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History, Architecture and Worldly Wisdom

The Stadtkirche (city church), dedicated to the martyrs St. Sebastian and St. Fabian, was founded in the 12th century as a church for the then existing village of Lutter. Dating back to this time is the tower with its Romanesque round-arched openings. The church was expanded several times during the Middle Ages and, today, it is a three-aisled hall church.

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The city church of Königslutter is a prime example for the treasury of human history. A place where amazing things present themselves to the spectator. We learn, for instance, that the year 1640 had a 31st of September in Königlutter! But more of that later.

The first view of the venerable church building reveals that it has not been made in one piece, but rather has a complex history. The Romanesque tower with its round-arched openings was built in the 12th century, which makes it barely younger than the imperial cathedral!

In order to sustain the needs of the ever growing parish, the church building had to be extended time and time again. The last important extension was made in the 15th century, when the inhabitants of the nearby “Schoderstedt” gave up their village and moved to Königslutter. It is said that one of the peasants from Schoderstedt rendered outstanding services to the extensions of the church. Therefore, legend relates that the supporting figure dressed in peasant clothing in the northern aisle of the church memorializes that very man. Even later, lack of space proved to be a problem. In 1822, it was even planned to take down the Gothic buttresses to create more space inside. Luckily, however, an expert was consulted who made it very clear that even in a church, the Holy Spirit is not enough to support the arch. Hence, the responsible people refrained from putting the church at risk, allowing it to outlast that period of time, too.

According to medieval customs, the God’s acre was layed out around the church. The soil turned out to be a major challenge, though. In large areas, it consists of solid “Duckstein”, from which the graves had to be quarried. In one of those very graves from the 13th century, three St. James scallops were found that had been placed on the chest of the buried – a hint that the people of Königslutter led godly lives and even made a pilgrimage to the grave of St. James in distant Spain. Consequently, it is only in accordance with tradition that, nowadays, Königslutter is a station of the revived Way of St. James.

An example for a prominent person that was buried inside the church is mayor Schmalbruch. Standing outside the church in front of the main entrance, you can find a memorial plaque. It reveals that the mayor was born in 1640 – on the 31st of September to the day! Of course only malicious gossip has it that since that day, the clocks in Königslutter were slow...

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