Place Saint Thomas // Strasbourg, France

February 20, 2018

Happy Tuesday y'all! I hope that your week has started off well! Yesterday it was so fun to share about my walk through historic Strasbourg (you can read about it HERE!) and today I am excited to share with y'all about Place Saint Thomas. 
Place Saint Thomas (named after the apostle Thomas who is most known in the Bible for His doubt of the resurrection at one point because he neither saw or felt Jesus) is sometimes known as the cathedral for Protestants in Strasbourg. 
The site of the current church was the site of a church dating as far back as the 6th century. In the ninth century history records that Bishop Adelochus established not only a formal church but a school on the property. Sadly in 1007 both of these buildings burned down. Eventually in 1196 construction began on the current structure which was built in the Roman style. Over the centuries work on the church was interrupted several times but finally the building was completed in 1521 in the late Gothic Style. 
In 1524 the church, which had been a pillar of the Catholic faith was converted to the Protestant faith. The church maintained this despite the annexation of Alsace to the Catholic France. To this day it is a Protestant church and now holds both a primary and secondary school as well as a seminary on the property. 
One of the most interesting stories that our tour guide shared with us was about the original key desk of the 1741 Silbermann organ that is now a free-standing exhibit within the church. The keyboards and the black stop knobs are original while the pedal board and stop knobs are believed to be from the end of the 18th century time period.
What is special about the organ is not just the uniqueness of the history it holds, but about the history of who has played it. As our tour guide explained there were many concerts over the years that had been played in the church. An unknown (at the time) musician would often practice and play for the people who lived in Strasbourg. Unlike others who came to play at the church he was not well known at the time and did not have the name recognition of many who were asked to come and play special concerts. 

Despite this he was often asked to fill in because he was quite good and became beloved by the people of Strasbourg. The musician also seemed to enjoy his time in Strasbourg and the people who came to hear him play (at first it was not to many and over time the numbers grew). One historical reference states that "he was okay, no one had heard of him, but he gave a good concert"

His name was Mozart.
To be honest as I stood there and listened to this story I was gently reminded how often we are witness to the beginning of people's stories. 

The stories in the middle. 

The stories where people are not well known or haven't made the difference that they will in later years. 

But it is in those middle seasons of life that there is a unique beauty to witness. There is something amazing about seeing people at the beginning isn't there? We just have to look for it. Imagine how many Mozart's there are in your life. Let's encourage each of them to chase their dreams and change their worlds with their unique and individual gifts. 
I hope y'all get to spend some time at Place Saint Thomas - even for just a few minutes. It was truly inspirational. 

Interested in reading more posts from our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River? Simply click on the links below! 

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