"4] St Clement?s Chapel" Top 5 Page for this destination Land Rheinland-Pfalz Things to Do Tip by toonsarah

Land Rheinland-Pfalz Things to Do: 223 reviews and 544 photos

  St Clement?s Chapel
by toonsarah
 
 

Near Burg Rheinstein is the lovely little chapel of St Clement or Clemenskapelle, right by the water?s edge. The story of this chapel is quite gruesome in its way. Towards the end of the 13th century the Emperor Rudolphus of Habsburg was determined to put an end to the domination of the robber barons, and to do so lay waste to their castles on the Rhine, burning them to the ground and killing the barons by hanging them on a tree, as a dreadful warning to others.

Local people, long persecuted by the barons, were naturally delighted that the emperor was taking action against them, but the relatives of the barons, their mothers, their wives and their daughters, equally naturally were distraught. They were worried too that with the men-folk dead, those who had been persecuted would rise against them. They took the bodies and buried them on consecrated ground, and to atone for their sins used the wood from the trees on which they had been hanged, and stones from the smoking ruins of the burning castles, to build this chapel of expiation on the execution site. On the day of its consecration the bodies of those who had been hanged were disinterred and brought here on funeral barges. The Archbishop of Mainz absolved the bodies from their sins, and afterwards they were all reinterred together near the little chapel.

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  • Updated Aug 1, 2010
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toonsarah

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