Christian Church (Ottensen)

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The Christian Church, view through the church garden past the choir

The Christian Church in the Hamburg district of Ottensen is a baroque building from 1738; the parish belongs to the Hamburg-West / Südholstein parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany . The grave of the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock has been in the churchyard since 1803 , which is why the street Palmaille - Elbchaussee , which runs south of it, was named Klopstockstrasse in 1846 and has since become the name of the church as Klopstockkirche .


The building from 1738 replaced an older one from 1548, in which Rumond Walther was the first Protestant pastor in Ottensen. When the sovereign Count Otto von Schauenburg died in 1640 without an heir, the County of Holstein-Pinneberg came to the Duchy of Holstein in 1647 as a fiefdom of the Holy Roman Empire and thus came under the rule of the Danish crown. This gave Altona between Ottensen and Hamburg in 1664 city rights and after the city ​​was cremated by Swedish troops in 1713, it was rebuilt and expanded by the royal chief president Christian Detlev von Reventlow (1671–1738) .

View of the choir with pulpit, high altar and baptismal angel

Even before the construction of the main church of St. Trinity in Altona began in 1742, the Christian church was built in Ottensen from 1735 to 1738 according to plans by Otto Johann Müller , named after King Christian VI, who had ruled since 1730 . (Denmark and Norway) .

The old Ottenser village church was demolished except for the steeple, which was integrated into the new building. The new brick church with a mansard roof was designed as a hall church . The interior received large arched windows, a mighty pulpit altar , an organ by Johann Dietrich Busch and a gallery . The top of the baptism made of Gotland limestone, which has survived to this day, probably dates from the 13th, its sandstone shaft from the late 16th century and the baptismal angel floating above it from 1739. The wooden spiral staircase in the vestibule of the tower dates from the time it was built, the one there Crucifix from the end of the 15th century.

The Christian Church, at the end of the 19th century before the renovation work

From 1897 to 1898 some changes were made to the church. The tower, which had until then had small windows, was reminiscent of the warehouse buildings in the harbor district and was popularly referred to as the "Corinthian warehouse". 10,000 marks, which Günther Ludwig Stuhlmann, who died in 1872, had bequeathed to the community, were used to expand the upper windows to form a large sound hatch each and to provide the spire with a roof turret and the entrance with a neo-baroque portal. In 1938 the tower received a carillon with 42 bells cast in Apolda .

The church was badly damaged during World War II . The restoration work lasted from 1946 to 1952. The equipment that had been outsourced in good time had largely been preserved and could be reinstalled. The altar was reconstructed from saved parts and the graceful pulpit was placed separately in the choir room . In its place in the altar in 1968 the painting Praise of the Redeemed by Hans Gottfried von Stockhausen was added, from which the church windows in the tower Resurrection and Angels come.


The organ of the Christian Church was built in 1744/1745 by the Arp Schnitger student Johann Dietrich Busch , who used pipe material from the predecessor organ of Gottfried Fritzsche from 1630. The instrument has been rebuilt and supplemented several times over the years. a. 1883 by Marcussen & Søn and 1925–1929 by Emanuel Kemper from Lübeck with artistic advice from Hans Henny Jahnn . After the Second World War it was rebuilt by Rudolf von Beckerath Orgelbau and last restored in 2003 by Paschen Kiel Orgelbau .

Lithograph by Peter Suhr around 1840
Hauptwerk C–

1. Dumped 16 ′
2. Principal 8th'
3. Reed flute 8th'
4th Octave 4 ′
5. recorder 4 ′
6th Fifth 2 23
7th Octave 2 ′
8th. Flat flute 2 ′
9. Mixture V
10. Trumpet 8th'
Upper structure C–
11. Salicional 8th'
12. Beat 8th'
13. Dumped 8th'
14th Principal 4 ′
15th Reed flute 4 ′
16. octave 2 ′
17th Sesquialtera II 2 23
18th oboe 8th'
19th Vox humana 8th'
Breastwork C–
20th Quintadena 8th'
21st Gemshorn 4 ′
22nd recorder 2 ′
23. Sif flute 1'
24. Terzian II
25th Zimbel III
26th Dulcian 8th'
Pedal C–
27. Sub-bass 16 ′
28. octave 8th'
29 Violon 8th'
30th Dumped 8th'
31. Octave 4 ′
32. Night horn 2 ′
33. Mixture VI
34. trombone 16 ′
35. Trumpet 8th'
36. Trumpet 4 ′

Church cemetery

Church garden and former cemetery

The church has a cemetery that was used for burials as early as 1537. Tombs from past centuries can be found here to this day. From 1860 onwards, only the family graves were used; the last burial took place in 1929.

