Paul Gerhardt Church (Mannheim)
Towards the middle of the 19th century, due to the growing population, the old urban area of Mannheim became too small, so that the residential development gradually encroached on the right side of the Neckar , today's Neckarstadt. A vicariate was set up for the Protestant residents in 1875 and the Luther Church was built in 1884 , which was replaced by a larger new building after just twenty years due to the rapid population growth. In 1888 the first and in 1904 the second parish was established at the Luther Church. Even after that, the number of inhabitants continued to rise rapidly, so that in 1925 the third parish, the so-called Western Parish, was established. In 1931 a community center was built for them in Eggenstrasse, today's Paul-Gerhardt-Strasse.
Over time, it turned out to be impractical that three parishes had to share one church and that the Luther Church was outside the parish boundaries of the western parish. In 1955 the community named itself after the hymn poet Paul Gerhardt and in 1959 the foundation stone was laid for its own church. The new church was inaugurated on March 12, 1961. In 1971 Hilde Bitz became pastor of the Paul Gerhard congregation. She was the first female pastor in the Evangelical Church in Baden and stayed in Neckarstadt until 1982.
The Paul Gerhardt Church is in the north of Neckarstadt-West on the busy Waldhofstrasse. The architects reacted to this situation with a cube closed to the street. On the opposite side is the parish hall, which is connected to the church with an inner courtyard. In the courtyard, which is closed with concrete honeycomb walls, there is a fountain and the open bell tower . The ringing consists of three bells that were cast in 1960 in the Bachert bell foundry in Karlsruhe. The big bell "Golgatha" sounds with the nominal c´, the middle bell "Wartburg" with the nominal es´ and the small bell "Lübben" with the nominal f´. The three outer walls of the church are clad with yellow clinker brick . On the south side there is an inscription that quotes from the Paul Gerhardt song Go out, my heart, and seek Freud (EG 503 / RG 537 / AK 658 / F & L 493):
- My heart should incline to God's praise again and again in this and all place
The wall facing the inner courtyard, on the other hand, is completely glazed, so that the view of the parish hall, on which there is a slate mosaic by Blasius Spreng , falls . The interior is clad with red brick masonry. On the ceiling there is a visible construction made of tubular steel octahedra .
- Udo Wennemuth: History of the Protestant Church in Mannheim . Sigmaringen 1996, ISBN 3-7995-0930-5 .
- Sabine Ningel: The Luther Community in the Neckarstadt and its subsidiaries . In: 125 years Neckarstadt: A district is celebrating a birthday . Mannheim 1997.
- Andreas Schenk: Architectural Guide Mannheim . Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-496-01201-3 .