Tag Archives: Bracht

Churches in Kreis Viersen: 41-50

This is the fifth batch of church visits that I’ve blogged about. You can read about 1-10, 11-20, 21-30 and 31-40 as well.

Churches 41-50

Churches visited this time (click on image to expand it):

Churches in Kreis Viersen 41-50

41. St Nikolaus, Brüggen
42. Evangelische Kirche Brüggen
43. St Barbara Kirche in Brüggen-Holterheide
44. St Matthiaskapelle, Lötsch
45. St Maria Helferin der Christen Süchteln-Dornbusch
46. St Irmgardis, Süchteln
47. St Hubert, Kempen-St Hubert
48. Paterskirche/Franziskanerkirche, Kempen
49. Thomaskirche, Kempen
50. Neuapostolische Kirche, Viersen

41. St Nikolaus, Brüggen

Burgweiherplatz 5, 41379 Brüggen
http://www.st-nikolaus-brueggen.de/

I visited this church and a couple of others whilst riding to Brüggen to meet Oliver for cake. It was a 66km round trip as it’s one of the furthest points away from home within Kreis Viersen.

Track to Brueggen

It’s the by-now-familiar large pointy church in the centre of the town. But this time I had people with me so was actually able to appear in one of the photos!

Here am I with young Max.

Max and Helen at Brueggen Church

And here is the church on its own!

Brueggen Church 1

Interestingly the church building seemed to be attached to the other large building at ninety degrees to it (the Rathaus!) It would have been considerably prettier if it didn’t have that weird dark section on the side.

There was a sign saying that the church was open so I went in – but actually it wasn’t totally open but you were able to go into the side section and look through glass doors at the interior.

Inside Brueggen Church 1

Inside Brueggen Church 2

42. Evangelische Kirche, Brüggen

Alter Postweg 2, 41379 Brüggen
http://www.kirche-brueggen-elmpt.de/

I had cycled past this church without noticing it as it wasn’t particularly church-like externally.

Evangelische Kirche Brueggen 1

Although this large sign on the side ought to have given me a bit of a clue!

Evangelische Kirche Brueggen 2

The next-door building was part of the Diakonie which is a Christian healthcare charity. They had a large bell outside – I couldn’t see the bell tower at all from where I was standing.

Evangelische Kirche Brueggen 3

It turns out there was one, but it was right behind the church and not visible. You can see it in this photo.

43. St Barbara Kirche in Brüggen-Holterheide

St. Barbara Straße 43, 41379 Brüggen-Holterheide
http://www.limburg-bernd.de/Viersen/DenkBru/Nr.%2055.htm

Before visiting this church I had been told that it was well worth a visit by one of the local ADFC (cycling group) members. He (Hartmut) said:

Kennst du die “Kirche” im heidecamp in Brueggen Bracht? Eine sehr seltene Kirche gebaut aus einem Nissen Haus.

An unusual church built out of a Nissen hut – and indeed it was!

Heide Camp Church 4

Heide Camp Church 3

Heide Camp Church 2

Heide camp church 1

The church was built in 1957 within the barracks area of the former 3 Base Ammunition Depot (3 BAD) Brüggen-Bracht, a British forces area.

It is an elongated corrugated iron shack facing west with a semicircular cross section. The interior was rebuilt in 1965 after a fire.

Here is a photograph of the inside (not taken by me)

This was an interesting area as the barracks was part of the cold war defences, and this ammunition dump was built on an area of 12 square kilometres. It was the largest ammunition depot in Western Europe – although it has now been converted into a holiday camp.

44. St Matthiaskapelle, Lötsch

Lötsch 47a, 41334 Nettetal
http://www.sankt-lambertus-breyell.de/index.php?article_id=405

This church is an extra that wasn’t on my original list but I noticed it as I cycled past!

Although it’s a chapel there was a sign outside showing that it did still have a dozen or so services a year so I think it counts!

Loetsch Kapelle

As you can see, it was rather hiding behind some parked cars.

Loetsch Kapelle 2

According to the website it was built in 1960 on the site where previously there had been another chapel, which was dismantled in 1897.