Klopstock's tomb. Lithograph by Asmus Kaufmann around 1840
The Klopstock graves at the south portal of the Christian church
Johanna Elisabeth von Winthem 1775. She married Klopstock in 1791

The small cemetery is the final resting place of the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock . His wives Margareta (Meta) and Johanna Elisabeth (née Dimpfel , widowed von Winthem) rest next to him.

All three tombs show as a relief two sheaves of wheat lying crossed and underneath:

"Seed sown by God to ripen in the day of the sheaves",

Verse 845 of the 11th song of the Messiah, composed from 1756 to 1768 .

Klopstock's tomb - with an inscription by Friedrich Leopold zu Stolberg-Stolberg  - is also adorned with a relief by Philipp Jakob Scheffauer (1804), an allegorical representation of the mourning religion leaning against an urn. The inscriptions read:

Where there is no death await
your friend, your lover, your husband, whom she
loves so much,
and who she is so loved by.
But here from this grave
we want to rise together,
you, my Klopstock and I and our son,
whom I could not bear for you.
Worship the one
who died, buried, and rose again.
She was born on March 16, 1728,
married on June 10, 1754,
and died on November 28, 1758.
Her son slumbers in her arms.

Klopstock's second wife
Geb. d. 26 July 1747
Gest. d. January 19, 1821
His beloved companion
and comforter on the
last path of life
Meta's darling,
like her in heart and spirit.
Where there is no death,
she looks forward to the
reunion of those whom
you now love heavenly.

Bey at his meta and bey at rest with his child
He was born on July 2nd, 1724. He died on March 14th, 1803.
Germans, approaches with reverence and love. Approach the
shell of your greatest poet
, you Christians, with melancholy and delight,
The resting place of the holy singer,
Whose song , Life and death praised Jesus Christ.
He sang to man the Eternal,
The Mediator of God. Down at the throne lies
His great reward, a golden
holy bowl full of Christian tears.
His second loving and beloved wife,
Johanna Elisabeth, set this stone,
Adoring him who lived for us, died, was
buried and rose again.

[The inscription takes up a stanza from Klopstock's ode Der Abschied, composed in 1748 :]

I sang to man the Eternal,
The Mediator of God.
My great reward lies below at the throne , a golden,
holy bowl full of Christian tears.

Meta was buried with the child on December 4, 1758 in the family grave of her parents in the churchyard of St. Nikolai . In the introduction to her legacy writings , dated April 10, 1759, Klopstock wrote about the intended and actually executed grave inscriptions:

“She is not yet buried in the place where I would like to rest with her one day. I want to have our grave made in Ottensen, or in another village cemetery further up the Elbe. I will choose a beautiful area for the sake of those who may rejoice in the spring of the resurrection. For this very purpose, and not out of vanity, to decorate a very simple tomb, I asked your two sisters and your dearest friend to put the first two trees by the grave and the last to entertain field flowers on it. Two sheaves of wheat, lying messily on top of each other, are to be made on the upward-pointing tombstone. [...] "

The grave site in Ottensen was acquired on May 20, 1759 by a representative from Klopstock, the coffin was transferred there on June 14 and buried the following day. At that time, Klopstock had probably not yet arrived from Halberstadt, from where he had left on June 10th. However, he visited the grave on June 19, one day before his onward journey to Copenhagen, as can be seen from his entry in a friend's register, which has only survived in transcript:

“I'm still so full of the thoughts I had yesterday when I stood on mine by my Meta grave that I want to put my grave inscription here for you.

