Wienhausen: Church St. Marien
ST. CHURCH OF ST. MARY IN WIENHAUSEN
St. Marien in Wienhausen appears almost devoutly crouched to the observer, next to her "younger sister" of the monastery church with its beautiful brick gables. If one looks very closely, one immediately notices the Romanesque core style of the church with its clear formal language. What may look like an "extension", however, conceals an exciting story.
The architectural beginnings of St. Mary's Church are in the dark. Old documents prove, however, that the church held an important position in later years after its foundation. For the years 1051 and 1057, i.e. at least 200 years before the foundation of the monastery, it is attested as "mother church". This meant that some neighbouring congregations were subordinated to it.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHURCH
Initially, in the late 11th century, a single nave church building in Romanesque style was built. With the construction of the nun's church, around 1310 to 1330, a bell tower probably also had to give way. The freestanding bell tower, which was erected some distance away, has been occupied since the 15th century. The Wienhausen monastery was founded in 1233. With the construction of the nun's church, the Romanesque building used as a parish church also underwent a change. In the now Gothic style, a narrow nave was placed on the south side - the simple construction can still be seen today.
The church underwent extensive structural changes in the years 1701 to 1710. This resulted in a uniform hall building with a simple "Voutendecke" (= a self-supporting wooden ceiling construction) by considerably widening the choir. At the same time, space was created by incorporating parts of the nun's choir.
What perhaps only a few visitors know: Until 1927, the valuable brick and lawn iron stone of the church walls was hidden under a thick layer of plaster. This was removed, and a great achievement of former stonemasons, bricklayers and bricklayers came to light.
The baroque galleries on the north and south sides were shortened in 1955/56 and thus offer the present picture of the interior of the church.
Two grave slabs are attached to the southern outer wall of the church (to the right and left of the main entrance).
THE INSIDE OF THE CHURCH
Finally a short look at some details inside the church. The first organ was installed in 1587, thoroughly restored in 1709 and replaced in 1861 by a completely new organ from the Breust workshop in Goslar. The present organ was completed in two sections in 1956 and 1971. The interior of the church is almost barrier-free.
If you stroll through the old centre of Wienhausen past the church of St. Marien, then take a closer look and don't forget to visit this church.
(Quellen: Riggert, Ida-Christine: Die Lüneburger Frauenklöster. Hannover 1996. Wettlin, Horst: Heidekirchen. Göttingen 1999. Kirchengemeinde Wienhausen, ElkA-Hannover. Fotos zu diesem Text sind urheberrechtlich geschützt)