Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Michael in Piesport
Kath. Pfarrkirche St. Michael
The church interior is dominated by the 3 monumental ceiling frescos ("Piesporter Himmel"), which were painted in 1778 by Johann Peter Weber from Trier. Above the altar, the Ascension of Mary with the open sarcophagus and the 12 apostles is depicted. In the centre, you can see the fall of the angels by the Archangel Michael. At the entrance, the missionary preaching of St Franz Xaver is to be seen. In addition, there is a self-portrait of the painter at the feet of his wife in a blue dress holding a sign in her left hand, with the inscription: “J. P. Weber invenit et pinxit. Paulus Miller Architectus, 1778” (J. P. Weber conceived and painted this, Paulus Miller is the architect, 1778). Above the high altar is a large oil painting from the 18th century, also by J. P. Weber. A child with his protective angel is depicted, with the Mother of God, blessing the group, above, and the devil with a torch trying to set the world globe on fire below. The three wooden altars and the pulpit are still from the time of edification, as well as the communion bench with her inlays. The three-arched, rococo organ gallery was only integrated into the church in the middle of the 19th century. The church has a five-voice bell, which was consecrated on January 25, 2004 in a service by canon Nikolaus Föhr and dean Werner Mathieu. The cast of the smallest bell took place on August 30, 2003 in Piesport itself by Hermann-Josef Schmitt from Brockscheid. The former four steel bells from the year 1950 now chime in the pilgrimage church of Servanitza in the Ukraine. On the two-ton bell of St Michael, among other things, a bunch of carrots is depicted, a reference to the nickname of the people from Piesport - "Mortepänz". Moreover, in the "Piesporter Schatzkammer" there are some relics to be seen, which were attributed to the Mother of God in the Middle Ages: among them an ivory crest and two parts of a linen cloth - the veil of Mary. They had been kept in the former Benedictine abbey St. Maximin in Trier until its secularization. For a long time, Piesport retained its centuries-old pre-eminence as the seat of a land capitulate in the pastoral structure of the old archdiocese of Trier (later dean's seat). The chapter included only 7 parishes around 1075, and 44 parishes of the Moselle-Eifel-Hunsrück region in 1794. The first church of Piesport was located above the village in the middle of the steep hill on the left bank of the Moselle River. According to church records dating from around 1350, it had the status of a "matrix ecclesia" (mother church for the surrounding villages). In the Roman era, there was a shrine of the local God Mercurius Bigontius here, to whom the local ford across the River Moselle was consecrated. During the Christian era, it was replaced with a place of worship with Michael as its patron saint, a patronage transferred over to the parish church built on the banks of the River Moselle in 1776. In the following centuries, the old hillside church, first documented in 1295, increasingly lost its influence to the more centrally located church “Zu den 12 Aposteln” for practical reasons. Consequently, the latter was referred to as the main church in an inspection report dating from 1569. Subsequently, the patrocinium was transferred to St Sebastian, patron saint of the plague. Hence, the church is known as “Sebastianuskapelle” (St Sebastian Chapel) today. In spite of this, there is proof that at least until 1609, services in the old church - also with christenings - were upheld. Unfortunately, in the course of land consolidation measures of the 1990s, the area surrounding this ancient place of worship was changed so much that the remains of this chapel are in the middle of a vineyard today and there is nothing left of the old cemetery formerly surrounding the building. Today´s church building was erected in 1776-77: The parish financed the tower and the sacristy, the abbey of Mettlach was in charge of the nave and the cathedral chapter of Trier took responsibility for the choir. The building is dominated by its 52.50 m high tower on whose right side a neo-gothic open hall was erected in 1850. The portal pillars at the entrance are from Klausen (1780). The angels depicted on them symbolize faith and love.