Christoph von Neuenkirchen

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Mellenthin moated castle

Christoph von Neuenkirchen , also Neikirch , (* July 25, 1567 ; † June 9, 1641 in Lübeck ) was the last offspring of a Pomeranian noble family and councilor of the Dukes of Pomerania .


The noble Pomeranian family von Neuenkirchen had owned the Mellenthin and Gothen estates on Usedom since 1336 and Vorwerk since 1426 , the latter located between Greifswald and Wolgast . The family name is probably related to the family seat in the area around Neuenkirchen (near Anklam) , where the Müggenburg also belonged to it in the 14th century , but which it later lost.


Christoph von Neuenkirchen was the older son of the Junker Rüdiger von Neukirchen , who had the moated castle built in Mellenthin as the family seat, and Ilsabe von Eickstedt from the Rothenklempenow family . He was “born into this world at the Mellintin family” on July 25, 1567. After initial training in Anklam with the local rector, Magister Daniel Schütze, he moved to Leipzig and Jena at the age of 16 to attend the universities there. Then he went to the court of the Lord Master of the Order of St. John in Schwedt and from there to the court of Duke Ernst Ludwig of Pomerania in Wolgast, where he was accepted as court squire. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed table servant and "precutter" at the ducal table, in which service he remained until Ernst Ludwig's death in 1592. He then followed the widow Sophia Hedwig to her widow's residence in Loitz . After the death of his father (1594), Christoph von Neuenkirchen and his friend Henning von der Osten went on an educational journey (see Grand Tour ) through Germany, France, England and the Netherlands. When he returned, he took over the management of the feudal estates as the eldest son.

He was appointed captain of the offices of Usedom and Pudagla by Duke Philipp Julius . Since he proved himself in this office, he was later appointed Castle Captain von Wolgast and Privy Councilor of Duke Philipp Julius. In 1603, Christoph von Neuenkirchen was first mentioned in a document as a bailiff on Usedom. Since the Reformation, the Usedom Office has also included the extensive property of the Pudagla Monastery on the island of Usedom. He was the most powerful at the beginning of the 17th century thanks to his own property and the administration of the ducal property on Usedom , to which further possessions in the north-west and in the far east ( Westswine ) of the island were added later through the additional takeover of the administrative authority of Wolgast Man on the island of Usedom.

As captain of the Wolgast Castle , he was briefly captured in the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War in fights between King Christian IV of Denmark and Wallenstein for Wolgast in 1628. After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke, Bogislaw XIV , he left his home country, like other former ducal advisors, and moved to Lübeck.

From his brother, the court marshal Hans von Neuenkirchen , after his death in 1624 he inherited the Lindenberg office , which he had acquired as pledge from the last Duke of Wolgast, Philipp Julius , as well as the neighboring Mecklenburg office of Ivenack , which was also acquired as a pledge .

In 1641 he made his will in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck . In this he favored especially since he had no children, his sister's son Joachim Kuehne of Owstin , but also the Mecklenburg Duke Adolf Friedrich I .

Gravestone in St. Marien

He died childless in Lübeck and was buried there in the Marienkirche . Jacob Kockert , Johann Kirchmann and the Jakobipastor Gerhard Winter (1589–1661) wrote him funeral papers. His grave slab with a Latin inscription is preserved there on the south side of the ambulatory on the fourth choir pillar. His extensive property was distributed among the numerous heirs and soon after 1648 came into Swedish hands with the establishment of Swedish Pomerania (see also: Wrangelsburg Castle and Mellenthin Castle ).

Literary processing

The Usedomer island chronicler Robert Burkhardt published a novel in 1911 under the title: "The Last New Churches". In the well-known novel " Maria Schweidler, the Amber Witch " by Koserow pastor Wilhelm Meinhold , a junker from Neuenkirchen also plays, who as a noble knight gives the counterpart to the evil bailiff Appelmann. Behind the two figures are obviously Christoph von Neuenkirchen and Peter Appelmann , who under the Swedish Queen Christina was tenant of the Pudagla office and at times even governor of all her properties in Swedish Pomerania. In fact, these two people could never have met, because Christoph von Neuenkirchen was long dead when Appelmann appeared in Pomerania.


  • Gerhard Winter : Praeparatio Mortis This is Christian and Necessary Teaching How a person should be ready and well prepared at the right time and on healthy days / against death: Taken from the holy Ertzfather and Patriarch Jacobs Historia / which can be found in the 1st book Mosis Capite 32. à vers. 1. ad 24. To strange honorary memorial / Des ... Christoff von Newkirchen / been a princely Pomeranian / in the Volgastian government / making a secret council / castle chief on Wolgast and Pudgla / on Vorwerck Mellentin ... heirs ... which all here in Lübeck / Anno 1641. June 9th ... departed from this desolate world / and fell asleep in God / and then July 15th ... confirmed here in S. Marien Kirch zur Erden / written in writing ... by M. Gerhardum Winter, pastor to S. Jacobs Kirch. Lübeck: Meyer 1641 ( digitized , Berlin State Library , tied two more grief writings of Johann Kirchmann and Jacob Kockert )
  • Knightly grave hall and last honor memorial To the former ... Christoff v. Newkirchen ... Greyffswald bey Jacob Jegern in the year of Christ 1641 (funeral sermon to Christoph von Neuenkirchen).
  • Gustav Schaumann , Friedrich Bruns (editor): The architectural and art monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck. Edited by the building deputation. Volume 2, part 2: The Marienkirche. Nöhring, Lübeck 1906 ( digitized version ), p. 401.
  • Hellmut Hannes : A Pomeranian grave monument in the Marienkirche in Lübeck . In: Pomerania. Art-history-folklore . Vol. 23 (1985), No. 1, pp. 9-14.
  • Dirk Schleinert : Neuenkirchen, Christoph von (1567-1641) , in: Biographisches Lexikon für Pommern, Vol. 1 , Böhlau , Köln-Weimar-Wien 2013, pp. 204–207.

Web links

Commons : Christoph von Neuenkirchen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. Dirk Schleinert : The history of the island of Usedom. Hinstorff Verlag, Rostock 2005, ISBN 3-356-01081-6 , p. 48
  2. Ritterliches GrabMaal and last honor memorial to the former ... Christoff v. Newkirchen ... Greyffswald bey Jacob Jegern in the year of Christ 1641, p. 84
  3. Hellmut Hannes : A Pomeranian grave monument in the Marienkirche in Lübeck. In: Pomerania. Kunst-Geschichte-Volkstum , 23rd vol. (1985), issue 1, pp. 9-14, on p. 10 the text of the inscription. Complete text with explanation and translation by: Adolf Clasen : Vermute Schätze - Lübeck's Latin inscriptions in the original and in German. Lübeck 2002, ISBN 3-7950-0475-6 , p. 46 ff.