Salvatorkirche (Duisburg)

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Salvatorkirche am Alten Markt (2005)

The Salvatorkirche is the old town church in Duisburg and belongs to the Evangelical Church Community of Alt-Duisburg. It was built on the Duisburg Burgplatz in the 14th century in place of an older Palatinate Church . Together with the Willibrordi Cathedral in Wesel , the church is one of the most important late Gothic church buildings on the right Lower Rhine .

Building history

Longhouse to the east

The foundation stone of the current church was probably laid in 1316. The building owner was the Teutonic Order , which is evident from some city bills and from the notes of later chroniclers. The Coming Welheim of the order had patronage rights over the church since 1254 . The construction of the church tower began, which was financed primarily by the townspeople. After its completion, it also served as a watchtower for the city. After the choir and the side choirs were laid out, the nave and aisles only began to take shape in the second half of the 14th century . The completion of the church construction is dated in the year 1415.

The first Gothic tower was completed in 1367. The spire of the church was renewed four times. With his second eight-sided, pointed helmet and hipped feet, which towered 106 meters high into the sky, the church was the highest church in northwest Germany at the time . In 1467 the tower burned down completely and was restored, slightly lower than before, from 1479 to 1513 under the direction of Johannes Haller. The spire burned down again in 1613 after being struck by lightning . In 1692 a baroque tower dome was put on by Master Grevenbroek.

The Salvatorkirche was renovated and redesigned in the late Gothic style in the years 1847-1852 based on designs by the Düsseldorf architect Rudolf Wiegmann . During the major restoration at the beginning of the 20th century, the church received an octagonal neo-Gothic spire , which was placed on the square tower so that the church assumed a height of 90 meters. On the outside, buttress was added to the building as a purely design element.

In the immediate vicinity of the church was the Liebfrauenkirche , whose towers together with the towers of the Salvatorkirche and the town hall tower formed the typical silhouette of the city of Duisburg. Shortly before the end of the Second World War, the neo-Gothic spire of the Salvator Church was destroyed by bombs in an air war and fell on the nave . The Liebfrauenkirche was razed to the ground and replaced by a new building in the city center. The Salvatorkirche was rebuilt in 15 years and the old church has been in use again since 1960. To this day, the church lacks the spire.

Today's Protestant church was consecrated to Christ, Salvator mundi (“Savior of the World”), the patron saint of the city of Duisburg. The famous cartographer Gerhard Mercator and the founding rector of the Old University of Duisburg , Johannes Clauberg, are buried in the church.

Predecessor churches

The Salvatorkirche goes back to a wooden chapel of the royal court of Duisburg , first mentioned in 893. During excavations inside the Salvator Church, the wooden structure was archaeologically proven. Already at the beginning of the 9th century, Emperor Karl is said to have granted patronage rights to the St. Salvator Monastery in Herrieden an der Altmühl. A connection with the choice of the patronage of the Salvator Church is then likely. But soon afterwards the patronage rights came into the possession of the Prüm Abbey in the Eifel.

In the 11th century the chapel was replaced by a stone palace church , this building has also been archaeologically proven. But already a hundred years later this church had to be replaced by a new building. A three-aisled Romanesque basilica with a west tower was built. The foundation walls of this Romanesque building from the Staufer era could also be documented by excavations; its ground plan was almost congruent with the Romanesque predecessor building of the former collegiate church and today's provost church of St. Gangolf in Heinsberg . In the 13th century the German Order settled in Duisburg. He acquired the Duisburg palace building including the basilica from the Prüm Abbey and set up a branch there. The order retained the patronage rights until 1533.

In 1283 there was a devastating fire in which the Duisburg royal palace and the church were destroyed. In 1316, the construction of today's Salvator Church was under way.

Building description


The Salvatorkirche is a Gothic basilica with a three-aisled , five-bay nave . One -bay transepts adjoin the square crossing . The two-bay choir has a polygonal 5/8 end . The end of the southern side chapel corresponds in its late Gothic form to that of the main choir. The tracery shows rich fish bladder decorations . The masonry is made of light gray tuff stone. The church roof is covered with dark slate .

The buttress on the nave is an ornament of the historicizing design at the beginning of the 20th century; statically it would not be necessary. The brick gables of the transepts also date from this time.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the tower was at times 112 meters high. It was first completed in 1367 and rests on four mighty pillars in the western part of the church. The west wall of the basement of the tower presents a considerable window to the old market. The current end of the tower is an octagonal bell storey from 1903. The associated neo-Gothic spire was destroyed in the Second World War.


