Martinskirche (Apolda)

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Construction year: before 1119
Architectural style : Romanesque / Gothic
Space: 150 people
Location: 51 ° 1 '27 "  N , 11 ° 30' 39"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 1 '27 "  N , 11 ° 30' 39"  E
Location: Apolda
Thuringia , Germany
Purpose: evangelical church

The Martin Church in Apolda is a Protestant church, whose earliest parts date back to Roman times.


The Apoldaer Martinskirche is mentioned for the first time in 1119. In fact remains are still Romanesque masonry and a Roman altar - foundation exists. The two room-dividing round arches with their capitals (especially the cube capitals of the front arch) and the central portals on the north and south sides also point to the Romanesque.

Originally the church was outside the city walls near the confluence of the Herressener and Schötener Bach.

At the time of the Gothic style, the church must have been changed. However, modifications and extensions are only documented from 1671. An official re-inauguration after a construction phase started in 1683 took place in 1700. In 1776 an embellishment was carried out.

As early as the 18th century there were efforts to build a larger church for the rapidly growing industrial city of Apolda. With the construction of the Luther Church in 1894, the Martinskirche then lost its importance as a town church. During the last major renovation in 1925/1926, the nave was separated from the choir. This construction project was led by the architect Bang-Haas from Weimar . Since 1926 only the front part of the building (Martinskapelle) has been used continuously by the parish, today again for the weekly Sunday services.

In 1973/1974 the current Martinskirche was renovated and redesigned - Horst Jahresling was the advisor at the time . The choir was restored and the renaissance pulpit and old altar disappeared. In 1980 the tail tower was re-loaded. The last renovation of the interior took place in 2003. The choir room now offers space for 100 visitors.


Baptismal font of the Martinskirche

The Gothic baptismal font , the pulpit (1666) with inlaid fields and figures, the crucifix (renewed in 1776) and the altar with inlaid fields, which was made in 1926 from parts of the baroque altar , have been preserved. The Moses figure , which originally served as the base of the pulpit, is now set up separately. In 1926 the large window was also installed behind the altar. It comes from the Ferdinand Müller glass painting establishment in Quedlinburg and is a foundation of the bell founder Schilling. With its impressive colors it gives the room a special consecration.

The lords of the castle of Apolda, the counts of Vitzthum , used the Martinskirche as a family grave, while the residents buried their dead in the surrounding cemetery, today's Kantplatz. The following tombs are located in the church:

- Catarina von Vitzthum born von Binau zu Dresig (* around 1496; † 1558), wife of Christof von Vitzthum
- Christof von Vitzthum (* around 1483; † 1559)
- Catarina von Vitzthum († 1559), daughter of Moritz von Vitzthum, apparently died as a child
- a women's grave from 1588/1589, only identified by the names Binaw, Vitzthumb, Marschalk and Lichdenhayn
- Friderich von Vitzthum (* around 1521; † 1591), son of Christof von Vitzthum

The first four mentioned tombs of the Vitzthum family are provided with plastic depictions of the deceased.

During the renovation of the floor in 2003, a Romanesque altar foundation was discovered, which has since been viewed through glass panes.


It is not known since when bells have been hanging and ringing in Martinskirche. Only for the year 1730 is there evidence that there were two bells in the church. They were cast by the Apolda bell caster Johann Christoph Rose, but nothing is known about the size, pitch, weight or decoration. In 1854, the church bells were cast for the second time. The bell foundry in today's Bernhardstrasse was commissioned with this. It is not known why the bells were cast again.

The little bell was called the “school bell” and indicated the quarter of an hour when the clock struck. It was probably used as a signal bell for the Sophia School opposite, today's Pestalozzi School. The strike note was given as c sharp 2 . Their mass was 180 kg and the diameter of the lower edge was 70 cm. The inscriptions read:

  • on the flanks: I call the living and mourn the dead. as well as sounding bronze, consecrated by love, is ready for us to serve the Most High.
  • at the top: God bless and protect Apolda.
  • on the lower edge: Cast by CF Ulrich here in 1854.

