the New Testament – a gateway to discovering the mystery of faith.
The room conveys both a sense of vastness and comfort. The choir room appears almost cave-like. The altar is set 10 metres below ground level! This intentional cave-like effect is particularly unique in the winter when the snow is several metres deep, merging the mountainside and the church roof into one. The only decorative element on the altar wall is a red shining glass window.
On the valley slope, the nave is completely covered in glass, extending the church interior out into the Black Forest countryside, making it a symbol for the openness of the church – a symbol for the church of today.
The windows were designed by Professor Karl-Heinz Wienert who commented on his work,“Any attempt to do justice to the Transfiguration of Christ with an objective depiction did not seem to suit this landscape and architecture. On a spiritual level, the transfiguration needed a colourful correlation.”
Light and shadow fill the room and absorb the visitors. It becomes evident, this room does not just comfort and protect but also allows deeper emotional transitions – thoughts become calmer, less superficial, and more profound.
The cross in the sanctuary – made in Graubünden around 1380 – and the Madonna with Child in the Candle Chapel – a 17th century sculpture – are the only decorative elements in a room which leave an impression in itself.
Services in this Feldberg church
Current church services can be found in the latest parish leaflet.
In addition, this Feldberg church normally celebrates Holy Mass on Boxing Day (11:00 am), during the Easter vigil (8:30 pm or 9:00 pm), on Easter Monday (11:00 am), on Whit Monday (11:00 am), and during the patronal feast for the “Transfiguration of Christ” (around 6 August).