The Many-layered Concrete Rock: The Pilgrimage Church in Neviges
The pilgrimage church in Neviges is considered one of the most important spatial creations of twentieth century architecture. (1) The building is seen as an incarnation of the architectural fantasies of the Expressionists from the 1920s and as Gottfried Böhm’s most important creation. (2) With these attributes, the pilgrimage church contributed decisively to the international reputation of this architect. But how could it occur that a young German architect, in the middle of an obscure West German province, was able to create a piece of world-class architecture? How was this building planned and built? What symbolic meaning is intrinsic to its architectural forms? Until now, these questions have not been coherently pursued. (3) (Fig. 1)
Mary versus Luther
The pilgrimage to Neviges originated in the late 17th century. During the course of the Counter Reformation, it was initiated by the local nobility of the Bergische Land to encourage the Protestant population to return to the Catholic faith. (4) Here, for the first time in Germany, Mary’s Immaculate Conception became the goal of a pilgrimage – a deliberate and controversial counter-reformation dedication. (5) Although the pilgrimage to Neviges sometimes resulted in religious tensions, over time the locality’s Protestant population came to terms with the pilgrims, since they profited economically from them. (6) In any event, Neviges developed into one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Archdiocese of Cologne, with, for example, 179,136 pilgrims in 1963. (7) Even so, the location of the pilgrimage structures on the outskirts of Neviges, on a narrow site between the northernmost edge of the housing settlement and the adjacent mountain ridge, emphasized the Catholic pilgrimage’s minority religious position in a Protestant place. Beginning in 1670, a small Saint Anna Chapel was built on this site. (8) Between 1680 and 1683 a monastery for Franciscan monks, who had been summoned to develop counter-reformation activities by the local nobility, was constructed next to the Saint Anna Chapel. (9) Eventually, a church, consecrated in 1728, replaced the chapel, serving the monastery, the parish and the pilgrimage. (10) After 1888, the landscape surrounding the monastery, with the Hill of Mary and the Hill of the Cross, as well as processional paths, Stations of the Rosary and of the Cross, grottoes, and groups of figures and chapels were incorporated into the pilgrimage site. (11) In addition, the land adjacent to the monastery had been acquired, as for instance the 1909 purchase of the houses along the Klosterstraße, so that after their demolition, it would be possible to build a large, new pilgrimage church oriented toward the train station. (12) In contrast, the Franciscans’ attempt to acquire a more central site in the locality was not successful. (13)
The adverse political and economic conditions after the First World War impeded the construction of a new pilgrimage church in Neviges for half a century. This is apparent in the diverse extant, unexecuted plans, displaying a building that would extend in an east-west direction along the Klosterstraße. The earliest design, from the Bonn architect August Scheidgen, dating from 1917, displays a neo-Romanesque basilica supporting four towers. (Fig. 2) The 1931 pilgrimage church by Clemens Holzmeister (1886–1983), designed in what was an avant-garde, unostentatious, monumental style for that time, was a hall church with modestly suggested transepts, a tower above the crossing and a chevet with five apses. (14) (Fig. 3) One unsigned plan dates from 1934 (15) and the 1958 design of a summer church by the Wiesbaden architect Paul Johannbroer also exists. (Fig. 4) All the aforementioned designs reflected the prevailing stylistic preferences of the Archdiocese of Cologne. (16) Only the scheme by the architect Paul Johannbroer did not conform to this, as the traditional, architectural language of his design had fallen into disfavor with the Vicar General's Office of Cologne, which had embraced modernism after the Second World War. (17)
The Archdiocese of Cologne as a Client
In 1959, the Archdiocese of Cologne took charge of the project to build new structures for the Neviges pilgrimage. (18) They developed an extensive program and assumed the financial responsibility so that the Franciscans’ role as a client was completely marginalized. (19) Now the intention was to construct the second-largest sacred building in the Archdiocese of Cologne (after the Cologne Cathedral), as well as to build a number of church-related structures to accommodate facilities that previously had been housed in older buildings scattered about the monastery. (20) As was typical of the Vicar General's Office of Cologne for projects of this size, a limited competition was issued in 1962, (21) where 17 architects were invited to participate and were promised a fixed payment for their designs. (22) The procedure was lent an international touch by the invitation of the Swede Camil Zupanc from Stockholm. Of the invited German participants, with the exception of Alexander von Branca from Munich, all hailed from vicinity of the Archdiocese of Cologne.
The program envisioned a church with 900 seats and 2000 to 3000 standing-room places, space for the placement of four or five side chapels, a sacristy, and an area for the confessional with six places. Additionally, there was the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and a chapel for the display of the cult image of the of the Neviges pilgrimage: an engraving from a prayer book displaying an allegorical depiction of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. (23) The church’s main entry was to be oriented toward the train station. Besides the church, a residence for nuns, a day-care center for pre-school and school-age children, a mission museum and an old age home were also to be designed. The site available for the new buildings contained the old monastery garden, that is, the area to the west of the monastery on Löher Straße and northwards towards the train station. The existing buildings located on these sites had been issued permits for demolition.
