The church we are about to visit today in the fourth installment of this ongoing series is the Peterskirche am Plöck, the oldest church in the city of Heidelberg in southern Germany, that I visited in late October 2010. She served as University Chapel for the Uni of Heidelberg and officially became University Church in 1896.
The church is mentioned for the first time in 1196, therefore making it older than the city of Heidelberg itself. According to a contract with the University of Heidelberg, the church does not belong to any parish (although in terms of actual possession it is owned by a protestant foundation), but serves as the official University church.
The most striking thing about the Peterskirche for me was the amount of commemorative plaques attached to its outer and inner walls. These are the tombstones reminding visitors of the numerous university professors and nobles that were entombed in the church. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, featuring sphinxes and faded knights, all of them beautiful. Part of the now small ground surrounding the church has been a cemetery in former times, lying outside the city walls actually.
Between 1485 and 1496 the church was remodeled after gothic designs, but that was changed up later on, when towards the end of the 17th century the church (as much of the city) were destroyed and became a ruin. It was re-erected as a baroque church, but then again redesigned around 1870, following neo-gothic designs. Since 2006 some of the windows have been replaced with new ones by glass artist Johannes Schreiter, opting for a more modern, read: abstract, interpretation of classical motifs.