This chapel is 8.35 metres long, 5.26 metres wide and with a maximum height of 4.8 metres, so pretty tiny! Here’s a picture taken in 1960 of the interior:

45. St. Maria Helferin der Christen Süchteln-Dornbusch

Barionstraße 12, Viersen-Süchteln
http://www.st-clemens-suechteln.de/

When I visited the trees were all in leaf so I couldn’t get a photograph that showed the church. Fortunately Wikipedia has a photo in winter:

This church was one that took a fair bit of effort to visit as it was directly the other side of the Süchtelner Höhen, a moraine which is a bit hilly really (the inclines are 9%-12%, depending on the route/direction). Still, I’d slowly winched my way over in Penelope some time back so I decided to go with Alfie (to make it a bit easier) – I knew this church was right on the other side so headed for it.

Screen shot 2014-06-13 at 22.30.44

The church was closed but I had a look around and took the obligatory bicycle photo.

Alfie at St Maria Hilfe der Christen

I managed to get a photo of the tower.

Tower of St Maria Hilfe der Christen

This church was built in 1855 and was the parish church of the farming communities of Dornbusch, Kölsum and Rennekoven.

One slightly weird thing about my visit was I saw three dead mice in various places around the church. Either they have a very effective cat somewhere or there’s some mystery mouse disease in Dornbusch.

46. St Irmgardis, Süchteln

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irmgardiskapelle

This was another church that Hartmut had talked about in an email although he hadn’t specified where it was. I certainly wouldn’t have randomly passed this one whilst cycling around as it was in the middle of a wood with just an earth track to reach it.

St Irmgardis Suechteln 1

The chapel is on the Süchtelner Höhen which is a moraine (whose name I can’t properly pronounce) and the particular part that the chapel is on is called Heiligenberg.

St Irmgardis 2

Writings show that in 1498 there was a small church on this site that was completely destroyed in 1589. In 1664 the current church, named for the saint Irmgard von Süchteln.

St Irmgardis 3

In September every year around the time of the Saint’s day for Irmgardis (4th September) there is the special Irmgardisoktav festival which is a procession on the Heiligenberg.

St Irmgardis 4

I assume the procession has something to do with all these stones!

St Irmgardis Stones

The Irmgardiskapelle is the start or ending point of the Irmgardispfad, a walking and pilgrimage route for cyclists and walkers between the Irmgardiskapelle and the Helenenbrunnen (a spring). As I cycled down into Süchteln from this chapel I saw lots of stone wayside pulpits/chapels which are presumably part of this.

47. St Hubertus, St Hubert

Hauptstraße 21, Kempen-St Hubert
http://www.pfarre-st-hubertus.de/

I pass this church at least once every day on my travels but I have waited until church number 47 to visit it!

This is the track of my local visits to this church and two in Kempen.

Kempen Church Bagging

The silhouette of this church is visible from miles around as St Hubert lies on a very flat plain. Close up it was rather tricky to see it in the photograph – I think winter photography might be better for churches!

St Hubertus 2

Here’s a view from the side which shows a bit more!

St Hubertus 1

A small chapel was built here in 1446 following a visit of Karl der Große. The chapel became the parish church in 1790 and was subsequently enlarged and renovated. Apparently the interior has very rich decoration – but the church was shut when I visited.

48. Paterskirche/Franziskanerkirche, Kempen

Burgstraße 19, 47906 Kempen
http://www.min-kempe.de/paterskirche.html
http://www.st-mariae-geburt-kempen.de/unsere-kirchen/paterskirche.html

I wasn’t entirely sure if I should include this church in my challenge as it’s no longer consecrated as a church but is now a museum.

Paterskirche plaque

This plaque gives an overview of the history of this church – it was built in 1631 as a church for the Franciscan order with various improvements over the years. It was badly damaged in WW2 and was repaired in 1953-54. It was closed in 1971 due to building issues and was repaired in 1978-79 to become the Museum for Niederrhein’s Religious Art.

Paterskirche 1

The church is closely surrounded by other buildings so it was hard to get a good look at it.

Paterskirche 2

Paterskirche 3

These metal letters spell out AD 1637, the year the first church was completed.

Paterskirche 4

49. Thomaskirche, Kempen

Kerkener Str. 11, Kempen
http://www.ekir.de/gemeindekempen/

Thomaskirche

I had visited this church for a service last year when I spent a week in Kempen.

Here’s a view inside taken last year.

And again…

The name of the church is a nod to perhaps the most famous person to come from Kempen – Thomas à Kempis, who wrote The Imitation Of Christ, one of the best-known Christian books on devotion, still in print today. In fact, you might be familiar with one of the sayings in the book: “For man proposes, but God disposes” — The Imitation of Christ, Book I, ch. 19.

