Skip to content

Jutta Goessler :
St. Vincent Memorial Chapel in Hernstein

Hernstein, 2002
Pecherlehrpfad, Hartstraße, 2560 Hernstein


The architect had black pine used for the building of the chapel for the last pitch workers in Hernstein. The image of Saint Vincent, the patron saint of pitch workers and woodcutters, and the portraits layered over one another have been worked into one wall in the form of coloured glass.

A chapel was built on the pitch workers' trail in the community of Hernstein for the last living pitch workers. Its design is based on the motif of bending around something (cutting the notches around the tree from which the crude gum for making pitch was extracted).
Black pine was used for the construction of the chapel. The wall to the space is a hyperbolic paraboloid that curves around the picture wall. In this inclined timber frame wall an image of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of pitch workers and woodcutters, was inserted in the form of coloured glass according to a concept by Hans Woertl. The entrance is narrow, callingto mind the 'old grave' nearby (Schliefstein). The letters PIX (pitch) are inserted in the floor. The triangular shape of the chapel makes the letters PAX (peace) out of them. Peace to the pitch worker.
The chapel is designed as a single space and is open to everybody. Similar in function to the pitch workers' hut it offers visitors shelter and also a space for contemplation.
Artist Hans Wörtl made photographs of the last pitch workers in Hernstein and overlaid the reproductions. In the Geyling glassworks he transferred the multiple portrait onto the individual glass segments of the picture wall using glass colours and coloured glass. This portrait is made up of the features of the people, marked by their work in the woods… the spirit of the patron saint in the furrows of facial landscapes.
(Jutta Goessler)

Planning: Jutta Woertl-Goessler
Artistic concept: Hans Woertl
Collaboration: Luka Arafune

Images (4)

Videos (1)

Jutta Wörtl-Gössler, Gedächtniskapelle, 2002
© koernoe