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Gottfried Böhm

Completed in 1968 and regarded as his most important work, the Neviges pilgrimage church was the result of a competition, for which Böhm submitted an unearthly crystalline model. It was a fragmented cluster of angular forms, more meteorite than maquette, like something sent down from planet Krypton.

The archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Josef Frings, who headed the jury, was nearly blind at the time, and is said to have liked the feeling of the jagged model as he ran his fingers over it, touching the clefts and valleys of this peculiar mineral mass. Combining allusions to mountain peaks and penitents’ hoods, it would be unlike any church before it.

Gottfried Böhm obituary