Evangelisch-lutherische

Kirchengemeinde Apelern

Historie

Around 800 a. D. at the same time as the founding of the diocese of Minden a small wooden church was built, which was mainly used for baptisms and church service.
One of the capitulars of Minden was appointed as locum of the bishop of Minden. This archdeacon was the religious leader of a number of parishes. The following parishes fell under the responsibility of the “archdeacon of Apelern”: Hülsede, Beber, Einbeckhausen, Grove (nowadays a part of Rodenberg), Nenndorf, Luttringhausen, Hohenbostel, Idensen, Hohnhorst, Heuerßen, Lindhorst and Probsthagen.

Round about 1000 a. D. a church with a nave and two aisles was built in the style of a Romanic church hall.
Today’s church building was probably built during the years of 1150-1200 a. D. It was probably planned with two aisles but only one was finished. That’s why there are three big pillars in the middle of the church.

In 1567, after the Reformation, the church was converted for use as Lutheran church. In the 17th century famous theologians worked actively in this church as well as working as professors for the Universities of Stadthagen and Rinteln.
With renovation in 1962/63 it was tried to revert the interior of the church to its original style.

1. Tower hall
The tower hall was integrated into the church sometime during the 19th century. Since 1958 it is used as memorial place for soldiers out of Apelern killed during the battles in 1870/71; 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

Nave
Nave

2. Nave
You see the nave and one aisle on the right side. Three big Romanic pillars supporting the Gothic arches, have the original painting. The ornamentation on the pillars become much richer as you get closer to the altar.
At the north wall (left) you find the gallery where the local “von Münchhausen” family had its place. Here you find their coat of arms.
The coat of arms of the earls of Schaumburg “The Nesselblatt” (leave of a nettle) is placed in the northeast zenith of the arches.
In the southeast zenith you will find the coat of arms of the “Griepen” family. It is a griffon, half eagle half lion. This coat of arm is the only hint of the foundation of the church in the years of 1150. Until that time the Griepen family lived in Apelern when in 1250 the von Münchhausen family took over its place.
The pulpit on the south wall is an original of the Renaissance.
The organ with 24 register was built in 1966 by Schmitt & Thiemann, Hannover.

Choir hall
Choir hall
Baptism font
Baptism font

3. Choir hall
was built between 1300 and 1350.
During the renovation in 1962 they removed the organ from the east wall and laid open the window. Today’s stained glass window was made by the artist Michael Breig, Hannover. It is a “tree of the live”. The cross on the altar was also made by this artist. The altar was damaged a lot over time, so it was rebuilt with the old original stones on top of an old stone “mensa” (table top)
Behind the altar there are original frescos from the time before the Reformation. The Organ was placed there over 200 years ago, hiding those pictures. The original painting showed “The twelve Apostles” from which you still can see “Andrew” and “Simon Peter” on the left and “Paul” and “John” on the right side.
Beneath the painting of Andrew there is a sacramental alcove in the wall from the Gothic period. The stained glass window on the south wall (right) shows the crucifixion. It was donated in 1889. On the left side of this window are two wooden plastics showing “Adam and Eve” with palm tree leaves (not fig leaves).
On the right side of this window there is an epitaph for Pastor Conrad Mensching (1577-1603)


In the choir hall on the right side of the altar there is the old baptism font. It was donated by the Münchhausen family in 1579. The inscription cites the first words of the baptism of Luther's Small Catechism in Low German language.
On the small Romanic portal we find the place of the “von Hammerstein-Gesmold” family.

When the church was renovated 1962 two tomb slabs where found under the floor of the choir hall which are very well conserved. They are depicting “the Baron Börries von Münchhausen”, founder of the watercastle Münchhausen in Apelern who died 1583 and his daughter in law “Adelheid von Salder”. She died, 23 years old in 1590, a mother of three children.

The rich ornamented brass candelabra was donated in 1698 by Family Möhling, Apelern. In the 17th and 18th century the registry was used as a crypt for the family von Hammerstein. (it is not possible to visit it because of insurance concerns).

4. Tower
The tower belongs to the oldest parts of the church. It was also used as a watch tower.

5. Outside the church
The porch on the west side was built in the local Weser-Renaissance style. It was used as a crypt for the members of the family von Münchhausen. Nowadays the family no longer use this crypt but the mausoleum in the Münchhausen Park instead.

On the south wall there are two stones adorned with sun wheels and apostles crucifix (lat. crux signata).

At the east wall are the tomb slabs of the pastors Mensching and Fischhaupt. At the north wall you will find a tomb slab of the family von Münchhausen.

The church is not opened in general, guidance according to the arrangement!

For visitations church keys can be borrowed at the hotels at the place::
Hotel "Berghof"
Auf der Mede 14
31552 Apelern
Tel.: 05043-7844

Hotel Restaurant "Zum alten Friederich"
Am Marktplatz 5
31552 Apelern
Tel.: 05043-2210