|The Barsburg Church|
バルスブルグ帝国 キョウカイ Barusuburugu kyoukai
The Barsburg Church as seen from above, in the anime.
|Location on map|
The Barsburg Church is a Church located in the 7th District that is said to be guarded by the Seven Ghosts, and its purpose is to enshrine them. The Church may also enshrine Mikhail, though the Seven Ghosts are worshipped above all other deities (except the creator of the Ghosts himself, the Chief of Heaven).
The Church is the location where most of the anime series takes place, consisting of the land that the Pope owns and protects. It appears to be well protected from outside attacks from foot-soldiers with the use of a moat that surrounds the Church, and appears to be only accessible with the use of a flying vehicle such as a Hawkzile or a Ribidzile.
- 1 Workforce and Church life
- 2 Religious importance
- 3 Defence
- 4 Descripton
- 4.1 Exterior
- 4.2 Interior
- 4.2.1 Bastien's room
- 4.2.2 The Bishop Hall
- 4.2.3 The Bridges of Trials and Tribulation
- 4.2.4 Church Catacombs
- 4.2.5 Exam Halls
- 4.2.6 Guest Room
- 4.2.7 The Infirmary
- 4.2.8 The Library
- 4.2.9 Meeting Room
- 4.2.10 The Nave
- 4.2.11 The Orphanage
- 4.2.12 The Practice Hall
- 4.2.13 Refectory
- 4.2.14 Room of Mirrors
- 4.2.15 Secret Escape Passage
- 4.2.16 The Western Tower Greenhouse
- 5 History
- 6 Manga Synopsis
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
- 9 Site Navigation
Workforce and Church life
|“||This place supports the hearts of everyone in the nation.||”|
—A nun, talking about the Church.
At the Barsburg Church, morning begins at 4 am. As a religious building, the Barsburg Church is mainly run by members of the clergy.
- See also the relevant page: Clergy Ranks
There is a distinct hierarchy in the Church and different groups are tasked with different jobs. The Nuns make up the bulk of the manual labour and run Correction Centers, while Bishops fulfil more academic roles such as scholars and teachers. Younger and less experienced people, such as Acolytes, tend to lean towards manual labour.
Particular focus is placed on interacting and integrating with the local communities to provide services, such as teaching, medical care, or evangelism.
As with most religions, in the Church, life is governed by community rules that require members to remain celibate and own little or no personal property. While genders are not segregated, there appear to be limitations on what women within the Church are able to do.
|“||It's rumoured that this Church has the unique ability to break Verloren's curse.||”|
—A denizen of District 7, watching the removal of a Kor.
The Church is both admired and feared for its alleged connection to the Death God fragments, the Seven Ghosts.
|“||The Church upholds the law of "sanctuary". Anyone who takes refuge in the Church and asked for patronage... even if that person is a criminal, their protection is granted. Neither the army nor the government can lay a finger on them publicly.||”|
—A Barsburg foot-soldier, explaining the Church's sanctuary law.
The Barsburg Church, like many other religious buildings, offers political sanctuary and asylum to criminals in the nearby districts (particularly District 1) fleeing the law. Because of this reason, many criminals escape to District 7 seeking, or exploiting the benefits of, religious enlightenment and forgiveness.
Due to it being a place of religion, the Barsburg Church has several defensive mechanisms put in place to stop unholy intruders. There is an invisible barrier around the Church which is supposed to destroy Kor and limit the movement of even the most powerful Wars and Warsfeil within the Church, though it can be destroyed by someone who has mastered the Baculus. It seems that this also allows Wars to be more easily sensed, allowing at least the Ghosts to sense it. However, even the Church's barrier seems to have limits to how much they can contain the use of black magic, as Ayanami has displayed that he is able to completely remain unaffected by the barrier when he fought Labrador, which surprised him. In the anime, he was also able to influence the exit of the final Bishop Exam to prevent Teito from leaving and instead apport him to the entrance, all the while remaining undetected by any of the Church's inhabitants, as not even the Ghosts were able to sense anything. This is likely because Ayanami is just simply on a completely different level than any warsfeil and thus his dark power is far too strong and subtle for even the Church to detect or weaken him.
Despite being simply referred to as a Church, the layout is much closer to that of a monastery, as it comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. It is 4 km in circumference.
The Barsburg Church is a very tall structure that appears to be made of marble. Running around the Church is a large wall, and built on the wall are Seven Towers, each tower containing a Statue of a Seven Ghost. The building of the Church is thin and rectangular, with several entrances, being either the main door, or several archways that also lead inside. The Church has many balconies, and these are fenced with golden railings. The Church's most notable feature is its two large, cone-shaped towers that appear to be made of glass. There are 35 floors in the Church.
The Applicants Block is a large portion of the Church that is solely used as a temporary home for those who are taking the Bishop's Apprentice Exam and do not live in District 7. Those candidates who do live in District 7 can opt to commute between the Church and their own homes. The block consists of hundreds of dorm rooms next to each other, the rooms themselves being small and humble in design with two beds to a dorm, two desks and a few shelves for books. It is situated near the Library so that it is convenient to the examinee
Within the Church grounds there is a large area used as a market place and is "overflowing with tourist shops". This appears as many long pathways extending from the Church pool and fountain, with many tents lining each side of the pathways. In the centre of the Bazaar is the Church fountain, and a pool in the shape of an arrow, presumably pointing towards the main Church building. The Bazaar is often the location for hosting parades in honour of the Seven Ghosts that guard the Church, as seen in episode 7 of the anime.
