Weyer St Simon & Jude
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Église St Simon & Jude is located in Weyer, a village in the Département Bas-Rhin in France.
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Visiting Weyer St Simon & Jude
The church of St Simon the Zealot and St Jude the Apostle in Weyer is an open and welcoming church. Since my visit – which was already long ago – it has got a fresh exterior painting in the creamy yellow the nave has on the photos. The site of Weyer was already inhabited during the neolithic period.
The original round tower of the church was built – together with a couple of similar (church) towers – in the 11th or 12th century as part of a common defence line from Xouaxange near Sarrebourg to Zetting near Sarregemuines, passing Metting, Weyer and Berg/Kirchberg. The inner diameter of the tower is 4 m, and the walls made of lime stone are 1,50 m thick, both measured at the base. The original entrance to the tower was at the height of the current gallery. The tower has three loop-holes in the first floor, whereof two were later enlarged to allow the easy passage of the arquebuses. The overall height of the tower is 14 m. Between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, a nave was attached to the already existing round defence tower. We know that a church stood here in the year 1418 as there exists a document of a requiem in this year for the parents and children of a Hans von Huntingen and his wife Katharina von Weyer.
As a consequence of the arrival of the protestant reformation in the region the church was used in turn by catholics and protestants between 1698 and 1769. In 1769, a new church was built for the protestant congregation by the locally famous architect Joachim Stengel. The patrons of the catholic church are the holy apostles Simon the Zealot and Judas Thaddaeus since 1698
The only thing left from the original nave is the southern wall, where an old bricked door in tierce point and a window with gothic tracery can still be seen. There is also a little fresco in the wall near the altar of St Joseph. The nave was widened in 1846 from the north side under the auspices of the priest Orditz.
Inside the church, a Way of the Cross can be seen. The frames of the oil on canvas paintings were unfortunately taken away as the church was repainted in the 60s of the last century. This Way of the Cross was painted by the artist Alcan in Paris in the second half of the 19th century. It seems to be one of only two surviving copies in the whole of France. In 1925 the parish received new bells as a replacement for the old ones which were confiscated by Germans during the Great War.
WWIl has not spared the church of Weyer. It was severely affected by shell splinters during the fights in October/November 1944. The major loss was the destruction of all glass. Therefore, the windows in the choir were replaced by windows with the two church patrons in 1947, while the nave windows were replaced in 1952. Each window symbolises a holy sacrament, illustrated by a symbol, painted into a cross. On Christmas Eve 1946, parts of the floor and of the roof were destroyed by a fire caused by a defective heater. The fire was quickly under control, mainly due to the speedy reaction of a young protestant who called for help.
To the left of the main entrance of the church is an impressive grotto of Lourdes, built by the parishioner Jacques Stock in 1911, and to the right is a crucifix made of sandstone.
Unfortunately, the quality and the quantity especially of the interior photos is so terrible that we surely have to visit this church again.