Paulinerkirche (Leipzig)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paulinerkirche on Augustusplatz in 1948 (view from the east).
Memorial plaque on the university building

The Paulinerkirche (actually University Church of St. Pauli , popular name "Unikirche", "Paulinerkirche" after the Dominicans called regionally also "Pauliner" - see also Dominican monastery St. Pauli Leipzig ) was a Protestant church in the inner city of Leipzig on Augustusplatz . The building, consecrated in 1240 , was the St. Pauli abbey church of a Dominican monastery . After its dissolution in 1543, all buildings of the monastery were removed as part of the secularization of Leipzig University assigned.

The university church, which had survived the Second World War , was blown up in 1968 at the instigation of the university and following a resolution by the SED- led city administration. In its place today stands the Paulinum - Aula and St. Pauli University Church , a new building that takes up elements of the former church in its architecture.

On the 1st of Advent 2017, Regional Bishop Carsten Rentzing consecrated the new St. Pauli University Church with a festive service. On August 18, 2018, the first church wedding took place there after a 50-year break .


Dominican monastery church

After a Dominican convent had settled within the Leipzig city wall, construction began as a convent church in 1231 on the square next to the Grimma Gate . The Pauline Church was consecrated in 1240.

Typical of the architecture of the mendicant orders in the 13th century was the monastery church with a single-nave choir and three- nave nave . In 1393, the Marienkapelle donated by the Pflugk family was added to the north side . From the middle of the 15th century, the Haugkwitzsche and Leimbachsche Kapelle (east of the Pflugkschen) and the Thümmelsche Kapelle (west of the Pflugkschen) followed.

University Church

Since the University of Leipzig was founded in 1409, the history of the Paulinerkirche has been closely linked to that of the university. For centuries, the monastery church was a preferred burial place for university members, whose need for representation was expressed in artistically sophisticated epitaphs . Those buried here include the lawyer Johann Christoph Marci , his son-in-law city judge Johann Caspar Pflaume , the historian and philologist Christian Friedrich Franckenstein and the lawyer Benedikt Carpzov the Younger , whose epitaph was the first to be fully restored in 2011. Another epitaph, that of the physician Johannes Hoppe , was restored in January 2014.

After the Reformation had spread, the Dominican Convention was dissolved in 1539: the monastery was secularized and transferred to the University of Leipzig in 1543. In the course of the reconstruction of the church into a Protestant house of worship, altars were torn down in 1542/1543, the rood screen removed and all chapels on the north side torn down, except for the plow through which the church was accessed from Grimmaische Strasse.

In 1545 the Paulinerkirche was consecrated by Martin Luther as a Protestant university church. Since then, the church has served both as a worship room and as an auditorium for academic ceremonies. In 1617 another chapel was built west of the Pflugkschen, the Schwendendörff Chapel. In 1717 the organ, newly built by the Saxon master organ builder Johann Scheibe, was examined by Johann Sebastian Bach .

Redesign in the 19th century

Pauline Church with neo-Gothic additions such as rose window and pinnacle , view 1904

During the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, the church served as a prison camp and hospital. After 1785 occurred razing of the fortifications and the former the city wall facing facade of the church was for later Augustusplatz out free. For the construction of the Augusteum by Albert Geutebrück as the new main building of the university from 1831 to 1836, the former monastery buildings adjoining the church in the south were demolished, which until then had been used by the university with almost no renovation. The facade of the church facing Augustusplatz was adapted to the classicist facade of the Augusteum in 1836 . Around 1841 Johann Gottlob Mende built a new main organ. In 1844 the chapels on the north side were finally torn down.

With the redesign of the Augusteum in 1897 in the Neo-Renaissance style by Arwed Roßbach , the church also received a new façade, this time in the neo-Gothic style. As a transition of the church at its western gable for newly built Albertinum one was campanileähnlicher tower built. All of the church's glass windows were created by Alexander Linnemann and his son Otto from Frankfurt am Main .