This church was built in 1910 but the start of the protestant life in Kempen reaches 500 years back. Kempen was a very important pilgrimage town in Niederrhein as it had a relic of the Virgin Mary’s hair (apparently!). Around 1525 the first followers of Martin Luther’s new protestantism came to Kempen. However over the next two hundred years there were strong catholic actions to remove the protestants and the last protestants left the Kempen area around 1730. But things changed, particularly with protestant-friendly Krefeld becoming more important in the area, and soon there were many new residents who were protestant, including, later on, people from Russia, Kazakhstan and Siberia.

50. Neuapostolische Kirche, Viersen

Bismarckstr. 46, 41747 Viersen
http://www.nak-viersen.de/

An organised-by-SMS ride saw me cycling with fellow-triker Klaus in the early evening on a route that he had prepared. As we headed through Viersen I could see one of my church waypoints was just 100 metres or so off the track so I persuaded Klaus to let me divert to have a look at the church.

NAK Viersen

This is the third NAK (Neuapostolische Kirche) that I have visited in my cycling challenge – three out of a total of fifty churches is quite a high number, considering it’s an independent church denomination. There also appears to be one in the next village, Dülken, although I haven’t yet visited that one. As expected at 6pm on a Tuesday, during the Germany vs Portugal World Cup football match (score 4-0 to Germany), there was no-one there to let me in for a look around.

We spent just a couple of minutes stopped at the church but it had a rather beneficial side-effect as when we then continued up the road we bumped into another triker on an ICE Sprint (with Rohloff hub and Windwrap fairing) and ended up chatting to him for half an hour. We were on the same road for probably only 200 metres so a minute earlier or later we would have missed him – it was good to chat to Detlef.

3 trikes in Viersen

So I have now visited my first fifty churches in Kreis Viersen.

Churches in Kreis Viersen 1-50

It’s been a great way to visit some of the different parts of Kreis Viersen, and has required me to cycle over a few hills (something I usually avoid!), but, as you can see from my Google Map or the screenshot below, I still have a lot of places to visit – and they are mostly at least 20km away…

Screen shot 2014-06-17 at 09.17.45

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Filed under Churches in Kreis Viersen, Cycling in Germany, Six Wheels In Germany

Churches in Kreis Viersen: 21-30

This is the third batch of church visits that I’ve blogged about. You can read about 1-10 and 11-20 as well.

Churches 21-30

Churches visited this time:

Churches 21-30

21. St Vitus, Oedt

22. Versöhnungskirche, Oedt

23. Kreuzkapelle, Kempen

24. St Cornelius, Tönisvorst-St Tönis

25. Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Sankt Tönis

26. St Remigius, Viersen

27. St Franziskus, Süchteln

28. St Mariä Himmelfahrt, Bracht

29. Evangelische Kirche, Bracht

30. Evangelisch – Freikirchliche Gemeinde, Bracht

So this is the map of all 30 churches visited so far.

Churches 1-30

 

21. St Vitus, Oedt

Kirchplatz 2, 47929 Grefrath-Oedt

www.grefrather-pfarren.de/index.php?id=184

I visited this church on Tuesday 14 May, also visiting churches in Tönisvorst on my way to Oedt.

Vorst and Oedt TrackSt Vitus was yet another blindingly-obvious church in the centre of the small village of Oedt.

It seemed like an enormous church although was built right beside a fairly busy road which made it rather difficult to park Penelope near it – she ended up at the side, being dwarfed by the building.

Penelope dwarfed by St Vitus OedtThe church itself was built between 1901 and 1903 although the tower wasn’t begun until 1910 due to lack of funds. It was completed in 1912.

St Vitus Oedt 1As I was cycling towards Tönisvorst on the start of this little journey I could see a church spire and a bit chimney close to each other – it turns out this was Oedt. No doubt the chimney is a very useful landmark for the locals – it’s visible in this photo.

Church and ChimneyThe chimney is for the company of Johannes Girmes & Co, founded in 1879.

 

22. Versöhnungskirche, Oedt

Bergweg 2, 47929 Grefrath-Oedt

http://www.ekir.de/krefeld/kirchenkreis/grefrath-oedt.php

This is the Evangelische church for Oedt and was less than 200 metres from St Vitus.