The jury met on July 16, 1963 under the direction of Willy Weyres, the chief architect of the Cologne Cathedral and the former head architect of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Basically, he had the choice between functional modernism modeled on Mies van der Rohe’s ITT Chapel in Chicago (1952) and forms that were more freely based on Le Corbusier’s pilgrimage chapel in Ronchamp (1950–1955). (24) Thus, roughly half of the competition participants presented an isolated box with a square plan. These models were especially pronounced in the contribution of Manfred Adams, who displayed a derivative of the Berlin National Gallery with skylights inspired by Le Corbusier. Besides flat roofs (Adams, Faber) to terminate these box-like buildings, pyramids (Brauns-Janeschitz), a funnel (Burghartz) and a parabolic lantern (Lehmbrock) also appeared. (Fig. 5)
In addition to these creations, there were also some more freely formed designs, among them a snail-like form (Schneider-Eisleben), one resembling a heart (Neuhaus), a clover leaf with three apses (Krahn), a beehive (Fiedler & Fiedler), a “Basalt Mountain” (Schürmann), a folded plate (Funke) and a building whose form appeared to have been derived from nature but could not be easily classified (Schiffer). Two designs were also based upon the traditional Christian basilica (von Branca, Zupanc). All of these designs located the pilgrimage church to the northwest of the monastery and towards the train station, while the new buildings were situated in the old monastery garden, that is, in the area to the west of the monastery. For the most part, the site’s incline was accommodated by the removal of the slope and/or the building up of a terrace. (25)
The jury awarded prizes to all three formal groups, although the selection can be seen as being preferential towards functional paradigms. Thus, Kurt Faber’s design, with its simple box only transformed by a light folding of the surface, received the first prize. Among other things, the jury praised this project’s “large, unostentatious form” and the “logic of the parts of the structure”. With their “Stepped Mountain of Hexagonal Prisms”, Joachim and Margret Schürmann were awarded the second prize. Concerning this project, the jury praised the supporting buildings as being “without reproach”. Finally, the third prize went to Alexander Freiherr von Branca’s design, which was based upon “the archaic cruciform plan”. The jury recommended the realization of the church from Kurt Faber and the supporting buildings from Joachim and Margret Schürmann. (26)
Likewise, the jury bestowed some recognition on Gottfried Böhm’s urban design concept, although he was the only one who defied the competition’s guidelines: in his project, the church was situated to the southwest of the monastery on the building site’s highest place, and as close as possible to the city’s Protestant parish church. Meanwhile, the supporting structures extended parallel to the cloister and towards the train station, to create an architectural space for the pathway to the new pilgrimage church. The jury clearly deplored the formal language of Böhm’s design. They noted an “over-escalation into the Mannerist” and warned, “residents and beholders will be forced into an artificial world”. This much-criticized design was created from numerous angular forms, jutting backwards and forwards, forming a church with a central space. The only protruding volumes were the Chapel of Mary and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Each was connected to the western corner of the monastery by a short hallway. The free polygon of the church’s floor plan found its equivalence in an animated roof landscape, which consisted of a large, folded roof over the central space and many smaller and lower roofs covering the apses and the side chapels. A tower, placed on the western side, was to rise above the whole complex. (27) (Fig. 6)
The Intervention of the Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings
The jury’s decision was met with rejection on the part of Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings, the project’s client. The chief architect of the diocese, Wilhelm Schlombs, documented his opinion, articulated during an audience on September 10, 1963, in a note accompanying the protocol. (28) “The result of the competition has disappointed His Eminence, because (…) a solution has still not been found which is a satisfactory plastic building form, that is, an image and symbol of a pilgrimage church. His Eminence explained that, given these considerations, he is not able to decide upon the realization of a design – especially not the first (Faber). The signatory [Wilhelm Schlombs] noted that the unusual result of the competition for the cathedral in Tokyo was a great exception and had spoiled all of us a bit. Hence, it could be recommended to invite four or five architects to a second round of work, who now must come up with a solution which takes into consideration the conditions of the context and the landscape and which does justice to the meaning of an image and symbol of a pilgrimage church […]”.
At the client’s request, the three prizewinners, Gottfried Böhm and, for reasons that cannot be comprehended, Josef Lehmbrock, were asked to develop their designs. (29) Thereupon, at the following meeting on March 12, 1964, the jury came to the opinion that the designs from Kurt Faber as well as Alexander von Branca had gotten worse, while Joachim and Margret Schürmann had not produced any decisive improvements. In contrast, the design of Gottfried Böhm, which had been reworked, appeared in a wholly new light. He retained his basic urban design concept as well as his formal language, consisting of freely shaped polygons. However, the “preparatory sequence of rooms, which directs the pilgrim step-by-step to the climax” was now regarded as a deciding virtue. (30)
Böhm’s reworked design profited from the reduction of the church’s program to 800 seats and 2200 standing room places, and, most importantly, from the change of the church’s floor plan from a central space to a centralized, longitudinal space. (31) Since the monastery’s southern wing could remain with this scheme, the mass of new supporting buildings could be reduced. Gottfried Böhm placed these on the east side of the pilgrimage path so that the monastery, just as the client had wished, was not disturbed by the bustle of the pilgrimage. (32) (Fig. 7 and 8)
In the reworked scheme, columns were located in the plan of the church, organizing the space into a middle aisle with side aisles on the periphery, the latter serving as a zone of circulation. This zone acquired a special, third dimension, as it followed the downward slope of the site: the area for confession was located in the lower level on the east side, while the galleries were across on the west side, so that each could have direct outdoor access.
The middle aisle was defined by the altar in the front and by the entrance with a four-eighths termination at the rear, connected to one another by a rhombus. The plan was extended on the west side by three side chapels and around the altar by three apses. The middle aisle was expressed on the main roof by three pyramid-shaped roofs, whose forms are folded and entangled into one another and were placed directly above the areas of the ground floor plan they covered. The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the Chapel of Mary protruded out of the church as closed building forms and, like the apses and side chapels, each had their own roof. The freestanding church tower was to be erected on the other side of the Löher Straße.
The jury recommended that the client should execute the reworked design from Gottfried Böhm. This was to be accomplished with the amendment: “Thereby it is fundamental, in the first place, that the author’s proposed complex of buildings for the pilgrimage pathway shall be realized in its entirety.” However, Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings retained the last word in this matter. Two weeks after the jury’s decision, he permitted the chief architect of his diocese, Wilhelm Schlombs, to explain the reworked designs to him and remarked: “I would like to decide in favor of the design from Professor Böhm.” (33)
7500 Cubic Meters of Concrete and 510 Tons of Steel Reinforcements
In accordance with the will of the Archbishop, Gottfried Böhm was commissioned on June 15, 1964. (34) The architect substantially adhered to his winning competition proposal during the preparation of the plans for the building permit and paid no attention to the jury’s recommendation to simplify his forms. Rather, the complexity of the forms increased to such an extent that in the end, a spatial creation with an astonishingly infectious dynamic materialized. Helping to create this impression was the elimination of the four interior columns in the area of the altar and the direction of the roof edges to the pitched corners by the altar while the roofs over the apses cut in to the main roof. So there was a meandering path from the still somewhat conventional method of the second competition design, which, with every step, moved towards an architectural dramaturgy.
