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Wienhausen: Bell Tower

©Lüneburger Heide GmbH/Thorsten Link

At the end of the 14th century, the Wienhäuser bell tower was erected in a way that is quite common in northern Germany. A freestanding wooden tower was placed a little away from the church. The stability of the belfry could be increased by a final half-timbered construction. The belfry offers the observer a steadfastly defiant exterior.

If the bell tower could tell stories, it would tell of cheerful chattering christening parties, of festive wedding processions, but also of many sad events. The cemetery around the bell tower was from 1534 to 1798.

Even today, whether on a Sunday church visit or on the way home, the view often touches the old bell tower just like an old acquaintance - nice to see you!


But time has not passed without a trace of the old confidante. At the beginning of the 18th century, the wooden construction turned out to be so dilapidated that a complete renovation had become necessary. The financial means could be procured through a collection of the members of the congregation.


Also interesting was the construction of the tower clock, which today seems quite archaic. The simple mechanism of the clock was operated by means of field stones suspended on long ropes. If these came dangerously close to the ground, they had to be pulled up again. This had always been task of the faithful sextons, until the clock finally received an electric drive.


And the bell tower could tell another exciting story: "The bell tower as a flimset". In 1947 some scenes of the film "Wege im Zwielicht" by Gustav Fröhlich were shot here.

During a walk through the historic centre of Wienhausen you can still feel a little of what it was like in the past when people still ignored "time" as the measure of all things.

(all photos attached to the text are protected by copyright)