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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

“Church of the Motorway”, Rastatt, Germany

Despite a couple of minor hiccups, our road trip to the UK from Switzerland, from which I returned earlier this week, was a roaring success. The trip garnered many hundreds of photographs and several time lapse sequences, which I’ll be adding to the website and to my Flickr account over the coming weeks.

Our first stop on the long trip was at the motorway services at Rastatt in south western Germany, after we overshot the turning for Strasbourg. On arrival in the services area, we found the “motorway church” of St. Christophorus and after a picnic lunch, we took a look inside. The church was built in 1978 and serves both as a place of spiritual reflection for travellers on the A5 motorway, and for regular parish services. Designed by German artist Emil Wachter, it’s a pyramidal structure featuring comparatively modern stained glass windows taking up most of the lower wall sections on all four sides of the building; large uneven blocks of coloured glass sunk into concrete to form a 360° work entitled “Das Leben Jesu als Lamm der Apokalypse” (“The Life of Jesus as Lamb of the Apocalypse”).

You can view more photos from the church interior in my Flickr photostream.

Autobahnkirche St. Christophorus, Rastatt, Germany