New Catholic Parish Church of the Sacred Heart of Mary
In the summer of 1949, work began on the construction of the new Catholic parish church. Men, women and children took up pick and shovel to remove the ridge between "Hustal" and "Schank". They worked for almost half a year until a sufficiently large plain was created. On 10 December 1950, the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone took place. The local construction companies Johann Kropp, Fritz Landeck and Karl Landeck hammered and bricked, the church was to be built from local red sandstone according to the will of the architect Professor Boßlet from Würzburg. By autumn 1951, the walls had been raised to roof height. In the spring of 1952, the huge reinforced concrete girders were cast, on which the bell frame was to be placed as a truss construction.
On 5 October 1952, Archbishop Dr. Josef Wendel consecrated the pilgrimage church in the name of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and handed it over for its intended purpose.
The total length is 35.60 m - the width of the nave and the choir is 14.60 m. The nave and the choir are of the same size. The 14.60 m x 14 m bell tower rises above the crossing. Up to the top, the bell tower is 29.60 m high. It was intended for six bells. However, subsequent static testing showed that the tower could not support the bells. A simple iron framework was then built next to the church to hold the three new bells. They were cast by the Schilling bell foundry in Heidelberg and consecrated by Canon Wokart on 16 August 1959. To protect the bells, the tower was encased in wooden cladding.
The leading architect, Professor Boßlet, describes the interior as follows: "Inside, we are greeted by a modern, wide-span, light church interior designed according to the latest liturgical principles. This is the first time that the aspirations of this movement, taking into account the papal encyclical, have been carried out in this way in a church building in the Palatinate. The church, built of red sandstone and spruce wood, has 500 seats and can accommodate about 2000 people. It still has no heating and can therefore only be used in the summer months.
For a few years it served as a pilgrimage church - but in 1981 the pilgrimages were discontinued.
Source: Die Gemeinde Elmstein in alten Bildern (published by Geiger-Verlag - Horb am Neckar)