THUMB, Peter
(b. 1681, Bezau, d. 1766, Konstanz)

Interior view

Former Benedictine Abbey Church, St Gallen

The first designs by Caspar Moosbrugger for the Baroque church on the foundation of St. Gall date to 1721. To link the shrines of St Gall and St Othmer, he designed a double crucifix with two domed crossings. After Moosbrugger's death in 1723, another Vorarlberg architect, Johann Michael Beer from Bleichten, took over the work, producing alternative plans that included a large octagon in the middle of the nave. Between 1730 and 1754, six other architects came forward with proposals. In each case, an attempt was made to combine the schemes of Moosbrugger and Beer.

Finally, Peter Thumb triumphed in 1755 with a version of Beer's scheme linking a longitudinal design with a central plan. Wall-piers and a pier system placed in relation to them run through the whole space to create a coherent whole. The two choirs appear not as separate entities but linked together at the central point. Moreover, the entrances to the church are placed in such a way that the building is powerfully represented not just by the façade of the choir towers but also in the effect of its breadth. Work was completed in 1770.

The picture shows a view of the nave.