Predigerkirche (Erfurt)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Preacher Church from the southeast

The Predigerkirche is an originally built in the 13th century, today a Protestant church in the city center of the Thuringian state capital Erfurt .


The Predigerkirche is located in today's center of Erfurt's old town on the banks of the Gera. When the church was built in the early 13th century, the building site of the church was owned by the Vitzthum von Rustenberg , an archiepiscopal administrator from Eichsfeld . Archbishop Siegfried II of Mainz approved the construction of the church for a parcel that was located near the already existing Erfurt Paulskirche.


View from the northwest

The first evidence of preaching brothers in the city of Erfurt comes from 1229. There were four highly educated monks of the Paris convent who chose the route to Erfurt in order to spread Dominicus de Guzman's new ideas and to alleviate the social needs of the city population. Until the provisional completion of their church, the monks preached in public places and in churches of the city. The monks had rights evidenced by the Pope, which also allowed them to hear confession, to give indulgences and to bury the deceased, up to now the income-providing services of the parish clergy. The Dominicans gained so much influence in the city population and the nobility.

The first monastery buildings ( oratory and coenobium / cenobium) were consecrated in 1230 by Archbishop Siegfried II of Mainz for the Dominicans . The consecration of a first church by Bishop Engelhard von Naumburg dates back to 1238. The name of the preacher's church is derived from the Dominicans' denomination as preachers ( Ordo fratrum Praedicatorum ).

The current choir building of the Predigerkirche was roofed over in 1272/73, which emerges from a dendrochronological dating of the original roof structure that still exists today (which is one of the oldest roof structures in Germany).

The church and preacher monastery were the workplaces of the most important German mystic , Meister Eckhart , who was probably admitted to the monastery as a novice in 1274 at the age of about 14, later prior of the Erfurt monastery and 1303-1311 provincial with Erfurt's official seat of the order province of Saxonia.

The original church was demolished in 1340/50 and the construction of the nave began in a harmonious continuation of the existing choir (completion of the west facade in 1370/80, vaulting with ribbed vaults by 1445). This elongated "noble Gothic building", which is uniform in style despite the extremely long construction time, is considered the high point of the mendicant order style . The rather inconspicuous bell tower was built between 1447 and 1488. The (accessible) rood screen from the middle of the 15th century is a special feature; the old choir screen behind it, ie between the choir and rood screen and also between the choir and side aisles, date from around 1275. The Gothic winged altar shows scenes from the Passion and dates from around 1450.

lili rere
Winged altar

The year 1521 marked a turning point in the history of the Church. Magister Georg Forchheim gave the first Protestant sermon in front of the congregation. The religious and social upheavals that were subsequently referred to as the Reformation also led to new parish boundaries in the division of the Erfurt parishes, as not all believers were willing to follow the new teaching. The fifteen altars in the Predigerkirche, which were also important in terms of craftsmanship, were parted with in order to suppress the memory of the catholic image content and the “old teaching”. The council of the city of Erfurt also relied on the "New Doctrine" and designated the Preacher Church in 1559 as the main church of the council, in which all the ceremonies requested during the annual council change were combined with a solemn service. A wealthy councilor took over the cost of the "painting" of the nave and interior, which was renewed in 1574. The adjoining monastery remained in the possession of the Dominican Order until 1588. The monastery, which was then sold to the city council, was used as a secular educational facility, but continued the tradition of the Erfurt monastery schools as the forerunner of a city-center university.

Apparently the Erfurt Dominicans had an increased interest in the recovery of their former monastery buildings in the early 17th century and tried in vain to urge the council to make a decision. During the Thirty Years War (1618–1648) Erfurt and the Cyriaksberg were occupied in 1631 by Union troops from Gustav Adolf II of Sweden . The King of Sweden used the church as a court church during his presence in Erfurt. This worsened the situation of the religious clergy. Due to a lack of funds for building maintenance, parts of the monastery complex collapsed, the rest was probably a victim of the city fire of 1737. The preacher's church suffered only minor damage to the tower in this fire, while the majority of the adjacent buildings and neighboring churches burned out.

During the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, the church was used by the French as a prisoner-of-war camp and hay store, which led to damage, loss of inventory and the devastation of the sculptures and paintings. In 1808 a regular service could take place again. In 1811 the church was advertised for sale for demolition "on the orders of the emperor" Napoleon Bonaparte , whose "domain" was Erfurt. No buyer answered. Later, the Prussian master builder Karl Friedrich Schinkel campaigned for the building.

The Meister Eckhart portal

It was repaired around 1826, and from 1874 to 1908 the general interior and exterior renovation. The glass windows in the high choir were created by the glass painter Alexander Linnemann from Frankfurt in 1897–1898 .

In 1850, the Predigerkirche was initially intended as a meeting place for the Erfurt Union Parliament , which then met in the Augustinian monastery . When the German National Assembly had to evade the bloody revolution in Berlin in January 1919, Erfurt with its preacher church was also considered as an alternative.

During the Nazi era , the preaching community was also the scene of the church struggle . From 1938 to 1945 Gerhard Gloege , a leading member of the Confessing Church , was pastor at the Predigerkirche.

