"Die geystlich Straß". Late Medieval Stations of the Cross as Immersive Urban Ensembles of Salvation

Florian Abe, M.A.

This dissertation project assesses a late medieval group of complexes, Stations of the Cross, with a focus on the region north of the Alps. Unlike Italian Sacri Monti as another type of three-dimensional transposition of the holy sites, these ensembles are an inherent part of the urban sphere, in which the topography of the loca sancta and the local city overlap.
This project investigates the means through which Christ's Passion is topologically, temporally and spiritually evoked. Its central focus is to examine the mechanisms of different media incorporated in these Stations of the Cross to direct the pilgrims' spiritual and physical experience. These media include stone reliefs with depictions of Christ's suffering, free-standing sculptures such as Crucifixion or Lamentation groups as well as architectural complexes such as replicas of the Holy Sepulchre or Calvaries.
The thesis will frame the Stations of the Cross as complex spatial structures that exploit the specific representational potential of each of their integrated media in order to orchestrate a meaningful and immersive evocation of the Passion. Thus, the project identifies the urban realm as signifying the spiritual, social and artistic dimensions of the Passion of Christ.

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