For just about my entire life there’s been a picture of the church in Liedolsheim somewhere in the background. At our house, my grandparent’s, and both my aunt’s and uncle’s houses, and now mine: the picture above is in our living room, along with another I’m saving for a future post.
As children we were all told about the Bible in the church that contained a record of the births of all of our family members, from when the French burnt the church down right up to my father, the last one born before the family emigrated to the U.S.
Seeing this church in real life was a big thing for me. I wasn’t anticipating it: it snuck up on me as we approached the village in my cousin’s car. I see the steeple rising over the houses and building and it clicked. Wow! It’s real! Seeing the legendary Bible was special too.
While researching Liedolsheim I came across this document, which outlines some history about the church and its bells. I found it on a site that contains some more Liedolsheim history over here.
The story of the bells is fascinating. You wouldn’t think that bells are something that would need replacing very many times. You would be wrong.
The church has been there since it was rebuilt in the 1730s, after it was burned down by the French. (The family story is true.) The church it replaced was there at least as far back at 1485.
In 1898 the steeple was raised an additional five stories in order to make it possible for everyone in the growing village to hear the bells. 19th century urban sprawl!
The church will have to be a part of my story, of course. My grandfather loved to sing, and his singing in the choir will play a part in his story.
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