Versöhnungskirche Oedt 1You can see the Girmes chimney in the background as well.

The church had a plaque on the front that showed it was built in 1957. I think I prefer the red brick look to the white concrete of most of the other Evangelische churches I have visited so far.

I tried the door to the right hand side of the church and, lo and behold, it opened!

There was this painting that I rather liked as you walked in the door.

Versöhnungskirche Painting

There was a lady pottering about in the kitchen to the side and she came out to see me. I explained I was visiting lots of churches and asked if I could have a look inside the main sanctuary. She said of course, took out some keys (it was locked) and unlocked it for me so I could have a peek in.

Versöhnungskirche Oedt 2

I asked about the white ribbons on the chairs – were they for a wedding? She said no, for their confirmation service which was taking place this Sunday.

The church had some very faintly-coloured windows.

Versöhnungskirche Oedt Windows

The lady then decided to show me around the rest of the church – it has several rooms which she said they let out to lots of groups in Oedt.

This was the main hall – it was prepared for the choir practice later that evening.

Versöhnungskirche Oedt Church Hall

I commented that choirs seemed really popular in churches. She thought it odd that most UK churches don’t have one. I guess it depends what you’re used to but I, for one, like the fact there’s plenty of chance to join a singing or other music group in Germany.

She then showed me another room which had a divider from the previous room (but the whole area could be opened out). This was set out for a social tea and cake afternoon that would be happening there shortly. And, yes, there was a black-forest gateau on the table. I left without stealing any!

Versöhnungskirche Oedt Cake EventThe lady told me she was 82 and still very much involved in the church. It gave the impression of a place that was well used which was nice to see.

23. Kreuzkapelle, Kempen

An der Kreuzkapelle, 47906 Kempen
http://www.st-mariae-geburt-kempen.de/unsere-kirchen/kreuzkapelle.html

I visited this very small chapel on the way back from a random cycle ride to Krefeld. The track I’ve included is from the Kreuzkapelle home, rather than the wiggly track of my outward journey as well.

Track to Kreuzkapelle

The Chapel is situated on the edge of what is currently a building site for new homes on the south side of Kempen. I realised I was in the right place, though, because of the name of the road – Alter Prozessionsweg.

Alter Prozessionsweg

The chapel was originally built in 1639 according to an inscription in the main door. The chapel was also mentioned by the Kempen chronicler Johannes Wilmius (1584-1655). It’s currently only open on Good Friday and for other special events – and it was most decidedly closed when I got there. The gate in the fencing around the chapel was locked and it was all quite overgrown so hard to see.

Kempener Kreuzkapelle

Kempener Kreuzkapelle 2

It also serves as the 12th Station of the Cross, apparently – I spotted two others on my ride into Kempen but haven’t been able to find out any more information about them.

Kempener Kreuzstation 1

Kempener Kreuzstation 4

24. St Cornelius, Tönisvorst-St Tönis

Kirchplatz 17, 47918 Tönisvorst-St Tönis

http://www.st-cornelius-st-toenis.de/

I decided to visit the two churches in Sankt Tönis (part of a general area called Tönisvorst) on the 22nd May 2014.

This was my route to these two churches from home.

Track to Sankt Toenis

As you can see, on the way back I diverted through Krefeld-Hüls (to have a slice of cake and to have more of a variety of roads for the journey).

St Cornelius is the church that you can see from a long way away as you approach Tönisvorst on the Landstraßen, although once you actually get into the town you can’t see the whole building.

St Cornelius ToenisvorstHere is the obligatory photo of Penelope outside the church.

Penelope outside St CorneliusThere has been a chapel or church on this site since 1380. Part of the current tower dates from 1483 but it was mostly rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century, with the rest of the neogothic brick basilica built from 1903. There was some damage in the second world war which was repaired fairly quickly.

As usual the church was locked (I guess the problem with the catholic churches is the expensive decoration within that can’t be left for random people to pinch bits!) but I was very impressed by these flying buttresses on the side!

St Cornelius Toenisvorst Flying Buttresses

25. Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Sankt Tönis

Hülser Straße 57, 47918 Tönisvorst

http://www.ekir.de/krefeld/kirchenkreis/st-toenis.php

This church was just a short distance from St Cornelius (which was slap bang in the centre of Sankt Tönis), along the road that leads out towards Krefeld.