The Church Fountain is a four-layered rock fountain where Razette seems to stay and is known as reservoir for aquatic creatures such as the Eyefish, various species of fish and algae. It is located in the middle of the Barsburg Church and underneath it is the Light Dungeon's location. The Fountain water is used by the nuns primarily for washing clothes.
- Main article: Correction Center
The Barsburg Church has seven towers with each tower being used as a shrine for its respective Ghost, and each tower holding a statue of that Ghost. The seven towers are open to the public and the inhabitants of District 7 go there to pray to the Ghost whose help they need the most (e.g. those who want someone to fall in love with them pray to Fest for him to join their hearts together). It is also worth noting that Zehel's tower also serves as Barsburg Church's entrance.
Vertrag's tower has been closed since the end of the Raggs War, due to the statue there collapsing. It is likely that Relikt's tower has also been closed, as the last reincarnation of Relikt has been devoured, thus the Statue of Relikt has presumably also collapsed (the Statues of the Ghosts respond to the Ghosts' respective injuries).
- Main article: Light Dungeon
The Sanctuary is a very small, circular stretch of land that slopes inwards and can only be found by travelling through a network of underwater tunnels, much like Light Dungeon. The area is round and covered by grass with a small circle of small, pink paving stones.
The Sanctuary appears to be subject to some sort of magic, as there is a crystal tower that allows the person entering to see into their past, that can only be seen by those who have lost someone close. It appears in the anime only.
Bastien's room is located on the 36th floor. To go through the door to Bastien's room, a Bishop's pass is required. It is large a room, with a single desk across the entrance, a statue of a female angel on the right-hand side as you enter with the Church's symbol on its torso, and several bookcases stacked net to each other on the right, one of which is hiding a passageway to an underground dungeon.
The Bishop Hall
It is a hall where the Bishops' room are located. The hall is adorned with big pillars and right at the entrance of the hall, there are two statues, one on each side, carrying the symbol of the Church in their arms. Just like the Applicant Block, it is most likely that the rooms of the Bishops are situated next to each other in the Bishop Hall, however there is no confirmation if they are indeed side by side.
Room 1075 is Frau's room. It is located to the north-east of the main hall and far north of the Applicants Block. However, in the manga it is located in the Bishop Hall.
The room itself is small and humble, containing a single desk, one large bookcase, and a large bed in an indent in the wall under a gold and black arch. On the floor is a large, black coffin with the cross of the Church engraved onto the lid. As Frau sleeps in this coffin, it is unknown why he has a bed, though it may be to maintain the appearance of him being an ordinary human, or simpy because the bed cannot be removed from the room.
The Bridges of Trials and Tribulation
The Bridges of Trials and Tribulation (eighth exam hall) is a series of bridges located somewhere in the Barsburg Church. It is the setting used for the second Bishop's Apprentice Exam, which candidates must cross in order to pass. The bridge causes the darkness that lies in the hearts of those crossing to manifest itself in physical form. Those who are unable to face their own fears fall through. It is guarded by the Guardians of the Bridge of Trials, and was the scene of Mikage's death. Its original purpose was to judge those who had an audience with the Pope.
As the name suggests, the Church catacombs present themselves as a cemetery consisting of an underground network of passages and rooms used as burial chambers for keeping the dead bodies of those in the Church until relatives of the deceased claim them for burial.
The rooms themselves are large and may house up to eight bodies at any one time, and the lighting there consists mainly of blue flames along the walls. The staff there are criminals, and three criminals appear to be assigned to a single room.
- Main article: Bishop's Apprentice Exam
There are eight Exam Halls in total (and an observation room), each one bringing a new challenge to those taking the apprentice exam. The exam halls are mostly made of marble, like the rest of the Church, and usually contain statues of the seven ghosts. Features of the more sinister exam halls include shadows that cause fear in those passing through them (exam hall 1), large tanks full of water and living Kor (exam hall 4), and tightropes with sharp rocks below (exam hall 5).
The observation room appears as a large cave, with pools of water dotted around. These pools of water allow the examiners to see the progress of the examinees without their knowledge.
This is the room where Teito and Mikage stayed after deserting the Barsburg Military. A single-sized bed is situated in the middle of the room with a lot of plants and flowers surrounding it. Some of the vines and plants are also seen sprawled out over the floor. Just across the bed are clear, angled dome-shaped glass windows that are separated by pillars.
The Infirmary is where those who are ill are taken to be taken care of until they are well again. The infirmary is a large, rather plain room only containing beds for the sick. Both Teito and Aldo have been in the infirmary.
The Library is one of the largest rooms in the Barsburg Church and is located near the Applicants block for the benefit of the examinees who need to study for the exam.