The big bell was called "Baptism Bell" and was also used as a clock bell for the hour strike. Their strike tone was G sharp 1 . The bell weighed 475 kg and had a bottom diameter of 96 cm. It bore the inscription: Peaceful peace, sweet unity, stand kindly over this city. Let the little children come to me and do not prevent them, for of such is the kingdom of God. Cast by Carl Friedrich Ulrich in 1854. The bell was melted down during the First World War in June 1917 and replaced four years later by a similar bell, which, however, bore a different inscription: Sacrificed for the fatherland in distress, I rose again from embers; In God's name may my ringing lead to better times! 1917–1921 as well as Franz Schilling and sons in Apolda cast me in the year of the Lord in 1921 . The replacement bell was a gift from the Schilling company.

During the Second World War , on February 3 and 4, 1942, both bells were removed from the tower and melted down.

As one of the first post-war casts, master bell founder Franz Schilling from Apolda created a replacement for the small bell in 1946, which still hangs in the tower of Martinskirche today. The striking note was determined to be c sharp 2 . Their lower edge diameter is 72 cm. On the upper edge is written in capital letters: Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) . The crown is four-pointed.

The oldest bell on the Apolda church towers is the current big bell in the Martinskirche. It was cast in 1503 and initially hung in the church tower in Zottelstedt . In 1955 it was sold to the parish of Apolda. It has a lower rim diameter of 96 cm and is tuned to the strike note G sharp 1 . The bell bears the inscription on the upper edge: Anno dni mccccciii + consolor viva + fleo mortva + pello nociva (In the year of the Lord 1503. I comfort the living, weep the dead, drive away what is harmful) . Your crown is six-pointed. The founder is not known. The bell rang in Apolda for the first time at Christmas 1956.


Since 1593 the Martinskirche had an organ from Rastenberg . This instrument was repaired by Ludwig Compenius in 1667 . The remains of the old organ (originally 25 stops on two manuals) point to the 17th century. It could be a work by the Apolda organ builder Peter Herold , who died in 1700. The organ was rebuilt several times and finally largely destroyed by vandalism in the 20th century .

A second, pneumatic instrument was installed in the newly established Martin's Chapel in 1935 by the organ builder Gerhard Kirchner from Weimar. In 2003 it had to be removed and the decision was made to purchase an organ from the Paul Ott company in Göttingen , which was built in 1961 for the Protestant school in Dassel . Since then, this mechanical instrument has been used for church services and concerts.


  • Julius Constantin Cronfeld: History and description of the factory and trading town of Apolda and its immediate surroundings. Apolda, 1871; Reprint: Apolda, 1997; P. 23ff, p. 390f
  • Paul Lehfeldt: Architectural and art monuments of Thuringia. Issue 16, Jena, 1892, pp. 309-311
  • Ernst Stegmann (Hrsg.), Erwin Stein (Hrsg.): The city of Apolda. Berlin, 1931, pp. 111-117
  • Dieter Ullmann: Churches in and around Apolda . Weimar 1991 ISBN 3-86160-015-3
  • Thomas Bahr: Color in urban space and in churches. Horst Jahresling for his 85th birthday. In: Apoldaer Heimat. Contributions to the natural and local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings. 25th year, Apolda, 2007, p. 24
  • Daniel Vogt: The organs of the Martinskirche. In: Apoldaer Heimat. 25th year, Apolda, 2007, pp. 11-18
  • Apoldaer Heimat - Contributions to nature and the local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings. Born 1987/1997 Ed. Apoldaer Kulturverein e. V.
  • Ernst Fauer: The bells of the Martinskirche in Apolda . In: Apoldaer Geschichtsverein e. V. (Hrsg.): Apoldaer Heimat - Contributions to the nature and local history of the city of Apolda and its surroundings . Issue 15. Apolda 1997, p. 24-27 .

Individual evidence

  1. To the Ott organ

Web links

Commons : Martinskirche (Apolda)  - Collection of images