Aisleless church

An aisleless church (German: Saalkirche) is a single-nave church building that consists of a single hall-like room. While similar to the hall church, the aisleless church lacks aisles or passageways either side of the nave separated from the nave by colonnades or arcades, a row of pillars or columns. However, there is often no clear demarcation between the different building forms, and many churches, in the course of their construction history, developed from a combination of different types.

Early aisleless churches were generally small because of the difficulty of spanning a large, open space without using pillars or columns. In many places, where the population made it necessary and money was available, former medieval hall churches were extended over the course of centuries until they became a hall church or basilica. Starting in the Renaissance, the development of new technologies and better building materials allowed larger spaces to be spanned.

The basic form of the church hall is rectangular. Aisleless churches are generally aligned longitudinally so that the altar and choir are located at one of the narrower ends and are facing east. There are rare examples of transept aisleless churches, in which the altar area occupies the short side east of the transept.

This form of church building has proliferated since the Renaissance, especially in Protestant churches. It became the basis of modern church architecture. In Norway, the aisleless and elongated “long church” is the most common design and is regarded as the typical Norwegian church. The Norwegian long church usually includes a narthex/vestibule in a separate section, often in a somewhat lower and narrower room attached to the main body and traditionally in the western end of the building. Until the 1940 about 850 of Norway’s 1300 churches were aisleless, these numbers does not include some 1000 perished stave churches many of which were aisleless.

Floor Plans
The interior can, but does not have to be rectangular. In a large part of today’s as well as the archaeologically proven Saalkirchen the altar space is somewhat narrower than the community hall. Even a polygonal, a circular and an oval church room without free-standing columns is a hall church. The narrower and longer the interior is, the more one speaks of a single-nave church. There is no demarcation. Churches without columns and pillars but with a cross-shaped floor plan are called both cross-shaped Saalkirchen as well as single-nave cross churches.

Saalkirchen can have a wooden ceiling or an open roof to the church. But they can also be curved. In addition to barrel vaults or tent vaults spanning the entire space, there are also sections of the ceiling in several bays, which are spanned by cross- ribbed or ribbed vaults.

In many places, the first, today often only archaeologically verifiable churches Saalkirchen were. For a long time the room widths, which could be roofed without supports, had narrow limits. Therefore many Saalkirchen were replaced with increasing population in the parish by multi-nave churches or expanded to such. In some places you simply replaced an outer wall with an arcade and built a second ship next to the old one.

With the development of new techniques and better building materials, however, larger rooms could be spanned from the Renaissance. In addition, with the Reformation, Christian modesty was rediscovered. Therefore, some were in the Thirty Years’ War or z. For example, in the Palatine War of Succession, hall churches and pseudo-basilicas destroyed as Saalkirchen were rebuilt. The outer appearance of the nave was often hardly modified. Columns were unpopular because they obscured the view of the altar and because one wanted to settle altogether of the Gothic. Therefore, a very large part of the church new buildings took the form of Saalkirchen.

In historicism again some hall churches and basilicas were built. Of the numerous multi-nave churches destroyed during the Second World War, some were rebuilt to Saalkirchen.

Special forms

Wall Pillar Church and Abseitensaal
In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, wall reinforcements on the inside of the outer walls were preferably used to cushion the lateral forces that occur when overhanging wide spaces. If these wall reinforcements are only slightly present, this is called a wall pillar church. Also some hall churches are wall pillar churches, so the Frauenkirche in Munich. If the wall ribs continue to exist, niches are created, which are referred to as the sides. In Catholic buildings, these sides were popular for the establishment of chapels. Therefore, offside rooms were built mainly in Catholic churches. These niches can extend to the ceiling of the room, but can also be so low that a clerestory with windows is supported on the front ends of the partition walls. So the impression of space resembles that of a basilica, although there are no aisles.

Querschiffiger hall
Saalkirchen are usually aligned lengthwise, altar and choir are located on one of the narrower sides and are always aligned in the Middle Ages to the east (geostet). Rarer are so-called transversal Saalkirchen, whose altar area occupies the long side; they only appear after the Middle Ages.


Saalkirchen (selection)
Albi Cathedral, Gothic side room
Cathedral of Saint-Maurice of Angers, a single-nave cross church with groined vaults
Chapel of St. Agatha Disentis
Christ Church in Dresden-Strehlen, Art Nouveau
St. John’s Church in Frankfurt – Bornheim, a baroque hall church.
Cathedral Saint-Léonce of Fréjus
Lutheran. Church to Friedersdorf (Spree), district of the city Neusalza-Spremberg, district of Görlitz
Kath. St. Johannes Evangelist Church in Gernsdorf
Providence Church in Heidelberg
Jakobikirche in Hildesheim.
Seminar Church in Hildesheim.
St. Sixtus and Sinicius Church Hohenkirchen
Hall Church in Ingelheim
St. Maurinus in Leverkusen- Lützenkirchen
Germany’s largest hall church is the parish church of St. Vitus in Löningen.
Hofkirche of Ludwigslust
Oslo Cathedral
Church of the Holy Cross Pakens
Sainte-Chapelle of the Conciergerie of Paris, upper of the two church rooms
French church in Potsdam, 1752/53, oval plan, altar area is the empty center
Church of the Savior on the port of Sacrow near Potsdam, which, however, conveys the impression of a basilica from outside through the encircling corridor
Parish Church Obritzberg, Lower Austria
Parish Church of St. James in Rüdesheim
Collegiate Church in Stuttgart, until the Second World War a Gothic staged hall, since reconstruction a Abseitensaal, but without clerestory.
St. Martin’s Church Tettens
Constantine Basilica in Trier, built about 305-311 as Palastaula, Germany’s oldest hall church
St. John’s Church Waddewarden
St. Elisabeth Church Westrum
Evangelical Lutheran Church Wiefels

Querschiffige Saalkirchen (selection)
Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul’s Church in Dinkelsbühl, built in 1840-1843 in a historicizing, then Byzantine style
Reformed church in Lübeck in classicist revolutionary architecture
St. Peter’s Church in Ratzeburg
Lutheran cruciform church in Sehnde
Protestant castle chapel in the Old Castle in Stuttgart
Evangelical Reformed Church in Wölfersheim

Source from Wikipedia