There was rustling and stirring and the bones came together again. Ezekiel 37 BC 7th

Now I have come, my friend, my lover, my wife, whom I love so much and who love me so much. Yes, we want to rise from this grave together, you, my Moller, and I, and our son, who as soon as passed from the hand of the Creator into the hand of the Pardoner.

Alleluia! worship him, all heavens, for ever and ever "

- Klopstock. Hamburg the 20th of June 1759

Meta's sisters Elisabeth Schmidt (1722–1788) and Catharina Margaretha Dimpfel born. Moller (April 5, 1724 - December 18, 1773) planted two linden trees on December 6, 1759, one of which still rises above the grave.

Klopstock's burial at this location in March 1803 was a national event that Friedrich Johann Lorenz Meyer described as follows:

“The celebration took place on the cheerful, if not entirely mild, spring morning of March 22nd. At the behest of the Hamburg Senate, an honor guard of a hundred men appeared on foot and on horseback; Military honors were given to the corpse in front of the eight guards in the city area, whom the train passed. Notwithstanding the influx of thousands in the streets and markets and at the gate, police arrangements were unnecessary. The solemn impression took their place. He commanded the innumerable crowds to rest and to be in awe of silence. As if a general mourning had been arranged, one saw many of the spectators at the windows, and almost all of them in the church of the funeral, dressed in the color of mourning; several were covered in black veils. At 10 o'clock the procession began under the resounding, large peal of the six main towers of Hamburg. A long wagon train of foreign envoys and Hamburg citizens, senators, scholars, merchants, church and school teachers and artists joined the corpse conduit in front of the deceased's apartment. On the four-in-hand, open mourning wagon, led by four guides, stood the very simple coffin, upholstered in black, the side panels framed with velvet stripes, resting on white metal feet. On its top was a book made of similar metal, leaning against a wreath of intertwined palm and oak branches. Klopstock's noble wife had ordered the following verse, which he himself once chose from his songs to be inscribed on the coffin of his Meta, to be engraved in the book:

My helper's right hand was near, but
did not see my eye at once.
Furthermore, in the valley of the nights
was my savior and his light. "

“Halfway through the way to the grave, the solemnly slow moving train stopped in front of the gate on the Hamburg and Danish Gränzfelde, the Hamburg mountains densely covered with people. At the gate of Altona and the Hamburg Gränzstein the corpse was received by the first persons of the royal and the city government, by scholars, officers, foreign generals and many citizens of the city who now joined the procession. A Danish guard of honor represented the declining Hamburg. Between eight honorary leaders with fluffed marshal's baton, three virgins walked directly in front of the hearse, their heads wreathed with oak leaves and roses, in white robes and veils. They carried wreaths of roses and myrtle, baskets with budding foliage and flowers of spring for the dead man to the grave. This idea, full of deep emotion, decreed by the Altona Association of Solemnity, was very happy and thought entirely from the heart of Klopstock. [...] With bare heads, four honorary companions stepped next to the hearse, holding the coffin with the pile bandages attached. - So the venerable train went on through the straight main street of Altona. In front of the parading watch, mournful music rang out from muffled horns. On the Todtenanger of Ottensen the procession under the bard's linden tree was received by a similar music. Here the stretcher stayed with the next companion. At one o'clock the entourage entered the church in front of the altar. Carried up by the Hamburg councilors, surrounded by the maidens and honorary companions, the coffin slowly floated into the church. The solemn introduction to the psalm of the holy singer, the Our Father, composed by Schwenke, rang out from the high choir, in the gentle and ever higher swelling harmonies :

Moons walk
around earth around suns of
all suns armies walk
around one great sun.
"Our Father, who are in heaven!"

