Lorenz Church (Salzwedel)

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St. Lorenz from the northeast

The Lorenzkirche is the Catholic church in Salzwedel . The originally three-aisled basilica , which was built during the transition from Romanesque to Gothic , belongs to the Romanesque Road . Due to its eventful history, the church building has a great variety of shapes and materials used.


South side
West side - to the left of the main nave you can see the side aisle, which was rebuilt in the 20th century
Interior towards the altar

The Laurentius - Patrozinium points to an early formation and a possible pre-Romanesque previous building, but no traces were found of that. From the location on the southern edge of the freedom of Salzwedel Castle, it can be concluded that it was originally the parish church of the Burgmannen .

Today's St. Lorenz Church was built in the middle of the 13th century. It was a three-nave brick - basilica without transept in late Romanesque built transitional forms. The central nave, which was initially flat-roofed, was given a Gothic vault around 1400 . In the second half of the 15th century, the choir was also vaulted . At the end of the 15th century the vaults of the main nave were already being renewed.

Because of the proximity of the St. Marien Church , St. Lorenz lost its function as a parish church early on. In the church, however, the bone carvers and religious brotherhoods maintained altars and celebrated services.

From 1541, after the Reformation was introduced , the Lorenz Church was no longer used for services. On the orders of the Elector of Brandenburg, it was used as a salt store from 1692 ( Königliche Salzfactorey ). In the early 18th century, the aisles were demolished and the arcades walled up. In 1794 the tower on the west side of the nave was also demolished. Only a rectangular entrance room remained, in which, however, the original groin vault , the oldest in Salzwedel, is still located. In 1859 the Catholic diocese of Paderborn acquired the building, which had been badly damaged by the long period of salt storage. Due to the severe damage to the building, there had been plans for a complete demolition beforehand. After renovation, the Lorenz Church has been used by the Catholic community of Salzwedels since November 4, 1860.

A comprehensive renovation took place between 1962 and 1964. This was also necessary because the materials used during the renovation carried out 100 years earlier turned out to be unsuitable. The north aisle was rebuilt on the Romanesque foundations more than 200 years after its demolition. In accordance with the requirements of the Halle monument authority, the aisle was built in a contemporary style. Another renovation (design of the choir room and plastering) took place between 1983 and 1990.

Since 1973 the parish and parish church of St. Lorenz belonged to the Apostolic Administration of Magdeburg, which was established at the time and from which the diocese of Magdeburg emerged in 1994 . On October 1st, 2006, the association of municipalities "Salzwedel- Apenburg - Arendsee - Dehre " was founded, which on May 2nd, 2010 was merged into a parish. In 2015 the church in Dehre was closed, since then the services have been held there in the evangelical community room.

Design and equipment

Due to the changeable history of the church, practically nothing of the original furnishings has been preserved. During a search excavation, only a small bronze candlestick dating from 1240 to 1250 could be found. A permanent loan to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Danneil-Museum has been agreed.

However, many details from the Romanesque period have been preserved on the structure itself. In addition to the structure of the building with black molded bricks, the medieval architectural ornamentation is present in the walls of the nave and in the choir. Three large circular screens shape the appearance of the rectangular choir. The window reveals are decorated with round bars.

The interior of the nave is divided by niches. Four round windows characterize the upper storey . The arcade pillars of the central nave are designed in different shapes.

The sacristy that exists today was built in the late Gothic style.

The bell in its current configuration has been in operation since August 13, 2017. The largest bell, named after the parish patron St. Laurentius, was cast in 2017 by master bell founder Simon Laudy from Groningen (Netherlands) after a crack was found in one of the two bells from 1942. A second bell, also cast from a zinc-aluminum alloy in 1942, is still in use today. The third bell comes from the secular church of St. Antonius von Padua from Dehre and has been hanging in Salzwedel since 2017.

Todays use

St. Lorenz is the parish church of the Catholic parish St. Laurentius, it belongs to the deanery of Stendal in the diocese of Magdeburg . As a stop on the Romanesque Road , the church is also a tourist attraction. It is also valued as a space for concerts - especially in winter because of the underfloor heating.


  • Marion Schmidt: On the Romanesque Road. Schmidt-Buch-Verlag, Wernigerode 1993, various editions, ISBN 3-928977-20-2 , p. 37 ff.
  • Johannes Werner: Chronicle of the cath. Parish of St. Lorenz in Salzwedel. Salzwedel 2002

Web links

Commons : Lorenzkirche Salzwedel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. after Irene Roch, 1993 ( Memento from February 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  2. http://www.bistum-magdeburg.de/front_content.php?idcat=1415&idart=2492&lang=5
  3. http://www.bistum-magdeburg.de/front_content.php?client=4&lang=5&idcat=2760&idart=14430
  4. Proclaim love and peace. Salzwedel is happy about the new bell . In: bistum-magdeburg.de, accessed on August 18, 2017.

Coordinates: 52 ° 51 ′ 2.1 ″  N , 11 ° 8 ′ 59.7 ″  E