Although most people will probably say that the Cathedral is the most spectacular building in Strasbourg, I would have to say that despite its size the Protestant Church of St-Pierre-le-Jeune is equally impressive. Its charm reads like an open book with its numerous paintings and frescoes which date from the 14th century. Three successive churches have stood on this site. All that remains of the first church is a tomb with five funeral recesses, believed to date from the end of the Roman occupation (4th century). The lovely restored cloisters belonged to the church built in 1031. On the occasion of its consecration, probably by Pope Leo IX, in 1053 the church was given the name of the New St. Peter’s (Jung Sankt Peter) to distinguish it from another church dedicated to St. Peter which was renamed Old St. Peters. The gothic rood screen with five arches, supporting the Silbermann organ of 1780, divides the choir from the rest of the church. The rood screen is decorated in oil paintings depicting the four Evangelists, painted by Engelhardt in 1620. Beneath the rood screen to the left is a 13th century statue of a monk holding a cup (“piscina”). Beyond the organ is the choir, slightly lower than the nave, dating from the end of the 13th century. On the west wall of the central nave is the famous “Navicella” fresco, after Giotto’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee in St Peter’s, Rome. The nave, consecrated in 1320 is made up of three bays with cross-ribbed vaulting between the rood screen and the transept. All of the walls are decorated with frescoes which were restored in 1900. Sadly, nearly all of them are water damaged and in desperate need of repair. After going through the St. Nicholas Chapel (14th century) one enters the cloisters. The cloisters are made up of three 11th century Romanesque galleries and a 14th century gothic gallery. Despite considerable restoration they are considered to be the oldest surviving cloisters north of the Alps. On the floor are numerous tombstones and epitaphs from the period between 14th and 18th centuries. While I was there, an exposition of decorations used over the years in Place Kléber was being hosted by the church in the cloister area. Back inside the church, passing beneath the brightly colored vaults of the rood screen one enters the 13th century choir. The baroque panelling and the pulpit was added around the middle of the 18th century but the stunning bas-relief of Christ’s Resurrection is much older. The central panel of the altarpiece dates from 1518. Behind the altar is the apse, now used as a baptistery. My favorite painting in the entire church is along the west wall of the south aisle depicting the nations of Europe marching towards the cross. Between 1897 and 1901, the church, which had fallen into disrepair, was fundamentally overhauled by the Karlsruhe architect Carl Schäfer and the entrance to the church was moved and a new main portal was created. It is quite unique as it is a copy of the northern entrance of the façade of the Strasbourg Cathedral and the allegorical figures of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. The black pavement stones surrounding the church are patterned with white Stars of David.