French Reformed Church (Offenbach am Main)

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French Reformed Church

The French Reformed Church in Offenbach am Main is a reformed church that is centrally located in the city center and was built in 1717/1718. It is used by the French Reformed Community of Offenbach. This belongs to the Evangelical Dean's Office Offenbach and thus to the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau . She is also a member of the Reformed Federation and the German Huguenot Society .


After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by the French King Louis XIV on October 18, 1685, which guaranteed the Calvinist Protestants in Catholic France religious tolerance and full civil rights, numerous Huguenots fled to Switzerland . From 1698, however , the Swiss cantons issued deportation orders for those who had fled because the cost of their care rose steadily. A group came to Offenbach in search of a suitable location for a recording. Count Johann Philipp von Isenburg-Offenbach , himself a member of the Reformed faith , guaranteed the refugees privileges and help without conditions in 1698. This laid the foundations for the establishment of the French Reformed community in Offenbach in 1699. From then on the congregation was allowed to use a room belonging to the German Reformed congregation. This was located in the castle chapel until 1703, later in the newly built Offenbach castle church .

Since the imperial city of Frankfurt am Main favored the guild system and Count Johann Philipp von Isenburg-Offenbach allowed the establishment of manufactories and factories , some Huguenots who had already found refuge in Frankfurt came to Offenbach.

On May 18, 1705, the count revoked the old privileges of 1698 and issued 24 articles extended rights and privileges that enabled the French Reformed congregation to found a politically self-administered new congregation. The guaranteed rights included the free practice of religion according to the French church order, the building of a separate church and school as well as the free choice of pastor, teacher and cantor. He made it clear that in the future mainly merchants and craftsmen should be accepted.

In 1713, Count Johann Philipp von Isenburg-Offenbach gave the parish a piece of land on the outskirts of the city, on which the construction of the church building finally began in 1717. The congregation obtained the financial means for the church building from donations from the Count, but also from the neighboring Reformed congregations in Frankfurt and Hanau . In addition, a mortgage was taken out on the rectory, which was completed in 1706 . The first service in French was held in the church's own building as early as 1718 . In 1999 the community celebrated its 300th anniversary in Offenbach am Main.

Church building

French Reformed Church around 1875
Rectory of the French Reformed Church

The church was built between 1717 and 1718 in the barn shape typical of Huguenot architecture. At that time the church building blended in inconspicuously into the existing development, today the church building is isolated between modern new buildings in the city center. The current appearance with the neo-baroque facade is based on a renovation from 1874/1875. The structural extensions in 1894, in which painted windows, coffered ceilings and a frieze were incorporated, were atypical for a building of the French Reformed Church . These decorations were removed in a later renovation. In 1913 the church was equipped with electric light and gas heating.

Through a private inheritance, the French Reformed Congregation came into the possession of the rectory almost opposite in the Herrnstrasse. This still serves as a community center and is a listed building . The baroque house from the first quarter of the 18th century receives its special status among the cultural monuments of Offenbach as one of the few surviving Huguenot houses.

On December 20, 1943, both the church and the rectory were badly damaged by bombs in an air raid during World War II . A final renovation could only be carried out in 1953, after a provisional repair was carried out in 1947. Just like the nearby Evangelical City Church , the French Reformed Church was originally integrated into the escape of the residential buildings on Herrnstrasse. Today it is free-standing and in the vicinity of buildings that are not to scale.

In accordance with the 2nd commandment of Reformed theology, there are hardly any embellishments inside the church. In 1838 the church received a 13-register organ, which was expanded in 1905 and is still used today after several renovations.

The church is a cultural monument according to the Hessian Monument Protection Act .


  • Presbytery of the French Reformed Congregation Offenbach am Main: Information sheet of the French Reformed Congregation Offenbach . 2nd Edition. May 1999.

Web links

Commons : French Reformed Church  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. State Office for the Preservation of Monuments Hesse (ed.): Herrnstrasse 43 In: DenkXweb, online edition of cultural monuments in Hesse .
  2. State Office for the Preservation of Monuments in Hesse (ed.): Herrnstrasse 66 In: DenkXweb, online edition of cultural monuments in Hesse .

Coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 23 "  N , 8 ° 45 ′ 43.4"  E