Art-Nouveau building with an important Jehmilch organ
The Luther church of Zwickau is a hall church made of bricks, the exterior and the interior are cladded with sandstone. Corresponding to the asymmetric floor plan, the octagonal steeple with a coppery pinnacle stands up in the north-west, the considerably lower stair tower in the south. The nave in between is completed by a triangular chancel. The roof of the church is carried by a girder construction.
Although the building was initially planned to be constructed in the style of the Neo-renaissance it was eventually erected in Art-Nouveau style. Art-Nouveau is an era that lasted from 1896 to the beginning of the First World War. It consciously sets a contrast to the historicism of the 19th century by using ornamentation and stylized shapes of nature.
Due to its architecturally artistic completeness, the church with all elements of Art-Nouveau style met the raised claim of being a total work of art. The height of the tower, including the cross of 6 metres, is 65 metres. An ambulatory is located at a height of 35 metre.
The interior of the church is consciously kept rather plain. On the North side there is a great gallery, which also accommodated the soldiers of the garrison stationed in a casern nearby until the Second World War.
Nowadays, in contrast, the church is occupied more and more by the youth. The church edifice, for instance, accommodates groups of youth work and other institutions led by the “Diakonie” in its rooms. For the purpose of this multi-function utilization, three rectangular rooms were integrated beneath the northern arcades. Worth mentioning in the interior of the church are a monumental altarpiece by Fritz von Uhde and one of the biggest and finest sounding organ of the region: a Jehmilch organ including 40 stops and 3,700 organ-pipes.
Eponym of the church is the reformer Martin Luther, depicted as a statue above the main portal next to the apostle Paulus (with a sword). Between the two figures there is a broad relief showing Luther on the balcony of the town hall talking to 14,000 people. After having been invited by the council of the town, the reformer stayed from 28th April to the 3rd May in Zwickau.
The Luther parish arose, historically seen, from the two town parishes St. Marien (called Nicolai nowadays) and Katharinen parish. According to a sketch by Rudolf Schilling and Julius Gräbner, architects from Dresden, the master builder Franz Wolf from Zwickau erected the church which was consecrated on the 29th January of 1906.
Protestant-Lutherian Luther parish Zwickau
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