The town of Gräfenhainichen, on the edge of the Dübener Heide in Saxony-Anhalt, is worth a visit. Paul Gerhardt, besides Martin Luther, the greatest Protestant hymn writer of all times, was born on March 12, 1607 in today's Paul-Gerhardt-Strasse 7. His birthplace was destroyed in 1637 during the Thirty Years’ War. Memorial plaques commemorate the great son of the city Paul Gerhardt grew up as the son of a farmer and an innkeeper, who later became mayor of the city. He attended the citizen school in his home town. At the age of fifteen, after the death of his parents, he went to the princely school in Grimma. He then began studying theology at the University of Wittenberg in 1628. Further stations, like Berlin and Mittenwalde, followed. Paul Gerhardt spent the last years of his life as a pastor in Lübben, Saxony, where he died on May 27, 1676. Already during his lifetime Paul Gerhardt was highly regarded as a poet. He wrote 139 songs and poems, which gave people comfort, courage and confidence during the Thirty Years War. After his death and over the centuries, his verses, whose linguistic beauty has remained alive until today, found their way into the songs of Christians all over the world.
In March each year, the hymn writer is commemorated on the occasion of his birthday with a culture and experience night. Every year in May, the students of the city commemorate the anniversary of his death by singing a song.
We would like to invite you to a city tour “The tracks of Paul Gerhardt”. If you are interested in a guided city tour, please contact the Tourist Information Gräfenhainichen. Sightseeing goals and duration can be determined individually. We look forward to your visit.
Tourist Information Gräfenhainichen
August-Bebel-Str. 24, 06773 Gräfenhainichen
Tel.: 034953 257620
Fax: 034953 257619
Gräfenhainichen honored Paul Gerhardt with the classical Paul Gerhardt Chapel, which was built in the years 1830-1844 with donations from the population. King Frederick William IV donated a life-size painting of Paul Gerhardt, a carpet, an altar cloth and altar chandeliers to furnish the chapel. You can admire the chandeliers and altar cloth in our permanent exhibition. The picture is now in the Paul Gerhardt Community Hall. A special feature of the chapel are the muntin windows raised on all four sides. The interior space is characterized by four slender pillars arranged on the right and left. In addition to a comprehensive permanent exhibition on the life and work of Paul Gerhardt, the memorial site today houses a Paul Gerhardt Library. A special eye-catcher of the exhibition is the large Paul Gerhardt portrait of the Belarusian painter Wassili Jeremeyev. The stylish ambiance of the chapel also offers a special atmosphere for various exhibitions on the gallery and various cultural events.
The Paul-Gerhardt-House in Karl-Liebknecht-Straße was built as a Christian clubhouse to commemorate the 300th birthday of the great son of our city in the years 1907-1909. The funds were raised through collections that the then head pastor, Mr. Brockes, initiated throughout Germany. The Paul Gerhardt monument is a creation of the famous Berlin sculptor Johann Friedrich Pfannschmidt from 1911. For decades there was a kindergarten in the Paul-Gerhardt-House. Today it serves the Protestant church community as a community house.
On Kirchplatz in Gräfenhainichen is the Protestant city church of St. Marien, a medieval building whose origins probably go back to the Romanesque period. The oldest parts of the present church date back to the Gothic period. The fieldstone church, built around 1300, was cross-shaped and flat-roofed. Destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, is today's appearance of the church defined by the baroque reconstruction of 1658-1666. The 57 m high square neo-gothic brick tower was built in 1866/67. The baroque interior of the church includes the high altar from 1666, the wooden pulpit, the elaborately designed horseshoe gallery (1682), the council box and the box with a separate entrance intended for the lords of Strohwalde Castle. The organ built by the master organ builder Rühlmann from Zörbig dates from 1905. Since 1982 the church has housed the winged altar of the Gremmin village church, dating from the 2nd half of the 15th century, which fell victim to the Golpa-Nord open-cast lignite mine in 1982. It can be assumed that Paul Gerhardt was baptized, as was common practice at the time, one day after his birth in the church of his birthplace. All baptismal documents were burned during the almost complete destruction of the city in the Thirty Years’ War.
Protestant Church Community Gräfenhainichen
Kirchplatz 3 | 06773 Gräfenhainichen
Tel.: 034953 22060