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Saint-Florent in Niederhaslach: fatal scaffolding and Florent's legend

The church | Rh-67 / CC-BY-SA
Collegiate church Accident Legend Saint-Florent church in Niederhaslach

Saint Florent

The pink sandstone collegiate church was named after his founder, Florent, 20th bishop of Strasbourg: king Dagobert gave him lands in order to found an abbey.

The legend says in the 7th century, king Dagobert’s daughter was pretty puny and blind. But saint Florent cured her!

To thank him, Dagobert allowed the saint to raise his abbey where he wanted… and according to the tradition, Florent is the pets’ patron saint, and he also domesticated wild beasts!

Mortal scaffolding

Mentioned for the first time in a charter of 1096, the current collegiate church dates back to 1274. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed it in 1287…

A man turned up for the reconstruction: Gerlach, son of famous architect Erwin de Steinbach, the man who raised the current cathedral of Strasbourg!

Gerlach started the site in 1294: everything was completed in 1385. Except that our Gerlach accidentally died in 1330, falling from his scaffolding...

The visit of Saint-Florent

  • We can see Florent’s relics in their golden reliquary (beginning of the 18th c.)
  • The nice portal (14th c.): hey, look on the tympanum, we can see saint Florent’s legend!
  • The small neighbouring garden, housing noblemen and religious’ graves, including Gerlach's one.
  • Stained-glass windows (13th and 14th c.): do you know during the summer solstice, the apse’s windows light up very oddly, when the sun rises? Well worth seeing! And with the cathedral of Strasbourg, Saint-Florent is the only Alsatian church with the highest amount of medieval stained-glass windows!
  • Don’t miss gargoyles, outside: they represent the illness cured by Florent!

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!