St. Mary's Assumption (Wittichenau)

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View from the southwest
Choir from the south

St. Mary's Assumption , Sorbian Swj. Marije donjebjeswzaća , is a Roman Catholic parish church in Wittichenau in the Bautzen district in Saxony . The late Gothic hall church belongs to the parish of St. Mary's Assumption in the diocese of Görlitz . It shapes the townscape of Wittichenau and is richly endowed as a Catholic church in Upper Lusatia . Sunday services are held in German and Sorbian.

History and architecture

The church was built as a stately hall church after a fire from 1429 to 1440 and vaulted in 1527. Several extensions date from more recent times: In 1906 a sacristy was added to the east, a baptistery on the south side (now a confessional chapel) and a western vestibule; the northern vestibule dates from 1933. The southern vestibule with a medieval core was given an upper floor in 1678. A comprehensive restoration took place in 1933/34. The plastered building is provided with stepped buttresses, five-eighth end , pointed arched windows with simple, renewed tracery and closes with a gable roof. The west tower, which is square in plan, has been shifted to the north. The substructure probably dates from the 14th century, the high octagonal bell storey from 1846, the mezzanine floor above and the spire were added in 1867. A sandstone figure of Christ enthroned with a gesture of blessing from 1710, donated by the sculptor Georg Vater, was attached to the southern vestibule.

The three-aisled, four-bay hall shows an elevated central nave in the manner of a stepped hall . Octagonal pillars support the ogival arcades, half pillars are placed on the side aisle walls, a single-bay choir with access closes the building off to the east. The central nave has a star vault, over the aisles there are net vaults. The aisle bays of the western travée are built with arched galleries, the southern one with a probably late Gothic cell vault , the northern one with a groin vault from 1614.


Baptismal font
Interior view to the east

Most of the furnishings come from the Baroque period . The magnificent wooden main altar from 1722/23 was created by Mathias Wenzel Jäckel from Prague. The altar is inserted niche-like manner between the eastern free pillars and shows a high aedicula -Aufbau with perforated wings, a wide Cranked cornice blasted gable and is also of a high altar extract with a view of the eye of Providence crowned in a radiation glory. The central picture depicts the Assumption of the Virgin, was created by Heinrich Ledschbor in 1870 and is flanked by carved figures of John the Baptist and St. George . In the extract there is a painting of the Trinity , next to it the Saints Benno and Donatus. Figures of Saints John Nepomuk from 1758 and Boniface from 1756 stand on the free pillars. Relics of both saints are kept in the church. An arm bone of St. Boniface was given to the city chaplain Peter Laurenz Dubenka by Pope Innocent XII on the occasion of a pilgrimage to Rome in 1700 . handed over as an aid against the frequent city fires. In a votive tablet from 1732, donated by Georg Schimon, there is earth from the grave of St. John Nepomuk.

In the southern ambulatory is a rosary altar from 1675. In a rectangular wooden frame flanked by vine-leaf columns there is a painting of the Rosary Madonna with Saints Dominic and Catherine of Siena , both in religious dress adoring the Madonna. The scene is framed by medallions with the fifteen mysteries of the rosary. Carved figures of Joachim and Anna are placed on the retable .

The nativity scene from 1681 can be found in the north ambulatory. The central relief of the carved altar contains a richly figured depiction of the Adoration of the Kings from 1520/30. The elaborate baroque baptismal font was made of wood around 1725 and consists of a hexagonal conical shaft with a round baptismal bowl; on the lid there is a finely carved group of the baptism of Christ on three volute feet , which was probably created by Mathias Wenzel Jäckel. Other carved figures of different quality are kept in the church: St. Veronica from the beginning of the 16th century, a double Madonna in a halo from the second half of the 17th century, the carved relief of a scene from the Mount of Olives from the end of the 15th century and the full sculpture of Maria Regina from around 1670/80. In the sacristy there is a Baroque crucifix with an old frame from the late 17th century and a painting of the Baptism of Christ , which Andreas Dreßler from Kamenz created in 1597. It previously served as the main picture of the altarpiece in the baptistery.

Four presentation crosses, one decorated with acanthus and four medallions, were donated in 1719. The two-manual mechanical slide organ with 21 registers is a work by W. Sauer Orgelbau from Frankfurt an der Oder from 1981.

Stained glass

Morgenstern window north side

The stained glass of the Wittichenau church was created from 1933 by the Dresden artist Hubert Rüther in the company Beier und Walther in Dresden. They form a unique cycle of expressionist glass art. The five windows of the nave have invocations of the Lauretanian litany on the subject (from southeast to northwest): Mysterious Rose, Gate of Heaven, Ark of the Covenant, Strong Tower of David and Morning Star. Four windows in the choir area show figurative representations, two saints ( Elisabeth and Joseph ) as well as the Sacred Heart and the Sacred Heart of Mary . The windows of the organ loft are decorated with sections of the Magnificat . In the course of the renovations to the church from 1970 onwards, all colored windows were removed and replaced with simple glass. Only the richly designed tracery remained in the church. During this time three of the originals (Elisabeth, Morgenstern, Tower of David) on the north side disappeared, the remaining window parts were put into storage. In 2011/2012 the existing window parts were restored and reinstalled. For the reconstruction of the missing windows, the artist's original elevations from the time of creation (charcoal on cardboard 1: 1) as well as Rüther's watercolor drawings and historical photos were used.


The gravestones for Friedrich Eberhard Reichsgraf von Solms († 1752) and his wife Maria Carolina († around 1760) from 1754 are placed in the west vestibule . In the south-east of the churchyard is the tomb for the parents of Meißner Bishop Vitzk von Meißen, which was donated in 1706. In one aedicule the two deceased are shown kneeling (badly damaged).

A memorial plaque on one of the pillars of the nave commemorates Johann Schadowitz , the historical model of the Sorbian legendary figure of the magician Krabat , who was buried here in 1704. Johann Schadowitz belonged to the Croatian body company on the horse of Elector Johann Georg II of Saxony. His nationality as a Croat was popularly corrupted as "Krabat" and contributed to the formation of legends about his person.


Web links

Commons : St. Mariä Himmelfahrt (Wittichenau)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  3. Catholic church council, Wittichenau (ed.): The Catholic parish church in Wittichenau . Dresden 1935.
  4. Our organ. Catholic parish of St. Mariä Himmelfahrt Wittichenau, accessed on July 3, 2018 .
  5. An art historical treasure has been recovered | Catholic parish of St. Mariä Himmelfahrt Wittichenau. Retrieved January 28, 2019 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 23 ′ 8.7 "  N , 14 ° 14 ′ 40.8"  E