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St.Peter’s Church in Steinsel

A church was built a long time ago on the hill in the Steinsel village centre, atop the ruins of a Roman villa and a merovingian tomb. A sketch made in 1571 by the abbot Bertels of the Münster Abbey shows a chapel with a rather simple architecture. It was replaced by a three-nave church later.

Dominique-Henri de Neunheuser, vicar of Steinsel, bought in 1785 two stone altars from the Dominican monastery of Marienthal, which had been suspended under the reign of emperor Joseph II of Austria. One of the altars featured a stone statue of St. Peter of Milan. That’s how the veneration of this saint came to Steinsel.

Peter of Milan, who was born in Verona, was active against the heresy of cathars and suffered as a consequence martyrdom in 1252. Still today a procession in his honour is held on Whitsun Monday in Steinsel.

In the middle of the 19th Century, the church of Steinsel was decaying and a part even fell into ruins. It was decided to dismantle the old structure. On June 12, 1851, the first stone for a new and larger building was laid. It was a neogothic style sanctuary planned by the building conductor Jean-Baptiste Kintzelé of Heisdorf. The new church was inaugurated on December 19, 1852. The main altar of the dismantled church was sold to the Wormeldange parish church, where it is still conserved today. The two lateral altars remaint at Steinsel and advantageously fitted into the new church. The latter was consecrated in July 14, 1866 by the apostolic vicar, bishop Nicolas Adames. It is dedicated to St. Peter apostle. St. Peter of Milan is the second patron.

With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the choir was remoulded. The roughly sculptured altar bloc is a work of the artist Pitt Nicolas. The tabernacle structure is a combination of the same stone with carved oak beams aspiring towards heavenly light. Three of the choir stained glass windows were re-designed by Ben Heyart.

The interior of the church was renovated in 2004. The architectural elements were enhanced by a neogothic type polychromy.

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