“More than a hundred musicians and singers dressed in white from families from Hamburg, united for this death, sang stanzas of this hymn under Schwenke's leadership when the coffin was set down in front of the altar and the three virgins pinned their wreaths to it. The poet's masterpiece was carried before him and now placed on the top of the coffin. A young man covered the open book with twigs of laurel plaited together. - After the psalm, the choir sang Klopstock's hymn to death: 'How will I be then, oh then, when I fall asleep in him, to rejoice completely in the Lord!' - Choirs from his Heilig, set by Romberg , and from Mozart's death mass , followed the speech at the coffin. It was Klopstock's words that were spoken on his bier. [...] From the twelfth song of the Messiah I read with a few introductory words, the depiction of the death of Mary, this sublime depiction of a dying righteous man - His death! [...] Then, accompanied by simple Akordes, the choir of the young girls sang - and the singing echoed again on the grave:

Resurrect, yes you will resurrect
My dust after a short rest!
Immortal life
, who made you, will give you!
Hallelujah! "

Klopstock's funeral on March 22, 1803
Engraving 1805
Memorial plaque for Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand of Braunschweig (1735–1806)
Memorial stone for displaced persons from Hamburg buried in Ottensen in 1138

“During the song of the resurrection, the coffin was lifted up and carried under the linden tree to the crypt. The entourage went with him. - With the blooming first fruits of spring and showered with laurel branches, he sank down. "

Heinrich Heine wrote in 1833:

“The banks of the Elbe are wonderfully lovely. Especially behind Altona, near Rainville . Klopstock is buried not far. I don't know of any region where a dead poet can be buried as well as there. Living there as a living poet is far more difficult. How often have I visited your grave, singer of the Messiah, for whom you sang so touchingly about the sufferings of Jesus! But you have also lived long enough on Königstrasse behind the Jungfernsteg to know how prophets are crucified. "

- From the memoirs of Herr von Schnabelewopski

Heine had reported to his childhood friend Christian Carl Theodor Ludwig Sethe about a visit to the grave in a letter dated July 6, 1816, with verses that he himself called "only pathetic with miserable":

When I went to Ottensen I was
on Klopstock's grave.
Many handsome and stately people stood there,
And surrounded the corpse stone with flowers,
They smiled at each other
And believed the miracle they did. -
But I stood at the holy place,
And stood so still and did not speak a word,
My soul was deep down there
Where the holy German singer slept: - -

Friedrich Rückert: "The graves at Ottensen"

Before Heine, Klopstock's grave in the shadow of the linden trees had already dealt with the third of Friedrich Rückert's patriotic contemporary poems from 1814, Die Gräber zu Ottensen .

The second is about Duke Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) , the commander-in-chief of the Prussian army, who fled to neutral Danish territory after a rifle bullet shattered both eyes in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt on October 14, 1806 , took quarters in Ottensen in the Gasthaus Am Felde 5 and died there on November 10, 1806 from his injuries. He was buried on November 24, 1806 in the crypt vault of Christian Church, the heart in a silver capsule on the coffin, until he was transferred to Braunschweig on November 6, 1819 and into the princely crypt of the Braunschweig Cathedral .

The first of Rückert's three poems is about the 20,000 Hamburgers who drove the French occupiers under Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout from Hamburg in the winter of 1813/14, and about the “twelve hundred or more” of them, the “Frost, Hunger, Misery and epidemics ”( typhus ). After the first dead were buried in the churchyard, the Ottenser Vogt Prahl made his pasture available for a mass grave at what is now the confluence of Erdmannstrasse and Große Brunnenstrasse. The memorial stone based on a design by Carl Ludwig Wimmel , which the Patriotic Society erected in 1765 for those buried there in 1138 in 1815, was transferred with the bones to the churchyard of the main church St. Nikolai in front of the Dammthor in 1841 . It is still there today in the Planten un Blomen park .


Well-known pastors of the church were:


  • Friedhelm Grundmann , Thomas Helms : When stones preach - Hamburg's churches from the Middle Ages to the present. Medien Verlag Schubert, 1993.
  • Friedrich Hammer: The Christian Church in Ottensen. Alster Verlag, 1938.
  • AW: Two poets' graves . In: The Gazebo . Issue 19, 1857, pp. 260–262 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • [Johann] Kähler: The graves at Ottensen . In: The home. Monthly publication of the association for the care of natural and regional studies in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lübeck and the Principality of Lübeck . tape 13 , no. 13 , 1903, ZDB -ID 500402-0 , p. 60–63 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).