Around 1900 the company Johannes Jahn , Dresden, built a small organ. The Eule company, Bautzen , later expanded it. It has eight registers and served as a school organ.

The unequal but harmonious building ensemble of Paulinerkirche and Augusteum determined the west side of Augustusplatz from 1836 until its destruction.

Post war era, town planning and demolition of the church

View from the west, 1951

From the beginning of 1946 until it was blown up in 1968, the Paulinerkirche also served as a place of worship for the parish of the Catholic Provost Church of the Holy Trinity , which had lost its church in an air raid in December 1943.

In 1948 the Eule company rebuilt the main organ. It then had 80 registers on four manuals and a pedal.

Immediately after the war, Augustusplatz was renamed “Karl-Marx-Platz”, the university in 1953 “Karl-Marx-Universität”. Planning by the city administration for the redesign of the university complex provided for the establishment of a political and cultural center that should present Leipzig as a socialist city. At the beginning of the 1960s , the decision to abandon, i.e. demolish, the old university complex was made. The new building was delayed year after year. The decisive architectural competition was not held until January 1968. The new building complex was a compromise design from the work of a Dresden office and the Berlin office of the GDR star architect Hermann Henselmann .

In May 1968, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the SED , chaired by Walter Ulbricht, confirmed the development plan for Leipzig's Karl-Marx-Platz including the demolition of the Paulinerkirche. The university's senate approved the redesign on May 16 and the Leipzig city ​​council on May 23. The only dissenting vote in the city council came from Hans-Georg Rausch , CDU member, pastor and IM of the MfS . However, resistance arose, especially in the theological faculty . The then theology student Nikolaus Krause was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment for "internal protest" against the demolition. A group of students from the Theological Seminary in Leipzig protested on the day of the demolition and was sentenced to prison terms.

The employees of the Institute for the Preservation of Monuments were not allowed to enter the church. Peter Findeisen , a freelancer, was not affected by the ban. In a very short time he created an inventory to organize the rescue of the interior. Within a week before the demolition, he and a group of stonemasons succeeded in dismantling and rescuing a large part of the interior of the church. Eighty pieces of equipment, including several epitaphs, grave slabs from the 15th century, wooden statues from the 14th century, a crucifix and 18 liturgical implements have been preserved.

The Jahn / Eule organ was saved from destruction through the initiative of Winfried Schrammek , but was improperly dismantled under time pressure. From then on she stood in the parish hall of St. The organ builder Gerd-Christian Bochmann, Kohren-Sahlis , extensively restored it. Since 1995 it has been on permanent loan from the University of Leipzig to the Petersgemeinde. Now it is used as an accompanying instrument in St. Peter's Church.

The long-time organist and choirmaster of the Leipzig Propsteigemeinde, Kurt Grahl , is said to have played on the main organ until he was sent from the church while the demolition team was already drilling the holes for the explosive charges. This, with the prospectus from Mende, could not be expanded in the short time and fell victim to the demolition. The floor slabs of the church were secretly torn out during the May nights in 1968, and the approximately 800 graves in a three-story crypt under the church were looted. The Paulinerkirche was blown up on Thursday, May 30, 1968 at 9:58 a.m. The rubble was then dumped into the Etzoldsche sand pit in Leipzig- Probstheida . Isolated protests led to several arrests and, in some cases, investigations by the State Security that lasted several years .

On June 20, 1968, as a protest against the demolition in the Leipzig Congress Hall in front of the audience of the III. International Bach Competition automatically receives a large yellow poster with an outline drawing of the church, the year 1968 with a cross behind it and the words “We call for reconstruction”. The five young physicists Harald Fritzsch , Dietrich Koch , Eckhard Koch , Rudolf Treumann and Stefan Welzk were involved . Treumann from Potsdam painted the banner. This poster protest was the only one to attract international attention. The investigations of the state security lasted until the 1970s, of which the population was no longer aware. It was only after the fall of the Wall that the fate of Dietrich Koch became known, who had been arrested for denouncing . He was the only person involved in the poster protest who was convicted of it.