Felix. Varwick, a civil engineer from Cologne, carried out the structural calculations. (35) He had previously calculated the statics on several of Gottfried Böhm’s churches, all of which had freely shaped, polygonal floor plans and whose roofs were made of folded, concrete plates (St. Paul in Bocholt, St. Gertrud in Cologne and Hanbruch in Aachen). For such difficult projects, Felix Varwick had developed his own method of calculation. (36) Likewise, the architect Kurt Günssler carried out the site supervision with a high degree of competence. His adept interaction with companies and building trades saved Böhm from scores of inconveniences. (37) The development of the construction documents and the detailing proved to be an extended design phase, which Gottfried Böhm used to increase the complexity of the building forms and to sculpt the individual parts, such as the columns, stairs as well as the pulpit and the main entrance. During this process, a cardboard working model in the scale of 1:50, showing walls and roofs and which could be separated along the ridge of the roof, was used to gain a good impression of the interior. (Fig. 14). The interior finishings were shaped in plasticine and then placed into the model. The subsequent preparation of the construction documents and the detail drawings was carried out in relation to the progress on the building site, which had been set up in the late fall of 1965. (38) The building contractor who had taken on the construction of the building shell, Eduard Zublin AG, quickly realized that this project, which was hardly a simple one, had been calculated with too narrow a margin. Despite this, they completed it at the agreed-upon price with a high degree of professionalism. (Fig. 12, 13 and 27)
One essential change to the planning concerned the construction of the church’s roof. The roof’s thermal insulation was to be made of foam glass plates, coated with an eight-centimeter thick, external, protective concrete layer. However, in July 1966, after it was obvious that the concrete, which had been poured on the lower, supporting part of the sacristy’s roof, could withstand adverse weather conditions, it occurred to Gottfried Böhm to construct the church’s roof without insulation and waterproofing. Ultimately, the pilgrimage church would hardly be used during the winter months and the roof was to be made of waterproof concrete, so that it would remain impervious until the application of the final covering of waterproofing. (39) To enable the waterproofing to be eliminated, the concrete coating for the steel reinforcements was slightly increased. In this manner, the roof of the pilgrimage church was ultimately constructed. (40) (Fig. 8)
In addition to the construction, as the building’s detailing was being worked out, the roof’s form also underwent further development. Many new folds were added, which accommodated roof cavities and openings for ventilation ducts, lending the roof a more chiseled appearance. In addition, in connection with the changes to the sacristy’s floor plan and the height of its section, a portion of the roof was also reconfigured. Finally, after the construction of the church tower had been abandoned, the Chapel of Mary was provided with a dormer to accommodate a bell.
The galleries only acquired their specific form during the phase of the construction planning and detailing. To begin with, ancillary columns were attached to each side of the main columns at the galleries. At the same time, supporting beams were introduced at the parapet between the side columns, so that the area around the columns now looked like a tower into which the galleries had been inserted. Between the galleries and the roof, these two towers were incrementally stepped back to the core of the supporting column. (41) The gallery parapets gained numerous corners and the individual levels were partially staggered against one another. Finally, during the design development, a third small gallery level was inserted above the two previously mentioned towers whose façade was given forms which somewhat resembled balconies and windows. Through the bringing together of two columns, which lay between the aforementioned towers, an additional, vertical element came into play. Bringing together and extending the two columns located between the aforementioned towers created an additional, vertical element. (Fig. 9 and 10)
This markedly plastic composition was intensified by the fall of light, which was tempered by the arrangement of a relatively large window area behind the galleries. At the galleries, a spatial figure emerged, which is not done justice by immediate, rational perception or a verbal description, but only can be genuinely understood as a product of the individual steps of the planning process. There are also a number of smaller projections, niches and recesses as well as the body of the pulpit, which are the result of Gottfried Böhm’s enormous creative ability to cast in concrete. This manner of creating forms penetrates the whole building and never becomes arbitrary. (Fig. 23)
In contrast to the intensive, spatial treatment of the supporting parts of the building, the design of the interior furnishings was handled in rather reserved, handcrafted forms. The external side of the main entrance door consists of a metal frame with a square grid, into which plates of glass are embedded. Gottfried Böhm also designed the door handles. The chairs for the confessional, the rack holding the missals, the fixtures and fittings for the sacristy, and the interior doors exhibit simple, elegant and functional cabinetry, made of whitewashed oak. The chairs, a limited series by Gottfried Böhm, consist of a supporting metal frame with formed plastic shells. In addition, the design of the individual interior finishings executed in natural stone, such as the lavabo and the apostle candleholders, were created as completely functional elements.
The consecration of the pilgrimage church on May 22 and 23, 1968 was given a great, joyous celebration by 7000 pilgrims and a sermon by the cardinal. (42) In the previous months, Neviges’ Protestant majority had viewed the growing dominance of the Catholic pilgrimage church above the rooftops of their locality with suspicion, and complained about the “concrete rock”. (43) Over time, though, the people of Neviges developed a considerable pride in their church, which caused an international sensation. Likewise, the Archdiocese considered the building to be a great success and basked in the glory of the architecture prizes that were subsequently bestowed upon Gottfried Böhm, and not only for the pilgrimage church. (44) And in addition to the pilgrims of Mary, pilgrims of architecture also arrived in Neviges.