Westwork with organ

The church furnishings include a baptismal font from the 15th century on a modern plinth, a late Gothic tabernacle and a Renaissance pulpit from 1664. A total of 18 epitaphs , including that of Gerhard Mercator in the southern choir chapel , and nine coats of arms are also noteworthy . The paintings on the church windows also deserve recognition , especially the “memorial window” by the Essen-born Israeli artist Naftali Bezem, dedicated to the 1938 pogrom in Duisburg . Compare with this.

Salvator statuette

A wooden Salvator statuette was part of the church furnishings until the 16th century . The figure was thought to have miraculous powers and was carried through the city annually during the Corpus Christi procession in the late Middle Ages . From 1543 onwards the city council decided to preach in the evangelical sense and in the following years the Lord's Supper was celebrated in both forms (“bread and wine”), so that by 1555 the Reformation could finally gain a foothold. Following the beliefs of the Reformed Confession, the statue was now perceived as an " oil idol ". It was consequently removed from the chancel and finally sold to the Catholic Church of St. Pankratius in Nievenheim , where it has been erected ever since. Other parts of the medieval furnishings were also removed from the church due to the change of confession or sold out of economic hardship in order to be able to raise the war taxes demanded.


The organ dates from 2002. It was built by the organ builder Kuhn ( Männedorf , Switzerland). The instrument has 41 registers on three manuals and pedal and baroque German-French-in or romantic scheduled . The playing actions are mechanical. The stop actions are electric.

I main work C – a 3
1. Principal 16 ′
2. Octave 8th'
3. Coppel 8th'
4th Viola da gamba 8th'
5. Octave 4 ′
6th Hollow flute 4 ′
7th Fifth 2 23
8th. Octave 2 ′
9. Mixture V 2 ′
10. bassoon 8th'
II Solo work C – a 3
11. Open flute 8th'
12. Salicional 8th'
13. Principal 4 ′
14th Reed flute 4 ′
15th Comet III 2 23
16. octave 2 ′
17th Sharp III 1'
18th Trumpet 8th'
19th Clairon 4 ′
III Swell C – a 3
20th Bourdon 16 ′
21st Double flute 8th'
22nd viola 8th'
23. Vox coelestis 8th'
24. Principal 4 ′
25th Transverse flute 4 ′
26th Nasard 2 23
27. Flageolet 2 ′
28. third 1 35
29 Mixture III-IV 2 23
30th Basson 16 ′
31. Trumpet harm. 8th'
32. oboe 8th'
33. Vox humana 8th'
Pedal C – f 1
34. Principal bass 16 ′
35. Sub bass 16 ′
36. Major fifth 10 23
37. Octavbass 8th'
38. Pointed flute 8th'
39. Choral bass 4 ′
40. trombone 16 ′
41. Trumpet 8th'
  • Coupling : II / I, III / I (also as sub-octave coupling), III / II, I / P, II / P, III / P (also as super-octave coupling)

Surveying work by Corputius

When Johannes Corputius carried out the surveying work for his plan of the city of Duisburg around 1563 , he needed a suitable point for his bearings that would give him a sufficient overview. In his drawings he noted that he had taken the measurements V on the large tooren te Duysburg , the tower of the Salvatorkirche. To gain entry to the tower, he paid the tower keeper an albus .

First Reformed General Synod

From September 7th to 11th, 1610, the First Reformed General Synod took place in the Salvator Church . At this meeting 35 delegates from the duchies of Jülich , Kleve and Berg came together. They passed resolutions that to this day shape the self-image of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland , according to which the leadership of the community should be in the hands of lay people and theologians on an equal footing. The First Reformed General Synod is considered to be the hour of birth of the presbyterial-synodal church structure of the Protestant churches on the Lower Rhine.


The church is used by the Evangelical Church Community of Alt-Duisburg. Pastor of the Salvator Church was Peter Krogull from 2005 to September 2012. The position has not been filled. The tasks are taken over by the parish priest Stephan Blank (focus: church music, family and youth) and Martin Winterberg (focus: art, culture and public responsibility).

One focus of the parish is church music , and the Salvatorkantorei in particular performs outstanding concerts there. Cantor Uwe Maibaum , who has been working there since 1991, was appointed regional church music director of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck from April 2007 . His successor is Marcus Strümpe, who was director of the Pauluskantorei Duisburg-Hochfeld from 1994–2007 and has also directed the Duisburg Philharmonic Choir since 2003 .

