St. Peter’s Church in Beho

As I said in the publication about Bastogne, the little Church of St. Peter in Beho is the great masterpiece of the Bastogne sculptor Jean Georges Scholtus to me (though, not the only one at all), and it still holds one of the top positions in my personal classification of favorite churches. Maybe it is because of its modest appearance that leads to the wow-effect when you enter it, or maybe because of its obscure mysterious history.

In „Ardennes/Eifel, ein Garten Europas“, by Greven Verlag Köln, 1964, it is said that it was searched in vain for an explanation about why none of the tourist guides utters a word about this site. But maybe it just has to remain exactly this way…

Beho Saint Pierre

What is known about the church is that it was erected shortly after the First Crusade – in about AD 1100. Count Hermann of Salm brought valuable relics from the Holy Land – Virgin Mary’s hairs, hairs from the Saint Peter’s beard, etc.

This wooden gallery that you can see on the church was built in order that the relics were exposed for the pilgrims.

The gallery is backed by these three ‘magic heads’.

Beho Saint Pierre Tor

Beho Saint Pierre Tor (2).jpg

The church is even welcoming in a strange way. After the beautiful head portal follows that intermediate door with grotesque heads serving as handles.

Beho Saint Pierre Hauptaltar.jpg

The interior dates from 1713-1724 when it was crafted by the Baroque sculptor in question.

The high altar is dedicated to the patron of the church, Saint Peter. And since we’ve already seen a couple of temples dedicated to him, I want to add just in passing that Saint Peter has also his pagan analogue or at least had appropriated the attributes of the great pagan god Janus – the keeper of the gates and doors, and of every new beginning, after whom is month January named (now I understand why the months’, and days’ names in the English language, which is in many respects a very „precise“ language, are with capital letters. They all are names of deities.) The symbol of God Janus were the keys that later were appropriated by Saint Peter, and respectively by the Pope and the Vatican.

A very interesting selection of depictions on the high altar. I want to leave everyone to make an interpretation for themselves.

But to me, this is the most mysterious thing in the church.

The side altars.

In fact, the church was partly demolished by fire in 1954, and when in 1955 a restoration was carried out, the vivid colors were laid. But it is assumed that they completely correspond to the original appearance of the sculptures.

Beho Saint Pierre Marienaltar (2).jpg

Beho Saint Pierre Kanzel (2)

The pulpit with Archangel Michael slaying the dragon on the top.

Beho Saint Pierre Kanzel (3).jpg

Beho Saint Pierre Reliquien

The shrine with the relics from the First Crusade. It was crafted in the 18th century by Scholtus too.

beho-saint-pierre-reliquien-2

Beho Saint Pierre (3)

To the right is the confessional.

Beho Saint Pierre Sainte Agathe

 

 

 

 

Sculpture of Saint Agatha of Sicily to the right of the high altar.

 

 

 

Beho Saint Pierre Sainte Barbe

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Barbara to the left.

 

 

 

 

Beho Saint Pierre pieta.jpg

Pietà.

Beho Saint Pierre (4)

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