Home church of the Gnadenthau Evangelical Lutheran Parish for the villages: Wiesenmüller, Gnadenthau, Friedenberg, Blumenfeldt, Morgentau, Kana, Strassburg, Frankreich, Weimar and Neu-Galka.
I visited Gnadenthau in 1993. We'd already spent days in other villages where none of the churches were intact and some completely gone. On the way to Gnadenthau we stopped for directions and towards the end of the spiel, the fellow said "You'll see the church steeple." You can imagine our shock and excitement. Later, in the village, residents told us that "they" had tried to destroy it with bulldozers, but it would not come down.
In 1993 it was being used as a barn for cattle, as well as grain storage. Since that time restoration began and today church services are once again being held in the church.
Click on each thumbnail below to see the photograph full size.
|All of the above photos - the church at Gnadenthau|
|Photo 1 - Standing in front of
the church looking to the left
Photo 2 - Standing in front of the church looking to the right
Photo 3 - View directly in front of the church
The photos below are of the church interior. 1993. Courtesy of Bill Wiest. That is Sue Kottwitz, your webmistress, in the last photo. My great grandfather built the steeple of this church and my family members were married here as well. It was a powerful moment to stand in the sanctuary, no matter the condition. The architecture and woodworking is simply fabulous. Click on each thumbnail to see the photo graph full size.
The church in better days (below)
Photographs of the Village in 1993:
Photo 1 - New road being built connecting Wiesenmuller, Friedenberg, and Gnadenthau
Photo 2 - Entering Gnadenthau
Photo 3 - German home
Photo 4 - German back courtyard. Note the bicycles for transportation and the water pump.
Photo 5 - German outbuildings
Photo 6 - German summer kitchen