During the air raids on Erfurt in 1944/45, the church suffered indirect damage with the destruction of the windows and extensive roof covering. For some time she was exposed to the weather without any protection until the first safety measures began. On the initiative of Pastor Benckert, the Erfurt master Heinz Hajna made four colored "rubble windows" between 1946 and 1950 from broken pieces of windows from war-torn German Protestant churches. A comprehensive reconstruction of the church, which was planned before the war, took place from 1960 to 1964 under the direction of the restorer Käthe Menzel-Jordan . When the floor was renewed, more than 150, 80 of which were still well-preserved, large-format sandstone grave slabs from the 14th to 18th centuries were uncovered, which had been deposited in three layers and formed the substructure of the floor, which was renewed around 1900. Several intact burials with partially mummified dead came to light. Many of these stones showed characteristics of multiple use, pictures and writing mostly prove donors from Erfurt patrician families.

During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989/90, the people of Erfurt also met in the Predigerkirche before they formed the demonstration marches through the city. In October the New Forum held two plenary sessions with 1750 and 4000 participants in the church.

Securing the substance of the church and restoring the building were increasingly continued after the political change.

Building description

lili rere
The main portal of the church
inside view

The structure of the Predigerkirche has a length of 76 m and a width of about 19 m. The choir has a width (at the high altar) of 8.75 m. The average wall thickness on the nave is 1 m. The building, which faces east-west, has its main entrance on the west side. The tower and the chapter house of the monastery are located in the southeast corner. Inside the church, 30 columns (28 free-standing columns) bear the weight of the stone ceiling construction, which are lined with ribbed vaults. The pillars, erected in pairs, were usually provided with the same capital decoration, which, however, changed several times during the completion of the nave. There are buttresses only on the north side, while on the south side the former cloister took the place of the pillars. The width of the aisles is only half the width of the central nave (about 4 m by 8.2 m). The choir is separated from the nave by a rood screen.



In 1567 the new organ gallery was built with an organ by Heinrich Compenius the Elder . His grandson Ludwig Compenius built a baroque organ in 1650, which u. a. was played by Johannes Bach . After several modifications to this baroque organ, Walcker created a new work with 60 stops and pneumatic action around 1900, which was worn out in the 1950s. In 1978 the Potsdam company Alexander Schuke created a new organ behind the old prospectus from 1648, which was commissioned in 1963 .

The current organ has 56 registers with 4302 pipes . The sound tracts are mechanical, the register actions are electrical. Since 1994 Matthias Drei 30 has been organist at the Predigerkirche.

I main work C – a 3

1. Principal 16 ′
2. Principal 8th'
3. Coupling flute 8th'
4th Viola di gamba 8th'
5. Fifth 5 13
6th octave 4 ′
7th Gemshorn 4 ′
8th. Fifth 2 23
9. octave 2 ′
10. Large mixture VI
11. Small mixture IV
12. Trumpet 16 ′
13. Trumpet 8th'
II Swell C – a 3

14th Dumped 16 ′
15th Principal 8th'
16. Wooden flute 8th'
17th Pointed 8th'
18th Salicional 8th'
19th octave 4 ′
20th Night horn 4 ′
21st Rohrnassat 2 23
22nd Forest flute 2 ′
23. third 1 35
24. Pointed fifth 1 13
25th Sif flute 1'
26th Overtone II
27. Mixture V
28. Cymbel III
29 Dulcian 16 ′
30th oboe 8th'
III Positive C – a 3

31. Dumped 8th'
32. Quintadena 8th'
33. Principal 4 ′
34. Reed flute 4 ′
35. Sesquialtera II 2 23
36. octave 2 ′
37. Pointed flute 2 ′
38. Fifth 1 13
39. Scharff V
40. Cap rack 16 ′
41. Hopper shelf 8th'
Pedal C – f 1

42. Principal 16 ′
43. Open bass 16 ′
44. Sub bass 16 ′
45. Fifth 10 23
46. octave 8th'
47. Pointed flute 8th'
48. Bass aliquots IV
49. octave 4 ′
50. Pommer 4 ′
51. Flat flute 2 ′
52. Mixture VI
53. trombone 16 ′
54. Trumpet 8th'
55. Dulcian 8th'
56. Clairon 4 ′


  • Gerhard Kaiser: Predigerkirche in Erfurt. Schnell und Steiner publishing house, Regensburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-7954-5574-3 .
  • BR: The Preacher's Church after its restoration. Erfurt Heimatbrief No. 11, December 1965, pp. 50–54.
  • B. Steinbrück: The Erfurt mendicant churches. Erfurt Heimatbrief No. 36, May 1978, pp. 56-64.
  • Master Eckhart and his monastery. Editor on behalf of the parish council of the Evangelical Preacher Congregation Erfurt Verlag Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003, ISBN 3-451-28082-5 .
  • Anette Pelizaeus: The Predigerkirche in Erfurt. Studies on the Gothic architecture of mendicant orders and parish churches in Thuringia. Cologne 2004. ISBN 3-412-16403-8 .
  • Hook on the cross? The Evangelical Preacher Congregation Erfurt 1933 to 1945. Booklet accompanying the exhibition in the Predigerkirche in early summer 2016, 60 pages.

Individual evidence

  1. George Oergel: University and Academy Erfurt under foreign rule from 1806 to 1814. Yearbooks of the Royal Academy of Non-Profit Science in Erfurt. New series, booklet XXXI, Erfurt 1905. p. 255.
  2. Previous window in the high choir , accessed on September 3, 2015.
  3. hook on the cross? The Evangelical Preacher Congregation Erfurt 1933 to 1945. Booklet accompanying the exhibition in the Predigerkirche in the early summer of 2016, p. 7 ff.
  4. Preacher's Church . Retrieved August 18, 2020 .
  5. ^ Organ of the Predigerkirche on the website of the Liszt School of Music Weimar

Web links

Commons : Predigerkirche  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 50 ° 58 ′ 36 ″  N , 11 ° 1 ′ 45 ″  E