Web links

Commons : Christianskirche (Hamburg-Ottensen)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Renata Klée Gobert; Heinz Ramm: Altona, Elbe suburbs . Series: Architectural and art monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg , II. Hamburg 1970, p. 142
  2. First identifiable in 1925 in the communications of the German Dendrological Society , p. 391 .
  3. Rumond Walther is otherwise only known that he was elected pastor at St. Maria-Magdalenen, the church of the now abolished Franciscan monastery in Hamburg , on July 13, 1556 , and died of the plague in this office on August 22, 1565 .
  4. The organ of the Christian church. In: Retrieved January 19, 2015 .
  5. ↑ List of tombstones at Unfortunately, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock's life dates are incorrectly given there.
  6. Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb, Poems, The Messiah, Third Part, Eleventh Song. In: Retrieved January 19, 2015 .
  7. ^ WG Prätorius: Description of the royal. Danish freyen border and trading town Altona, and the neighboring Danish area . Hamburg 1792. p. 203 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive )
  8. Vossische Nachrichten , No. 4, December 1997 (PDF; 562 kB) p. 26 (photo)
  9. ^ Friedrich Johann Lorenz Meyer: Klopstock's commemorative celebration . Hamburg 1803, p. 36 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive )
  10. Farewell Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock: Poems, Odes. First volume, The Farewell. In: Retrieved January 18, 2015 .
  11. Margaretha Klopstock: Hinterlaßne Schriften, ed. from Friedr. Thank God Klopstock. Bohn, 1759, Volume 1, p. XXI ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  12. Klopstock Briefe, Volume 2: Apparat / Commentary (Hamburger Klopstock Edition, Historical-Critical Edition, Briefe IV 2), de Gruyter 2004, pp. 248, 315, 327, 342 f. ISBN 978-3-11-018173-9 ( page 248 in the Google book search)
  13. ^ Friedrich Johann Lorenz Meyer: Klopstock's commemorative celebration . Hamburg 1803, pp. 28–32 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive )
  14. See also Laura Bolognesi (ed.): Hamburger Klopstock edition Volume III / 2, Apparat zu Geistliche Lieder , Hamburg 2013, p. 242 ( )
  15. ^ Hamburger Dom (Alter Mariendom) and five main Hamburg churches
  16. Planted on their grave by Meta's sisters on December 6, 1759
  17. From the memoirs of Herr von Schnabelewopski , Chapter VI
  18. Heine's letter of July 6, 1816 , which he accidentally dated “d 6 July 1815”
  19. Rückert, Friedrich, Gedichte, Lyrische Gedichte, First Book. Fatherland, Chapter Two. Poems of time. 1814. 1815, The Ottensen Graves, Third Grave. In: Retrieved January 18, 2015 .
  20. Rückert, Friedrich, Gedichte, Lyrische Gedichte, First Book. Fatherland, Chapter Two. Poems of time. 1814. 1815, The Ottensen Graves, Second Grave. In: Retrieved January 18, 2015 .
  21. which later took the name "Carlsruh" in memory of the famous guest JPEG. In: Retrieved January 18, 2015 .
  22. ^ Aug. Klingemann : Memories of Hamburg. In: Newspaper for the elegant world. November 27, 1817. Col. 1868 ff. ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive )
  23. Hamburg-Ottensen (Christian Church). In: Online project Memorial Monuments, October 9, 2017, accessed on January 18, 2015 .
  24. Rückert, Friedrich, Gedichte, Lyrische Gedichte, First Book. Fatherland, Chapter Two. Poems of time. 1814. 1815, The graves at Ottensen, First grave. In: Retrieved January 18, 2015 .
  25. ^ Eberhard von Wiese: Hamburg. People - destinies . Ullstein 1967. p. 260
  26. ^ Friedrich Hammer: The Christian Church in Ottensen. Alster Verlag, Hamburg 1938, DNB 573992495 , p. 48.

Coordinates: 53 ° 32 '49 "  N , 9 ° 55' 58"  E