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While the history of the United States may only occupy the last few hundred years, Europe is far more complex and many of the oldest buildings in the world can be found within this continent. A fair number of the most prolific architectural wonders in Europe happen to be churches and chapels, many of whom harbor priceless works of art. One example of this is the Michaelsberg Abbey, located in Bamberg, Germany. This chapel was first erected in 1015 under the Order of Saint Benedict and worked as an abbey until the major territory reconstruction of Germany that occurred during the early 19th century.


Prior to its seizure by Bavarian troops in 1802, the abbey was decorated with plaster work by an artist named Johann Georg Leinberger. Leinberger decorated the chapel between 1729 through 1731 and is best known for the piece "Death Blowing Bubbles." This particular illustration is said to symbolize "life's fragility" and remained intact despite the building being turned into a hospital in 1803. 

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Leinberger depicts death in many forms throughout the chapel and the work is modeled within the Rococo style, which was popular throughout France and Italy at the time. After being used as a hospital for many years, the building was reclaimed in 1993 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, however, due to structural problems it has been closed since 2012. Repairs to the building began in Spring of 2016 and are expected to be completed in 2021.

Take a look at some of the other plaster works found at this abbey in the gallery below and let us know your thoughts on "Death Blowing Bubbles" in the comments section.