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  The village | History | Kloesterle Chapel | Guirbaden Castle  
Mollkirch: The Kloesterlé Chapel.

The chapel

The chapel bearing the name of Kloesterlé (little monastery) is dedicated to the Virgin and drew many pilgrims on the day of Saint Barthelemy, its other patron saint. In the 18th and 19th century it housed the ex-votos. One of the paintings still preserved is signed W. Lautenbach, probably a wandering painter from Münster in Westphalia.

The chapel was founded in 1135 by Count Bruno of Eguisheim-Dabo, the great-nephew of Pope Leo IX.

It was first restored by the Benedictines of Lure (Franche-Comté) in 1485 which left it a few Romanesque remains (three helmets on a silver band and an inscription commemorating the restoration). Tradition has it that the large head set into the upright on the right hand side of the wall was that of the chapel's founder, Bruno of Eguisheim-Dabo. To see these details you have to go round the other side of the chapel, as at that time the main road passed by the other side, where the original entry is to be found.

In 1558 the priory house in which four monks lived was turned into a private house. The chapel was sold to the Molsheim Jesuits in 1616. It was a ruin and it was not until 1720 that the Jesuits restored the chapel and the Romanesque remains were incorporated into the outer wall.

When the Jesuits were expelled from France in 1756, the Kloesterlé was handed over to the church and incorporated into the parish of Mollkirch in 1803. Opposite the church, the half-timbered priory house, rebuilt in 1603, has been transformed into a private house.

Subsequent to theft and vandalism, the chapel is now kept locked, except for occasional services. To visit the chapel please ask: Mme Nibel (2, route de la Chapelle).

> Next page: the Guirbaden Castle.


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