Friday, January 27, 2006

GOSLAR, Germany: The Market Church

The three things I love most about these old German towns is: 1) Architecture, 2) Architecture, and 3) Architecture! As a matter of fact, since most of our excursions are over weekends, when we really have at most only 1-1/2 days of sight-seeing, we usually choose to be outside looking at the "mood" of the town. We rarely go inside the museums or buildings of antiquity (not saying that won't change, mind you!) UNLESS it's a church!

Just steps away from our Goslar hotel on the Square is the prerequisite Market Church. We were on the heels of a German tour guide ("Ich verstehe nur ein bischen!" I would have said) and were thereby able to get inside for a few minutes (before the very kind gentleman locked the door after we left). My photo album at the end will have several photos of the church (to which I always gravitate), inside and out, but these are the ones I've picked for this wee glimpse.

I decided a long time ago that it's the spires that do something to me. Soulful! I'm guessing they are always meant to lead our gaze upward and onward, away from the earthly stuff that bogs us down. In Atlanta/America they do the same thing but somehow it's different in Europe. They're just more spectacular here. More history behind them, muddled or not. More ethereal. Just more!

This particular market church (Ev. Lutheran, as would be expected here in Germany) is what many Europeans would call "simple," I'm sure. Nothing like the cathedrals of Paris or Berlin or Praque. But simple is still spectacular to me. Having grown up in a small-town baptist church in Michigan, this kind of chancel would have dumbfounded me. Maybe not the Roman Catholics or the Episcopalians! I didn't even know the word "chancel," or "nave." So for me, this is spectacular (my word for the day)!

My dad was the preacher of that small-town Michigan church, btw. I wonder if he would have felt comfortable preaching from this pulpit (below)? And would I have paid attention to anything he ever said if my mind's eye was getting carried away with all that ornate artwork?

Actually, since my dad was also an artist in his own right (seriously), I wonder if HE could have paid attention! I can somehow see him leaning over and studying the carvings and wanting to run his fingers over the wood. He was also a carpenter (appropriately). He would be thinking about the wood-working tools and the paint colors. How distracting for a preacher unless he worked it all into a sermon somehow. That's one of the things he knew how to do--to take the mundane stuff and make some kind of spiritual lesson out of it.

Suddenly, I miss my dad! I MISS YOU, DAD! I love you. You were a good Preacher and I really did learn many a good thing from you, in and out of the pulpit. I wonder if the Great God of the Universe gave you some spectacular pulpit on some distant Star. Or if you thanked God very much and said you'd really just like to carve for awhile!


  1. Wow. Thank you for the food for thought about Dad. He did like "simple" but he appreciated good craftsmanship, so I'll be he'd have loved all this.

    The colors in these photos are my favorites, so warm -- the blues, reds and verdigris.

  2. I so love the churches. *sigh* Simply gorgeous.

    And your thoughts about your father. So sweet. There is no greater praise a child can give than to say "I had a good father". Your daddy would and should be very proud.

  3. Ruth: Yes! As I suddenly started thinking about Dad--but not till I got to the pulpit--I actually got tears in my eyes. (It hits us at the strangest times, doesn't it! Sob!)

    Lisa: Your words have touched my heart. I had no idea this post was gonna end up being about my dad but it really has! This is the first time in a year of blogging that I've actually thought about how my mom and/or dad would have liked my blog. Oh my. Maybe Dad just tapped me on my shoulder today while watching :)

  4. I just love the european architecture too. And I'm not sure why, its just a feeling I get inside. So touching about your dad. :)

  5. Beautiful photographs! I love the un-matched spires! (but since I did tink sock #1, I think sock #2 will match!!) I especially like the blue doors and shutters. I will see if I can find out who is on the front of the church... Usually the figures are "locally preferred" saints.. OR they are the ones trendy at the time.. Do you know when the saints were carved/installed. the styles look like they range from romanesque to gothic... and maybe even baroque.

    Love the archetectural history lesson. Here in Texas they keep blowing things up that are "too old."

  6. Thanks, ExpatT. It IS a feeling inside!

    And SPW, I would love it if you can find out more info about those figures. Just let me know. It's amazing what "old" means to different people/countries. Being in Europe always makes me realize how YOUNG we are in the States!