The Alt-Duisburg community is supported by committed volunteer employees (EMAs) who, among other things, conduct tours through the almost 700-year-old church on certain days.

From 1970 to 2002 Lorenz Grimoni was one of the pastors at the Salvatorkirche.

On July 31, 2010, the memorial service for the victims of the disaster at the 2010 Love Parade took place in the Salvator Church .

On May 30, 2019, an ARD television service took place in the Salvatorkirche in honor of the 60th anniversary of Kindernothilfe .



  • Carl Dieter Hinnenberg: The Salvatorkirche in Duisburg . 2nd Edition. Neuss 1990. ISBN 3-88094-651-5 .
  • Joachim Müller: The Salvatorkirche , in: Duisburg and the lower Lower Rhine between Krefeld, Essen, Bottrop and Xanten (Guide to archaeological monuments in Germany, 21), Stuttgart: Theiss, 1990, pp. 180-184, ISBN 3-8062-0847 -6 .
  • Barbara Fischer: Salvatorkirche in Duisburg, building history in pictures , in: Denkmalpflege im Rheinland, 17, Pulheim (2000), 4, S. 174–175, ISSN  0177-2619 .
  • Reinhard Karrenbrock: On the series of apostles in the Salvatorkirche in Duisburg, or: An apostle returns , in: Kultur- und Stadthistorisches Museum Duisburg / ed. by Susanne Sommer, Duisburg, 2002. (Duisburger Forschungen 48), pp. 321-324, ISBN 3-87463-335-7 .
  • Hans-Peter Schletter: On the new findings plan of the Salvatorkirche , in: Archeology in the Rhineland , Stuttgart, 2001 (2002), pp. 87–89, ISSN  0935-9141 .
  • Joseph Milz: The removal of the Salvator statue from Duisburg in 1555 , in: Thörner, Ilka [Hrsg.]: The power of writing: 5000 years of media and its effect; Volume accompanying the exhibition, Duisburg 2001, ISBN 3-89279-574-6 .

Web links

Commons : Salvatorkirche in Duisburg  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Class 10a local history tour through Duisburg city center. (No longer available online.) Realschule Hamborn II, archived from the original on June 10, 2015 ; Retrieved on January 1, 2015 (description of the “memorial window” based on the draft by Bezem, which is dedicated to the November pogrom 1938 in Duisburg).
  2. Flyer - The Salvatorkirche Duisburg. (PDF) In: Salvatorkirche - City Church for Duisburg. Ev. Parish Alt-Duisburg, accessed on November 22, 2015 .
  3. The miraculous story of the Salvator statue from Duisburg, by Ingo Plaschke, NRZ from May 31, 2018
  4. Predecessor organ up to 1753: Duisburg intelligence sheet No. VIII.
  5. The organs of the Salvatorkirche Duisburg. In: The Queen's Portal - Information about the pipe organ. Daniel Kunert - Services, accessed November 21, 2015 .
  6. Joseph Milz: The Duisburg city map of Johannes Corputius and his measurement bases. In: Cartographica Helvetica Heft 11 (1995) pp. 2-10, ISSN  1015-8480 , full text , reprinted in: Kraume, Hans Georg [Hrsg.]: Duisburger Forschungen Volume 45. Duisburg: Mercator-Verl., 2000. pp. 1-23. ISBN 3-87463-295-4 .
  7. ^ Program booklet for the Congress The 1st Reformed General Synod 1610 - from the perspective of science
  8. Church structure unchanged for four centuries
  9. ^ Peter Klucken: Salvator Pastor Krogull soon in Copenhagen. In: RP Online , February 18, 2012 ( online ).
  10. No successor for Pastor Salvator Krogull. In: RP Online, May 30, 2012 ( online ).
  11. Historical tours around the Duisburg Salvatorkirche. Press release. (No longer available online.) Evangelical Church District Duisburg, September 24, 2010, archived from the original on December 24, 2015 ; accessed on November 21, 2015 .
  12. Lorenz Grimoni: 700 years Salvatorkirche Duisburg - Church of the Teutonic Order . Königsberger Bürgerbrief 88 (2016, pp. 46–47.)
  13. Everything collapses. In: 2010, accessed December 1, 2018 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 26 ′ 9 ″  N , 6 ° 45 ′ 39 ″  E