The Annexation of the Holy Precinct
As the jury had requested, in connection with the building of the pilgrimage church, the architectural formulation of the pilgrimage pathway, that is, the Holy Precinct, was also constructed. The original planning for the residence for nuns, from May 8, 1967, substantially shows the building from the competition design, containing rooms that were placed on both sides of a corridor, was directly connected to the church and meandered down to the Klosterstraße and the monastery. (45) From this project, only a relatively short, twice bent, two story, bar-like building, with rooms placed on only one side of a corridor, remained. It was located parallel to the retaining wall on the Löher Straße and placed at a pronounced distance to the pilgrimage church. This building was erected between 1969 and 1973. (46) The nuns’ residence, with its stepped building conforming to the slope of the site and its half-round, protruding bay windows on the upper level, placed along the paved pathway containing the curved stairs and the street trees, creates an important element to lead the visitor spatially and visually to the church. (Fig. 15)
The two-story childcare center was the second and last of the buildings aligning the pilgrimage pathway. It arose at the extension of the pilgrimage pathway, to the north of the nuns’ residence, between 1971 and 1973. (47) In comparison to the buildings from Gottfried Böhm, which have just been described, the plasticity of the childcare center is relatively restrained. This reduction should not be seen in isolation, (48) but must be understood in relation to the urban context, where the childcare center forms the prelude to the architecturally conceived, pilgrim’s pathway, whose formal richness intensifies incrementally and eventually culminates in the pilgrimage church. (Fig. 17)
Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings as a Devotee of Mary and a Fan of Architecture
In his role as a spiritual advisor, Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings was greatly interested in the prosperity of the pilgrimage site at Neviges as, along with Pope Pius XII, he shared a particularly strong devotion to Mary and the wholehearted desire to strengthen it. (49) Exemplifying this goal was the declaration of the "Year of Mary" in 1954 to celebrate the centenary of proclamation of the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings wanted to inaugurate in Cologne Cathedral and in Neviges. (50) The Archbishop came almost every year to Neviges, primarily on the highest feast days honoring Mary. (51)
As we have already seen, during the development of the pilgrimage church, Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings also played a dominant role in regard to questions concerning architectural design. He understood the work of good architects to be an expression of God’s creative power, and therefore regarded himself, within his area of influence, as the final earthly authority in questions of design. (52) Due to the war’s destruction and the reorganization of the parishes, 140 churches had to be built in the Archdiocese of Cologne between 1945 and 1960. (53) The chief architects of the diocese, first Willy Weyres and later Wilhelm Schlombs, were important advisors to their employer. With him, they ensured that only especially qualified, self-employed architects were considered for the design of sacred buildings. To cultivate contact with them as well as with the painters and sculptors who were engaged in the decoration of church interiors, Archbishop Josef Cardinal Frings established the so-called Ash Wednesday of the Artists, where, for example, in 1950 more than 200 individual artists and architects attended. (54)
The cardinal’s attitude regarding sacred building is expressed in the 1959 Handbook for Church Building, edited by Willy Weyres and Otto Bartning. In the Catholic part of the work, the co-author, Konrad Gatz, argued for simple and elegantly designed hall-churches, modeled on Mies van der Rohe’s IIT Chapel in Chicago (1952). They firmly rejected plastic forms and symbolic connotations in contemporary sacred architecture. Likewise, these criteria were clearly applied to the first stage of the competition for the pilgrimage church in Neviges. At any rate, due to the experience with the competition won by Kenzo Tange for the Church of Mary in Tokyo, Frings’ understanding of architecture was able to develop further. The Tokyo church was instigated at the initiative of the cardinal, was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary, largely financed by the Archdiocese of Cologne, and was built in the Diaspora. Hence, there were substantial similarities with the pilgrimage church in Neviges. (Fig. 18)
The design for Tokyo was created at roughly the same time as those for the Olympic buildings (1961–1964) in the Japanese capital and, like these, displayed the distinct, symbolic architectural language of Kenzo Tange. In regards to the Church of Mary in Tokyo, it is the cross, visible in the aerial view of the roof, which definitively recalls Christian worship. However, this building’s floor plan avoids the liturgical disadvantages of the cruciform plan, as it surges out in parabolic arcs to form a diamond-shaped kite. Incidentally, the relation of the height to the width recalls that of a Gothic cathedral. As for himself, Kenzo Tange understood the search for symbolic expression in architecture arising at the end of the 1950s in connection with the rejection of dogmatic functionalism. This was demonstrated by the dissolution of CIAM and in the creation of buildings such as the TWA Terminal (1956–1962) from Eero Saarinen in New York or the Sydney Opera (1957, 1958–1973) from Jørn Utzon. (55) (Fig. 19)
The functional and symbolic aspects in regards to urbanism in Gottfried Böhm’s church in Neviges, which recall the typology of a pilgrimage church, are found in the last section of the pilgrimage pathway, a so called Holy Precinct with a Holy Street (Via Sacra). Such areas, with ascending stairs and demarcated from profane areas by walls, trees and small structures, are commonly found in traditional pilgrimage architecture. This distance was crossed by pilgrims who were often barefoot and sometimes wore a rope around their necks, while calling out to Mary. (56) As a rule, the number of these steps had a symbolic meaning, such as the number three, which refers to the three divine virtues, faith, love and hope. At Neviges, the group of three steps, which occurs five times, represents the number fifteen and can be seen as a symbol for Mary’s age at the time of the Annunciation. (57) (Fig. 20)
The Via Sacra at Neviges was designed from the perspective of a versatile architectural model, which was no longer based upon the urban design ideal of the modern building as an isolated monument. Instead, one turned to the view of people moving through space, and that they could even be seen as the ultimate creators of architecture. For example, this development is shown in the internal street system of the Free University Berlin from Candilis, Josic, Woods, Schiedhelm (1963, 1967-73) or in the extended studies of the pedestrian traffic in Urbino from Giancarlo de Carlo (1958), a direction, which was already widely anticipated in the architecture of the 1920s. It is also possible that the model of Clemens Holzmeister played a special role. His design, presented in 1931 for the pilgrimage church in Neviges, also located a short pilgrimage pathway running up the hill and framed by dormitories for the pilgrims in front of the church. As Clemens Holzmeister and Dominikus Böhm maintained a friendly relationship, his son could possibly have known about his plan. (58) Due to his positive identification with his father, Gottfried Böhm was well acquainted with recent architectural history. Thus, from the trusted work of the father, the entryway, lined with small buildings from his project for the parish church in Brühl (1951) and the galleries, lit from the rear of the Church of Christ the King in Bischofsheim (1926), in addition to Dominikus Böhm’s various centrally planned structures accentuated with radiating chapels, could also have been influential. (59) (Fig. 11 and 16)
In traditional pilgrimage architecture, as in Gottfried Böhm’s pilgrimage church in Neviges, for functional and symbolic reasons the long spatial pathway (Via sacra), which has been described, was preferably connected to a centralized church. (60) Thus, the rising pathway flowed into a piazza, which intensified the physical impression of the church behind it. The centralized space of the church benefited from an internal, peripheral zone of circulation, such as Gottfried Böhm introduced during the reworking of his design for the pilgrimage church in Neviges, and later revised in a somewhat strict, traditional form, during the construction. After the pilgrims had undergone catharsis along the path of repentance, this circulation zone served their spiritual reinvigoration through the liturgy, before they were given absolution for their sins and were able to be received in the mercy of the cult object. (61) Thus, in Neviges, these stations are integrated into the aforementioned functional sequence so as not to disturb the liturgy. The galleries accommodate additional pilgrims, allow for the interior differentiation and moderate the indirect flow of light. (62)
Rock and Grotto
Time and again, the architectural forms of the pilgrimage church in Neviges have been interpreted as a tent. (63) This might appear to symbolize the pilgrim’s wanderings and consequently was considered to be the adequate expression of a pilgrimage church. Now indeed, the wide-brimmed hat, the walking stick and the cape-like coat belong to the traditional equipment of a pilgrim, but not a tent. (64) From time to time, if needed, there were temporary tent grounds near to pilgrimage churches. (65) In addition, a pilgrimage church such as Neviges serves the arrival and not the time in transit. Therefore, it should be assumed that in the case of Neviges, Gottfried Böhm hardly could have chosen an emergency accommodation for pilgrims as a metaphor for his house of God. (66) Incidentally, the architect himself disavowed such a tent metaphor, which is often cited in connection with the Book of Revelation (21:3, 4) in the Old Testament. (67) In the successful competition version, the folded roof of the pilgrimage church in Neviges may still have had a vaguely tent-like character, yet during the construction planning phase, this was definitively lost through the addition of a multitude of folded elements and the forgoing of a waterproof covering.