“Installation Paulinerkirche” in front of the old university building, which was demolished in 2007

Where the gable wall of the Pauline Church was, the new building of the university, which was completed by 1974, received a bronze relief with the title Aufbruch , which was dominated by the head of Karl Marx , the university's new namesake .

To commemorate the destruction of the Paulinerkirche, the artist Axel Guhlmann installed the "Installation Paulinerkirche" on the wall of the main university building in 1998, a 34-meter-high steel structure that traces the church gable in its original size.

New building

After discussions about the redesign of the university grounds at the end of the 1990s and controversial plans, the new construction of the university complex, which also contains a church-like building, the Paulinum - auditorium and university church, began in 2007 according to plans by Erick van Egeraat . It was inaugurated on the first weekend in December 2017 after long construction delays.


  • Cornelius Gurlitt : Pauline Church. In:  Descriptive representation of the older architectural and art monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony. 17th booklet: City of Leipzig (Part I) . CC Meinhold, Dresden 1895, p. 88.
  • Cornelius Gurlitt : Paulinum. In:  Descriptive representation of the older architectural and art monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony. 17th booklet: City of Leipzig (Part I) . CC Meinhold, Dresden 1895, p. 213.
  • Paulinerverein, MDR, Bild Zeitung Leipzig and Verlag Kunst und Touristik (Ed.): University Church Leipzig, a dispute? , Verlag Kunst und Touristik, Leipzig 1992, ISBN 3-928802-23-2 .
  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk : "Stay here and watch ..." The University Church of Leipzig 1240–1968 - a documentation . Audio book (2 CDs) with audio documents for the Mende / Eule organ, Leipzig 1992, order number ob.01.218 ( DNB 94009990X ).
  • Elisabeth Hütter: The Pauliner University Church in Leipzig. History and meaning. Published by the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments in Saxony and the University of Leipzig. Weimar 1993, ISBN 3-7400-0916-0 (accepted as a dissertation in Leipzig in 1961).
  • State Office for Monument Preservation Saxony (Ed.): City of Leipzig - The sacred buildings. Vol. 1. Edited by Heinrich Magirius. (= The architectural and art monuments of Saxony, vol. 1), Munich a. a. 1995, ISBN 3-422-00568-4
  • Katrin Löffler: The destruction. Documents and memories on the fall of the Leipzig University Church. Leipzig 1993, ISBN 3-7462-1068-2 .
  • Christian Winter: Violence against History. The way to the demolition of the University Church Leipzig. (= Work on church and theological history. 2). Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-374-01692-8 .
  • Dietrich Koch: The interrogation. Destruction and resistance. 3 vol., Hille, Dresden 2000, ISBN 3-932858-38-7 .
  • Johannes Beleites: Protest against a church demolition and its consequences .. In: Horch und Guck , Heft 36 (4/2001), pp. 69–70; Article on the net .
  • Rudolf Scholz: Leipzig's last hero or the life of the pastor Hans-Georg Rausch (with a life picture of the theology student Nikolaus Krause). Dingsda-Verlag, Querfurt 2002, ISBN 3-928498-85-1 .
  • Frank Zöllner (Ed.): Memory of memory. The medieval furnishings of the Leipzig University Church St. Pauli. (= Contributions to the history of Leipzig universities and science, series B, vol. 8), Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-374-02328-2 .
  • Dietrich Koch / Eckhard Koch: Kulturkampf in Leipzig. Memorandum on the reconstruction debate at the St. Pauli University Church. Softcover, 172 pp., 71 b / w illustrations, 1st edition 2006, ISBN 3-931801-20-9 .
  • Karin Wieckhorst / Johannes Beleites: I would not have been able to take the photos without a tripod , in: Horch und Guck , Heft 58 (2/2007), pp. 42–43; Article on the net
  • Rüdiger Lux / Martin Petzoldt (eds.): Destroyed, expelled - but not extinguished. Commemoration of the demolition of the St. Pauli University Church in Leipzig after 40 years. Leipzig and Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-933816-39-9 .
  • Ulrich Stötzner u. a .: Consecrated by Luther, blown up by the SED - Leipzig University and the reconstruction of the Paulinerkirche in: Sigler, Sebastian: Stand - and stand. Festschrift for Klaus Gerstein, Essen 2010, pp. 93-102, ISBN 978-3-939413-13-4 .
  • Stefan Welzk: Leipzig 1968. Our protest against the church demolition and its consequences. (= Series of publications by the Saxon State Commissioner for the Stasi Records, Vol. 11). EVA , Leipzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-374-02849-8 .
  • Rainer Kößling, Doreen Zerbe: Goodbye world I'm out of it now. Memorial inscriptions on tombstones and epitaphs of the St. Pauli University Church in Leipzig , ed. u. a. v. Rudolf Hiller von Gaertringen (= contributions to the history of universities and science in Leipzig, Series A, Vol. 7), EVA , Leipzig 2011, ISBN 978-3-374-02707-1 .
  • Martin Helmstedt and Ulrich Stötzner: Destroyed, buried, rebuilt - the University Church of St. Pauli in Leipzig. Thoughts and Documents. Publisher: Paulinerverein Leipzig - Citizens' Initiative for the Reconstruction of the University Church and Augusteum in Leipzig e. V. Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-374-04040-7 ( DNB 1063050952 ).

