Byzantinische Zeitschrift 113 (3):905-922 (2020)

The Erlöserkirche at Bad Homburg was built between 1903 and 1908 at the instigation of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It combines a neo-Romanesque exterior with Norman-Sicilian mosaics inside. Both were „Germanic“ to the emperor, and the church embodied his all encompassing claim to the tradition of the medieval Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Alternatively, the contemporary Byzantinist Ernst Gerland pointed to a Byzantine origin of the Norman-Sicilian models. This „Byzantine“ reading has prevailed ever since, but does not stand up to scrutiny. It only serves to obscure the „pan-Germanic“ concept of the church. This contribution restores the „Germanic“ understanding and makes the point that the latter must be acknowledged in order to make proper sense of the church’s art and architecture, but also in order to face the racist-chauvinist character of German imperialism.
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DOI 10.1515/bz-2020-0039
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