Alamanicus

St Martins Church

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Martinskirche (St. Martin's Church)

The most prominent historic building in Müllheim, St Martin's Church is built on the site of a large 1st century A.D. Roman villa.

Before the current church was built, the site was occupied by a wood-built church of the 8th century, when the area was part of the Frankish empire, followed in the 11th century by a stone-built church that was extended multiple times.

The tower interior is decorated with important murals showing scenes of Judgement Day dated to the second half of the 14th century. The tower was preserved when the church was reconstructed in a post-Gothic style with Renaissance style decoration in 1610.

In 1881 the church was deconsecrated, and until 1976 it was used as the municipal festival hall. Today it is used as a concert exhibition and event hall.

The remains of a large rustic Roman villa have been found under the foundations of the church. Two floor and wall heated rooms together with the remains of wall paintings and mosaics are evidence of the villa's comfortable facilities, and the villa is counted amongst the largest known Roman buildings in the south upper Rhine region.

The villa dates to the 2nd or 3rd centuries A.D. and was part of a large agricultural estate which would have been situated amongst neighbouring buildings - barns, stables, workshops, servant's quarters, a bath house, and a temple - all within a boundary wall.

It can be assumed that the estate contributed to the maintenance of the nearby Roman baths in Badenweiler. More information (in German) about the villa can be found in the Markgräfler Museum, located 200m down from the church in the Blankenhornpalais.

Next stop: carry on uphill, past the Tourist Information office on the right and into the square that is Markgräfler Platz. On the left is Wilhelmstraße 23.

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Alamanicus is wandering his old Alemanni haunts, revisiting the places where once he used to drink, carouse, and beat up the odd Roman legionnaire or two. Things have moved on since his day, and the old Alemanni country now lies across south west Germany, French Alsace, and northern Switzerland. Cut through by the mighty Rhine, it is an area of great beauty, and a lot has happened there since Alamanicus last walked this land.

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Guest Thursday, 19 October 2017

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