The external appearance of the pilgrimage church in Neviges was also understood as symbolizing a castle, somewhat in the spirit of a Catholic bastion in the Protestant Diaspora. (68) The wall surfaces with few windows and the tower-like, projecting parts of the building can be counted among the shared characteristics. The roof with its numerous folds, and the exposed concrete surfaces, however, argue explicitly against an association with a medieval castle for the nobility. In any event, Gottfried Böhm did not intend to have his pilgrimage church conform to the shape of the neighboring houses of the townspeople from the pre-industrial and early industrial period, noting a general change in scale between these structures and sacred buildings. (69) The Archdiocese of Cologne had specified this intention: “Due to its distinct nature, the exterior of the church already demonstrates the difference between profane structures and the Holy Precinct […].” (70) In actuality, from time to time and from certain perspectives, a ridge of the roof of the pilgrimage church does appear to run parallel to the slope of the local houses. When one considers the many sloping surfaces of the church’s roof, this should not be misinterpreted as a conscious or an unconscious gesture to context. (71) As has been noted, during the construction, the people of Neviges were thinking of another image, the “Concrete Rock”. This makes sense for two reasons. On one hand, the goal of the Neviges pilgrimage lacked a “memorable mark”, such as those that usually are found at traditional holy sites. When such symbolic elements are missing, it is typical that the pilgrimage architecture creates an artificial, natural feature as a substitute. (72) Therefore, one can understand Gottfried Böhm’s comment that the forms of the pilgrimage church in Neviges are intended to fit into the landscape of the Bergische Land. (73) Concerning his attitude towards the context, he was not concerned with the buildings, but focused instead on the immediate landscape, and in such a way that a jagged, massive rock that lends the site a particular distinction appears to have been inserted into the gentle hills. The placement of an artificial, natural feature is also found in the building’s interior, which is designed as a dark grotto. Furthermore, the artificial, massive rock can also be viewed as the trademark of the Catholic papacy, recalling the first pope, Peter, meaning the rock. (74) (Fig. 1)
The church’s strikingly conspicuous, external appearance demonstrates a typological characteristic of pilgrimage architecture, as these buildings are to exert an inviting effect upon the pilgrim. This is typical at Maria in the Pear in Sielenbach (1661-68) or at the pilgrimage Zur schönen Maria in Regensburg (around 1519), where the roof form can be seen as a metaphor for a protective cloak, typical of churches dedicated to Mary. Furthermore, the volume of a pilgrimage church was often deliberately inflated by the addition of annexes, to harmonize with the roof and to create a more plastic and diversified building. (75) Among the older pilgrimage churches, the Carmelite church in the Belgian city of Vilvoorde (1663-1665), with its three-sixths, side chapels, particularly recalls the pilgrimage church in Neviges. The implied, interior octagonal plan is perhaps a reference to the Palatine Chapel in Aachen (around 800), which is also a pilgrimage church dedicated to Mary. (76) The pilgrimage churches Mary of Help in Freystadt (1700-1710) and Einsiedeln (1735) are further examples with octagonal plans. In pilgrimage architecture, it is typical to adopt such typological characteristics, as it allows for the visitor to one church to mentally haunt many pilgrimage places at the same time. (77) (Fig. 21 and 22)
Thus, to reduce the strong, plastic forming of the church in Neviges to the fact that Gottfried Böhm studied architecture as well as sculpture is not acceptable when one considers the nature of this typology. (78) Furthermore, one must consider the fact that three-dimensional design belongs to basic architectural training and exceptionally sculptural buildings, such as the pilgrimage church in Ronchamp from Le Corbusier or the Philharmonie in Berlin from Hans Scharoun, were designed by architects who did not explicitly receive training as sculptors. In addition, Gottfried Böhm never went as far as Le Corbusier at the pilgrimage church at Ronchamp, which can be seen to a certain extent as a freely-composed sculpture, with its non-structural south wall and its hollow roof. In contrast, at the pilgrimage church in Neviges, all the forms can at least be traced back to a function, as, for example, the roof, whose folds were developed out the polygonal shape of the floor plan, which has been described. Naturally, the individual handwriting of Gottfried Böhm echoes throughout the architectural forms of the pilgrimage church in Neviges in elements such as the free angles, the various folded roofs and the chiseled chapels. But the pilgrimage church in Neviges must be clearly distinguished from churches such as St. Clement in Bettlach (1963-69) from Walter Maria Förderer or the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vienna (1964, 1974-76) from Fritz Wotruba, which are sculptures that have been freely translated into architecture. (Fig. 25 and 26)
The competition, which has been previously described, illustrates how deliberately the design for the pilgrimage church in Neviges by Gottfried Böhm qualitatively surpasses the work of the contemporary architectural establishment. Due to the requirements of the client, this project clearly forced Gottfried Böhm to develop a great deal further as an architect. Thus, with the pilgrimage church in Neviges, an exceptionally complex and contradictory building was created. Although an eccentric object on its site, its artificial nature does not conflict with the surrounding structures. The architectural design of the building is clearly linked to its time but it is also deeply rooted in the tradition of the pilgrimage church. When considered closely, it becomes evident that the highly differentiated architectural language, which initially appears to be very arbitrary, was primarily developed in regards to function. Therefore, it is due to all of these qualities, that the pilgrimage church in Neviges can be allowed inclusion into the most select canon of twentieth century architectural history.
