Along with Strasbourg Cathedral, the Saint Thiebaut Collegiate Church is one of the most typical gothic buildings in Alsace gathering the 3 forms of the Gothic style: primitive, radiant and flamboyant. It has been named after the Canonical College of Saint-Amarin founded in 1442. The construction of the Church lasted more than two centuries from the end of the 13th to the 15th century, when the architect from Basel, Rémy Faesh, ended the spire. The 15m high stained glass windows fill the choir with light and colour.
Two main restorations completed the work of the builders: the first between 1628 and 1631, including the addition of the Chapel of the Virgin and of the pulpits, the second between 1887 and 1895: the choir stalls (the part of a church in front of the altar, lined on both sides with benches, and used by the choir and clergy) are prolonged and multicolour glazed tiles are installed.
The collegiate is mainly built of pink sandstone from Soultz and of yellow sandstone from Roufach. This building is built in the Ogival style known as Gothic is remarkable on several points:
Its main portal with 3 tympanums
Its statuary, 87 status decorate the outside of the building (1360-1936)
Its northern portal (1430)
Its 15m high stained glass windows of the choir (1423-1430)
Its choir stalls are the most significant in Alsace (15th-16th – 20th)
Its statues of polychrome wood represent St-Thiebaut and the Virgin (15th-16th)
Its inner disposition attracts attention: the choir is as long as the nave (22 m). The spire is 78,14 metres at its highest point which is noteworthy.
The Thannois love to say : « the spire of Strasburg is the highest; The spire of Friburg is the biggest; but the spire of Thann is the most Beautiful”
In 1442, thanks to the transfer of the Canonical chapter, bevor located in Saint-Amarin, the church is elevated to the status of collegiate. Choir stalls are set up in the choir to enable the canons to follow the service.
The oldest part is the Saint Thiebaut’s Chapel right of the choir. It is the former choir of the first church, quoted in 1287 in the rental of the barn from Erbenheim (register on which the royalties that the owners of a land owed to the lord of the kingdom were written. Erbenheim is a disappeared village that was located between Vieux-Thann and Aspach-le-Haut)