Evangelische Kirchengemeinde St Toenis

The flag that is flying to the right of the tower says ‘Kirche geöffnet’ – and indeed it was open!

Evangelische Kirchengemeinde St Toenis Interior 1

I walked up to the balcony to have a bit more of a look.Evangelische Kirchengemeinde St Toenis Interior 2

You can see how plain these Evangelische churches are. In some ways I quite like it but it doesn’t always feel that warm.

Outside was the now-familiar bell tower out on its own.

Evangelische Kirchengemeinde St Toenis belltower

26. St Remigius, Viersen

Goetersstraße 8, 41747 Viersen

http://www.st-remigius-viersen.de/remigius/index.php

I wanted to cycle to Viersen to check out the VHS (Volkshochschule, a kind of adult education college) so headed off on the 45km round trip. As I passed right by the main church in the centre of Viersen, St Remigius, I decided to stop and have a quick look. Here’s my track for the day, including an unfortunate diversion when I made the mistake of following official cycle route signs!

Track to Viersen and SuechtelnAnyway, here is St Remigius, a rather attractive light-coloured church but one which it was impossible to get in the frame!

St Remigius Viersen

There was a nice pedestrian square outside the church but it was still impossible to get a view of the whole building!St Remigius Tower

As Penelope wasn’t in the last two shots I decided to get a picture of her whilst eating a cake at a café which faced the church.Penelope and St Remigius ViersenI couldn’t find any historical information about this church on the website or elsewhere, unfortunately. Maybe some locals to Viersen can tell me a bit more about it!

 

27. St Franziskus, Süchteln-Vorst

Franziskusstraße, Süchteln-Vorst

http://www.st-clemens-suechteln.de/

As part of my unexpected diversion I cycled right by this church so stopped to take a photo.

St Franziskus Suechteln There were a few children hanging around outside this church on a Friday afternoon and I see from the website that there’s a kindergarten affiliated to it (although these children were too old for that), so it seems as though they have some events for youth as well.

However, once again I couldn’t find out any information about the history and buildings of this church on their website.

28. St Mariä Himmelfahrt, Bracht

Kirchplatz, 41379 Brüggen-Bracht

http://www.st-mariae-himmelfahrt-bracht.de/

I visited this church, and the two others in Bracht, on the way back from a gathering of recumbent trikes and velomobiles just over the border in the Netherlands. Here’s the route for the ride to Bracht.

Ride to Bracht track

St Mariä Himmelfahrt (which I visited on the day of Christi Himmelfahrt which seemed fitting) was another of the churches that are set in the centre of the town with buildings clustered around it. It was therefore impossible to get a photo of the whole church.

I caught this glimpse of the tower above a beergarden.

St Mariae Himmelfahrt 2

Here is Penelope outside the front door.

St Mariae Himmelfahrt 1

There seemed rather a lack of information about this church on the website – well, there was plenty of info about events taking place there but nothing much about its history!

29. Evangelische Kirche, Bracht

Königstraße/Ecke Marktstraße, 41379 Brüggen

http://www.ekir.de/krefeld/kirchenkreis/bracht-breyell.php

Just along the main street from the Catholic church was the Evangelische Kirche, looking initially just like one of the other buildings and houses along the road except for its spire.

Ev Kirche Bracht

It had this plaque on the wall with a short summary of its history.

Ev Kirche Bracht plaque

30. Evangelisch – Freikirchliche Gemeinde, Bracht

Stifterstraße 18-20, 41379 Brüggen-Bracht

http://www.baptisten-bracht.de/

This church is a baptist church (the first I’ve seen on my travels in Kreis Viersen, which is interesting compared to the UK which has a lot of baptist churches).

Baptist Bracht

The church has been in Bracht for 30 years and, as a free church, is not part of the state system. Their website says “membership of our church is of your own free will”. What this also means is that they don’t get church tax money so rely on the congregation to financially support them. They have a pastor and a couple of other church workers.

On the day that I visited, Christi Himmelfahrt, the whole road had been decorated!

Christi Himmelfahrt Decorations 2

Here is a close-up:

Christi Himmelfahrt Decorations 1

A look through their website gives the impression that this is very similar to a lot of the baptist churches in the UK, of the more conservative angle.

So I have now visited 30 of the 112 churches I have identified (green star means I have visited it, purple diamond means I have attended a service there, red pin means it is yet to be visited by bike)

All Churches Screenshot

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