Translation: Mary Pepchinski
1) Davey, Peter: „Böhm”. In: Architectural Review. 1020/1981,169, London, p. 351–355, here, p. 353.
2) Raèv, Svetlozar (Hrsg.): Gottfried Böhm, Bauten und Projekte, 1950–1980. Cologne 1982, p. 10; Böhm, Gottfried/Svetlozar Raèv/Schmidt, Hans M./Müllejans, Rita: Der Architekt Gottfried Böhm; Zeichnungen und Modelle. Cologne 1992 (Ausstellungskatalog Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn), p. 15; Pehnt, Wolfgang: Gottfried Böhm. Basel 1999, p. 24.
3) The most extensive description of the pilgrimage church in Neviges is found in: Darius, Veronika: Der Architekt Gottfried Böhm; Bauten der sechziger Jahre. Düsseldorf 1988, p. 55–70.
4) Haun, Gerhard: „Von Bergischer Synode, Wallfahrt, Dom und Papst – Die Geschichte von Neviges“. In: Bergische Blätter. 7/1979, p. 4–10, here, p. 6 et seqq.; Haun, Gerhard: Die Wallfahrtskirche nach Neviges. Wuppertal 1981, p. 20.
5) Haun, Gerhard, op. cit., p. 5.
6) Haun, Gerhard, op. cit., p. 9.
7) Monastery Archiv Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Letter from the Franciscan monastery Neviges-Hardenberg to the General Vicar Hermann Jansen from 21.8.1965.
8) Haun, Gerhard: Mariendom Neviges. Beuron 2004 (4), p. 1.
9) Haun, Gerhard, op. cit., p. 2.
10) Haun, Gerhard: Die Wallfahrtskirche nach Neviges. Wuppertal 1981, p. 41.
11) Planning and execution by the garden architect Brother Natalis Knocke. Haun, Gerhard: Mariendom Neviges. Beuron 2004 (4), p. 2 et seq. as well as the friendly information from Gerhard Haun.
12) Turinsky, Alexius: „Bau der Wallfahrtskirche; Bericht über den Hergang“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4a/1993, 46, Düsseldorf, 261–316, here, p. 262.
13) Ibid. p. 266 and the following page.
14) The design of pilgrimage church for Neviges from Clemens Holzmeister is published in Muck, Herbert/Mladek, Georg/Greisenegger, Wolfgang: Clemens Holzmeister; Architekt in der Zeitenwende; Sakralbau, Profanbau, Theater. Salzburg 1978, p. 37. However, it is not mentioned in the text.
15) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 583, Plan 9. The architect of this plan is probably Peter Klotzbach from Wuppertal-Barmen, who also designed the chapel on the Hill of Mary (1921–22) for the Franciscans in Neviges. Friendly information from Gerhard Haun.
16) Weyres, Willy: Neue Kirchen im Erzbistum Köln. Düsseldorf 1957, p. 27.
17) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Letter from the architect Paul Johannbroer to the Franciscan Monastery Neviges-Hardenberg from 4.4.1962 as well as the letter from P. Alois Serwe OFM to the architect Paul Johannbroer from 13.4.1962.
18) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Letter from the Architect Paul Johannbroer to the Franciscan Monastery Neviges-Hardenberg from 4.4.1962 as well as the letter from P. Alois Serwe OFM to the architect Paul Johannbroer from 13.4.1962.
19) Ibid., p. 266.
20) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Memorandum GV/K from 30.11.1962.
21) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Memorandum GV/K from 30.11.1962 as well as the letter from [Hermann] Jansen, Archdiocese of Cologne, to Pater Provinzial Michael Nordhausen from 4.3.1963.
22) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 552, „Verzeichnis der am Wettbewerb beteiligten Architekten“, undated.
23) Serve, Alois: „Wie steht es mit dem Projekt Wallfahrtskirche?“ In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4/1961, 14, Düsseldorf, p. 154–157, here, p. 155; as well as the Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 552, „Ausschreibung zur Erlangung von Vorentwürfen zum Neubau einer Wallfahrtskirche in Neviges“ from 10.7.1962. Additionally, a lack of interest on the part of Gottfried Böhm to give the cult image a central place, is out of the question. See, Darius, Veronik op. cit,, p. 67.
24) Concerning a definition of the concept of „Functionalism“ in relation to the context of architecture of the 1960’s, see: Nestler, Paolo/Bode, Peter M.: Deutsche Kunst seit 1960; Teil IV. Architektur. München 1976, p. 9 et seqq.
25) The results of the competition are published in: Leitl, Alfons: „Das Problem der Grosskirche und die ‚Organik’ im Kirchenbau; Bemerkungen zu zwei Wettbewerben“. In: Das Münster 1964, 17, München, p. 167–187, here, p. 176–180; Turinsky, Alexius: „Bau der Wallfahrtskirche; Bericht über den Hergang“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4a/1993, 46, Düsseldorf, 261–316, here p. 270–285. Concerning the latter reference, as the texts describing the designs are written from memory, every now and then they contain some mistakes.
26) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus (Konvolut) 552, „Niederschrift über die Sitzung des Preisgerichts für den Wettbewerb zur Erlangung von Vorentwürfen zum Bau einer neuen Wallfahrtskirche mit Nebengebäuden in Neviges“ from 16.6.1963.
27) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 552, „Niederschrift über die Sitzung des Preisgerichts für den Wettbewerb zur Erlangung von Vorentwürfen zum Bau einer neuen Wallfahrtskirche mit Nebengebäuden in Neviges“ from 16.6.1963.
28) Filing department of the Archdiocese of the Office of the General Vicar of Cologne, Memorandum ad A 9485/55 from 17.9.1963, signed by [Wilhelm] Sch[lombs]. Concerning Neviges, as the files of the registrar are not closed, they are not accessible for research purposes at this time. My deepest gratitude is extended to the chief architect of the Archdiocese, Martin Struck, who reviewed the files of his pre-predecessor and gave me the information from this document.
29) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Letter from the Archdiocese of Cologne, [Hermann] Jansen to P. Guardian Rufinus Reifenrath, Franciscan Monastery Neviges, from 25.9.1963.
30) Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 1216-454, „Niederschrift über die Sitzung der Gutachter zu den Entwürfen für die Wallfahrtskirche in Neviges“ from 12.3.1964.
31) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 549, Letter from the Archdiocese of Cologne, [Hermann] Jansen to P. Guardian Rufinus Reifenrath, Franciscan Monastery Neviges, from 31.10.1963.
32) Klosterarchiv Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 552, Joint correspondence from the Archdiocescean Office of the General Vicar of Cologne and the Franciscan Monastery Neviges to the architects of the second stage of the competition, from 31.10. and 5.11.1963 respectively.
33) Turinsky, Alexius: „Bau der Wallfahrtskirche; Bericht über den Hergang“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4a/1993, 46, Düsseldorf , 261–316, here, p. 296.
34) Darius, Veronika: Der Architekt Gottfried Böhm; Bauten der sechziger Jahre. Düsseldorf 1988, p. 60.
35) As far as this author can ascertain, there has been no study devoted to the civil engineer F[?]. Varwick. The drawings for the building permit are dated January 4, 1965.
36) Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 1216-454, Letter from F[?]. Varwick to Gottfried Böhm from 17.2.1965.
37) Thus, only in a very few instances, additional bids were necessary to supplement Kurt Günssler’s initial requests for bid submissions from the various building trades. See, the Monastery Archive Neviges, passim, especially Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 554. For example, Kurt Günssler’s mid-term accounting statement from 31.8.1967, especially Attachment 3. In the initially planned sum of 3 383 348 Deutsche Mark for the construction, the amount of 208 500 was included for costs that could not be calculated in advance. These additional costs were due to the conditions affecting the construction of the foundation, which were difficult to predict as well as increases to the standard wage scale. For this reason, could not be charged to the site supervision. Concerning differences of opinion on the part of the various trades that were engaged on the building site, he always proved to be exceptionally fair. In a friendly manner, he could either accept or reject additional claims that were submitted by the handworkers, while concerning the correction of improperly executed construction, he was able to unconditionally assert his authority. See, the Monastery Archive Neviges, passim, especially Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 554, for example, the letter from Kurt Günssler to the Franciscan Monastery Hardenberg-Neviges from 14.12.1966 and the letter to the Archdiocesan Office of the General Vicar of Cologne from 23.2.1967 concerning the additional claims from the Zublin firm, which he successfully rejected. In addition, see the acceptance protocols of the various trades.
38) The construction began on the building site on October 11, 1965, whereupon the southwest corner of the monastery wing was demolished and the foundation for the sacristy was laid in its place. See, Bauaufsichtsamt Stadt Velbert, Bauakten Gemarkung Neviges, Löher Str. 1, Aktenzeichen 254, Zeitungsausschnitt (Newspaper clipping) (no author). „Der Bau der Wallfahrtskirche beginnt“. In: General-Anzeiger der Stadt Wuppertal, 6.10.1965. Following this, the fabrication of the foundations began, so that on the following July 17 the church’s foundation stone could be laid.
The walls and roofs that were constructed in the ensuing time were made of concrete. Two thirds of them were constructed using exposed concrete. Due to the polygonal ground floor plan with 46 corners, only one expansion joint was necessary. This was placed at the connection to the monastery. See, Otto 1969, p. 77. See also, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Plan Nr. 58. In total, at the pilgrimage church in Neviges, an area for the formwork measuring 235 000 square meters was required for the working of 7500 cubic meters of concrete and 510 Tons of steel reinforcements. On the exterior, this was accomplished through the use of a large-area formwork, and on the interior with bungboards, in accordance with a joint plan issued by Böhm's architectural office. All the concrete was later sandblasted, with the exception of the roof. For the construction of the concrete roof, a special firm built a temporary timber truss.
39) Monastery Archive Neviges, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 553, letter from Gottfried Böhm to the Archdiocesan Office of the General Vicar of Cologne, Dr. Schlombs, from 25.7.1966.
40) See, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Plan Nr. 176 from 8.9.1966.
41) See, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, ibid., Plans Nr. 29 from 20.5.1965 and Nr. 49 from 22.7.1965.
42) Turinsky, Alexius: „Bau der Wallfahrtskirche; Bericht über den Hergang“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4a/1993, 46, Düsseldorf, 261–316, here, p. 299.
43) Bauaufsichtsamt Velbert, Bauakten Löher Str. 1, Aktenzeichen 254, Zeitungsausschnitt (no author) „Betongebirge über einer alten Stadt“. In: Rheinische Post, Nr. 39 from 15.2.1968.
44) Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 1216-454, Letter from the Franziskanerkloster Hardenberg-Neviges to Gottfried Böhm from 9.10.1968; also Turinsky, Alexius: „Bau der Wallfahrtskirche; Bericht über den Hergang“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 4a/1993, 46, Düsseldorf , 261–316, here p. 341 et seqq.
45) See, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Sketch for a site plan, not numbered.
46) Bauaufsichtsamt Velbert, Bauakten Klosterstr. 5, Building Permission from 21.7.1969, as well as the Certificate of final completion from 15.3.1972
47) Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Archival Papers (Nachlass) Gottfried Böhm, Omnibus Volume (Konvolut) 1216/470, Building approval from 5.7.1971; Bauaufsichtsamt Velbert, Bauakten Klosterstr. 6, Certificate of final completion from 19.10.1973.