Web links

Commons : Paulinerkirche  - collection of pictures

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ingrid Hildebrandt: The first wedding in the new Leipzig University Church. In: Leipziger Volkszeitung . August 18, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018 .
  2. Most of them were salvaged before the demolition and are currently being restored.
  3. Saved works of art from the university church are being restored , article (with image) in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung , March 31, 2011, accessed on March 31, 2011.
  4. The Leipzig Resurrection ; in FAZ , January 13, 2014, p. 30.
  5. Dorothea and Timotheus Arndt: Die Kirche zu Podelwitz (Edition Akanthus), page 22 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  6. ↑ Catalog of works in the Linnemann archive.
  7. a b Peterskirche Leipzig: Organs. Retrieved January 26, 2018 (German).
  8. ^ Friends of Propsteimusik Leipzig eV in Gudrun Schröder Verlag Leipzig (ed.): The Vleugels organ in the Propsteikirche St. Trinitatis Leipzig - Festschrift for the consecration of the organ on September 27, 2015 in Leipzig . Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-926196-73-6 , pp. 37 .
  9. HERMANN EULE ORGELBAU - History 1929–1957. Retrieved August 16, 2019 .
  10. The organ disposition can be found in the following work: Freunde der Propsteimusik Leipzig eV in Gudrun Schröder Verlag Leipzig (ed.): The Vleugels organ in the Propsteikirche St. Trinitatis Leipzig - Festschrift for the consecration of the organ on September 27, 2015 in Leipzig . Leipzig 2015, ISBN 978-3-926196-73-6 , pp. 43 .
  11. Ernst Koch in an interview in: Peter Grimm / Frank Wolfgang Sonntag : The influence of the Theological Seminary in Leipzig on the civil rights movement of the GDR in the ARD magazine FAKT on October 7, 2014, 9:45 p.m.
  12. The whole action has shaped , information of the Federal Foundation for the processing of the SED dictatorship , p. 4.
  13. 50 years ago the SED had the Leipzig university church blown up. In: DOMRADIO.DE . May 30, 2018, accessed May 6, 2019 .
  14. Evelyn Finger : The fear of the church. In: The time . May 30, 2018, accessed April 17, 2020 .
  15. See Dietrich Koch: The interrogation. Destruction and resistance. (Lit.)

Coordinates: 51 ° 20 ′ 20.1 ″  N , 12 ° 22 ′ 47.9 ″  E