The room appears as a large maze of wooden bookcases, stacked full of books, that are as tall as the ceiling. There are a few open spaces dotted randomly around the library where there are a few tables and chairs.
The Meeting Room is a large room used for those of a Bishop rank or higher to discuss important matters. The room is large with desks at each side of the room where the Bishops are to sit, and a smaller desk to the back of the room where Jio and two guards are seated. The ceiling of the room is very high and supported by marble pillars and golden frames. On the floor is the cross of the Church.
It is a very large, square-shaped room where the walls and floor appear to be made of marble. Towards each side of the room are several marble archways that run down the length of the room, stopping some distance before the Church altar which is at the very back wall. The very far end of the room, at the back, is sloping forward, the middle of the wall being the closest to the front. The Church altar is golden and sits before a white, marble wall, and above it is the insignia of the Barsburg Church, also in marble. At each side of the altar, the walls are a pale green, decorated with golden lining. There is a skylight above it.
There are crystals engraved into the walls and floor throughout the nave, meaning that when the moon or sun shines, the crystals reflect that light and the room glistens. The colour of the shine depends on the angle of the light, meaning that one can accurately tell time by calculating the position of the light, as seen with Hakuren. The room shines red at 6 o'clock.
The nave appears as the place where mass is conducted. This is the long, central part of the Church and acts as the main body where most services are held, like a Mass or traditional ceremonies such as Baptism, and where the congregation gathers to pray and worship the Gods. Just like Gothic Christian abbeys, it provides a central approach through the aisle to the altar. During mass, the Bishops stand by the altar with one of the volumes of the Barsburg Bible and participate in the service. There is a pipe organ located somewhere in the nave of which Razette fulfills the role as the organist.
The Church orphanage has not been shown, but Frau has mentioned it and several orphans have been seen around the Church. Teito also once talked to Frau about letting Capella live in the Church orphanage.
The Practice Hall
The Practice Hall is where students can go to practice their use with a Baculus on Kor, mostly being used for preparation for the Bishop's Apprentice Exam. It is a long, narrow room with glowing arches above it that look similar to Castor's ghost strings. All around the arches is a large barrier made of water, the arches being used to contain it, and this water barrier holds the Kor. It appears that the barrier is one-way, as Teito was able to put his hand through the barrier, but the Kor are unable to get out. The Bishop's apprentice exam takes place in the tank of water.
Due to it being full of Kor, it is monitored closely. It has a receptionist. Students are required to book a place, and sign in and out.
The Church Refectory (also frater, frater house, fratery, dining hall) is a large, narrow room filled with long, wooden tables decorated with edible flowers and candles. Compared to the rest of the Church, it is quite humble in appearance and uses an earthy color scheme.
This hall is a diner for both members of the clergy and visitors to the Church.
Room of Mirrors
The Room of Mirrors is a small room that appears to be one of the highest rooms in the Barsburg Church. It is octagonal in shape, and each wall holds a two-way mirror supported by a metal frame, and in this respect it looks similar to a greenhouse. It is used for helping one to face inner feelings by showing illisions, and even the Bishops themselves use it.
The mirrors are covered in a thick mist that clears when the mirrors are showing an illusion.
Secret Escape Passage
Within the Church is a secret passageway that was designed as an escape route to be used by the Pope in the "ten thousand to one chance" should he need to flee the Church.
It functions as a maze with "a thousand turns", and a wrong one will prevent those who made it from exiting the tunnel. This was done to deter pursuers. Its exit point is through a back alley somewhere in District 7.
The Western Tower Greenhouse
On the Western Tower of the Church there is a very large dome-shaped greenhouse, protected with golden railing and amber-tinted windows. It is one of Labrador's favourite places. The greenhouse floor is grass and round in shape and in the anime is exclusively for roses, whereas there are many different types of flowers present in the manga. Many of the flowers there are edible, and there is also candy. It is accessed by a small staircase. In the centre is a huge oak tree, around it being many arches and small ferns. It is also one of the places in the Church that was infiltrated by a Kor.
It is unknown when exactly the Church was built but it was shown during the Raggs War, showing it has stood for more than 10 years.
Considering that the Seven Ghosts, who are sanctioned to protect the Church, descended to the human world about 1000 years ago and that the Church has "guarded Pandora's Box for a thousand years", the Church is likely to be over 1000 years old.
In chronological order:
- The Barsburg Church resembles the Cologne Cathedral, a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture.
- Similar to the Barsburg military, the Barsburg Church uses spies, as demonstrated by Karu, Lance and the Guardians of the Bridge of Trials. Lance has also mentioned using the "Church's intelligence" to gather information on Karu and Landkarte, who were both missing at the time.
|Continents||Antwort · District 1 · District 2 · District 3 · District 4 · District 5 · District 6 · District 7|
|1st District||Hohburg Fortress · Raggs · Barsburg Military Academy|
|2nd District||Oak House|
|4th District||Krat House · Neal · Almarz Residence|
|6th District||Baltos · Hausen House · Mountain Road · Tavern|
|7th District||Dals · Eye of God · Hospital · Light Dungeon · Ria · The Barsburg Church|
|Frontier Regions||Center of the Earth · Pandora's Box · The Land of Seele|