48) Darius, Veronika op. cit., p. 70.
49) Trippen, Norbert: Josef Kardinal Frings (1887–1978); Bd. I. Sein Wirken für das Erzbistum Köln und für die Kirche in Deutschland. Paderborn and other locations. 2003, p. 475.
50) Trippen, Norbert op. cit, p. 478.
51) Haun, Gerhard: Die Wallfahrt von Neviges. Wuppertal 1981, p. 64.
52) Leitl, Alfons: „Das Problem der Grosskirche und die ‚Organik’ im Kirchenbau; Bemerkungen zu zwei Wettbewerben“. In: Das Münster. 1964, 17, Münster, 167–187, here p. 167; Serve, Alois: „280 Jahre Wallfahrt zur Unbefleckten Empfängnis in Hardenberg“. In: Rhenania Franciscana. 2/1962, 15, Düsseldorf, 76–78, here p. 78.
53) Weyres, Willy: Neue Kirchen im Erzbistum Münster. Düsseldorf 1957, passim; Trippen, Norbert op. cit, p. 440.
54) Trippen, Norbert op. cit, p. 431 et seq.
55) Bettinotti, Massimo (Hrsg.): Kenzo Tange 1946/1996; Architecture and Urban Design/Architettura e disegno urbano. Milan 1996, p. 31 et seqq.
56) Feurer, Reto: Wallfahrt und Wallfahrtsarchitektur. Zürich 1980, p. 142.
57) Ibid., p. 142 and the following page.
58) Muck, Herbert: „Inspirierte Räume und gebaute Zeichen für Macht, für Heimat“. In: Riegele, Georg/Loewit, Georg (Hrsg.): Clemens Holzmeister. Innsbruck 2000, p. 67–91, here p. 69.
59) Voigt, Wolfgang/Flagge, Ingeborg (Hrsg.): Dominikus Böhm 1880–1955. Tübingen/Berlin 2005, passim.
60) Feurer, Reto: Wallfahrt und Wallfahrtsarchitektur. Zürich 1980, p. 40.
61) Ibid., p. 115.
62) Ibid., p. 159.
63) Jentsch, Peter: Baumeister Prof. Gottfried Böhm. Wuppertal (1968), p. 4; Hoff, August: „Neue Kirchbauten von Gottfried Böhm“. In: Das Münster. 5/1967, 20, 333–347, here p. 333; Haun, Gerhard: Mariendom Neviges. Beuron 2004 (4), p. 5.
64) See, Wynands, Dieter: Wallfahrten 1000–2000 (Geschichtlicher Atlas der Rheinlande, Beiheft XI/12). Köln 2002, p. 10; Feurer, Reto: Wallfahrt und Wallfahrtsarchitektur. Zürich 1980, p. 31.
65) Ibid., p. 45.
66) Pilgrims were housed in private quarters made available by the people of the locality. Information from Gerhard Haun.
67) Klumpp, H./Schirmbeck, E.: „Interview mit Gottfried Böhm“. In: Bauen und Wohnen. 11/1977, 32, München, 425–427, here, p. 425.
68) See, Schnell, Hugo: Der Kirchbau des 20. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland. München/Zürich 1973, p. 186; Haun, Gerhard: „Von Bergischer Synode, Wallfahrt, Dom und Papst – Die Geschichte von Neviges“. In: Bergische Blätter, 7/1979, Wuppertal, 4–10, here, p. 10.
69) Janhsen-Vukicevic, Angeli: „Gottfried Böhms Wallfahrtskirche in Neviges“. In: Positionen. 2/1998, 8, Cottbus, p. 3. www.tu-cottbus.de/BTU/Fak2/TheoArch/Wolke/X-positionen/positionen.htm v. 31.3.2006.
70) Diözesanrecht der Kölner Diözesansynode 1954; see,. Weyres, Willy: Neue Kirchen im Erzbistum Köln. Düsseldorf 1957, p. 23.
71) Janhsen-Vukicevic, l.c. p. 3 et seqq.
72) Feurer, Reto: Wallfahrt und Wallfahrtsarchitektur. Zürich 1980, p. 37.
73) Weisner, Ulrich: Böhm; Väter und Söhne; Architekturzeichnungen von Dominikus Böhm, Gottfried Böhm; Stephan, Peter und Paul Böhm. Bielefeld 1994, p. 32.
74) Haun, Gerhard: Mariendom Neviges. Beuron 2004(4), p. 10.
75) Feurer, Reto op. cit., , p. 153.
76) Reinle, Adolf: Zeichensprache der Architektur. Symbol, Darstellung und Brauch in der Baukunst des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit. Zürich/München 1984, p. 150 et seqq.
77) Ibid., p. 103.
78) Haun, Gerhard: Mariendom Neviges. Beuron 2004(4), p. 8.
Persons and institutions
Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt/M.: 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 17,
Inge und Arved von der Ropp, Grabenstätt: 1, 9, 20, 23
Karl Kiem: 8
Hugo Schmölz, Archiv Wim Cox, Köln: 11
Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln: 14
Yoshito Isono, structurae: 18, 19
Wittelsbacher Land e. V.: 21
Margherita Spiluttini, Wien: 25
Ernst Müller, Bettlach: 24
Ed. Züblin AG, Stuttgart: 27
Holzmeister, Clemens, Bauten, Entwürfe und Handzeichnungen. Salzburg 1937: 3
Hoff, August, Dominikus Böhm, München 1962: 16
Mörsch, Georg, Der Zentralbaugedanke im belgischen Kirchenbau des 17. Jahrhunderts, Bonn 1965 (Diss.): 22
Hauttmann, Max, Geschichte der kirchlichen Baukunst in Bayern, Schwaben und Franken 1550-1780. München 1923: 24
25 Jahre Wallfahrtskirche Neviges. In: Rhenania franciscana (1993), Heft 4: 2, 4, 5
First published in: Wolfgang Voigt (Ed.), Gottfried Böhm. Berlin 2006