Church of the Dead (Treysa)

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View of the Church of the Dead
Choir of the Church of the Dead with five- eighth closing

The Church of the Dead is a ruined church in Treysa and is considered a landmark. It is a listed building .


The church was built as the last large basilica at the end of the 12th century, i.e. in the transition period from the Romanesque to the Gothic , and was completed around 1265. Up until the 16th century it was consecrated to the parish church of Treysa and St. Martin . Treysa was the center of an ecclesiastical "Send" district, which comprised more than 30 localities, and was subordinate to the archdeaconate of St. Stephan monastery in Mainz in the Archdiocese of Mainz under the deanery of Amöneburg .

With the introduction of the Reformation in Hesse, Landgrave Philipp approved a request from the citizens of Treysa in 1531 to use the monastery church of St. Mary (today's Evangelical City Church) , which had now become free as a result of the Reformation through the dissolution of the local Dominican monastery, as a parish church. The old parish church was from then on used as the "Church of the Dead" for funeral services. Although repairs were to be carried out occasionally with the support of the church treasury, the old parish church fell into disrepair. In 1830 the roof was supposedly badly damaged by lightning. For safety reasons, demolition was planned due to the risk of collapse. The Magistrate and Lower Council of the city of Treysa protested against the project in 1832/33.

Decay and Reconstruction

After extensive structural damage was discovered, the church was left to decay around 1835. The first improper attempts to stop this deterioration led to a further deterioration in the building stock in 1909: the concrete coverings and the cement spray mortar used at the time did not get along with the stones of the masonry.

In 1993 the support group Totenkirche eV was founded , which endeavored to preserve and secure the existence of the church ruins. At the end of the successful safeguarding of the stock, there was an evangelical church service with Last Supper on Pentecost Sunday 2006, in which the name of the Church of the Dead after “St. Martin ”was changed back. In 2011, the support group was officially dissolved after all activities were completed and the association's assets were handed over to the Evangelical parish of Franz-von-Roques for the continued preservation of the ruins.

Since the completion of the restoration, the Totenkirche has been used again for various events, such as the rehearsal dance at the start of the Hutzelkirmes (until 2014), the annual “Weindorf” and open-air musicals. In 2015 the Protestant parish celebrated the 750th anniversary of the church.

Buttermilk tower

Today the church is best known for its approx. 35 m high bell tower, the so-called buttermilk tower . According to tradition, this tower was covered with buttermilk by the trapped citizens of the city during a siege to show the besiegers that the city still had enough supplies, after which they were withdrawn. It has been proven that white milk / casein-based color was common in those days. In the course of the renovation work, invoices were found that prove that the parish actually bought milk at the time of the legend to make casein white from it. The tower was plastered white for a long time, but it is no longer due to the preservation of the existing building.

There are three bells in the tower. The inscription on the middle "prayer bell" reads:


I give forgiveness of the soul and praise to the Almighty, lament the dead, call the living and break the lightning.


Web links

Commons : Church of the Dead (Treysa)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Jutta Müller: The St. Martin's Church of the Dead in Treysa - (not) a building by the Marburg Building School? Dissertation, Frankfurt (Main), 1998
  • Angus Fowler: On the history of churches and chapels in Treysa, especially today's town church (formerly the church of the Dominican monastery), in: Schwälmer Jahrbuch 1986, pp. 18–50 (also special edition for the Protestant parish of Treysa)
  • Brigitte Warlich-Schenk: Monument topography "Schwalm-Eder-Kreis I" . with the assistance of Hans Josef Böker. Ed .: State Office for Monument Preservation Hesse (=  architectural monuments in Hesse ). Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig 1985, ISBN 3-528-06233-9 , pp. 385-386 .

Individual evidence

  1. Totenkirche: Förderkreis transfers assets to the parish after dissolution . In: HNA , January 1, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  2. Sandra Rose: 750 years of the Church of the Dead - Festreigen has begun. Hessisch / Niedersächsische Allgemeine, May 16, 2015, accessed on August 30, 2016 .

Coordinates: 50 ° 54 ′ 47.9 "  N , 9 ° 11 ′ 21.5"  E