Essential Architecture-  Lüneburg

St. John’s Church




Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.




Hanseatic Brick Gothic




St. John’s Church

Bei der St. Johanniskirche 1
21335 Lüneburg

Opening hours:
Mon-Wed closed
Thu 11:00 am-16:00 pm
Fri+Sat 11:00-18:00 pm
Sun 9:00 am-16:00 pmoff 01.04.2006
Mon-Thu 10:00 am-17:00 pm
Fri+Sat 10:00 am-18:00 pm
Sun 10:00-17:00 pmorgan music:
Fri 17:30-17:45 pm

the building:
St. John’s Church, first mentioned in 1174, was located in the settlement of Modestorpe at a crossing over the river Ilmenau. It probably goes back to the Carolingian period. St. John’s is mentioned in 1205 as the seat of an archdeacon of the Bishopric of Verden. The Gothic structure was begun in the 1280s. The choir and three-nave hall were completed in about 1312, the tower in the mid or late 1380s. Single chapels were built onto the longitudinal sides of the nave between 1310 and 1370, which developed into outer aisles. In 1333 the sacristy was added as a chapter hall for the priests. After the mid-15th century two tribunes were added, on the south for the council and on the north for the nobles’ guild.
The stocky tower with deeply recessed portal is crowned by four gables richly ornamented with attached elements and tracery. It culminates in a steep octagonal spire. The outer aisles have their own copper roofs, whereas the three-nave hall is covered by one roof. Between the buttresses of the outer aisles low aisle chapels are inserted, above whose pent roofs pairs of three-light windows illuminate the church. The two-bay choir with extended 5/10 termination shows Lübeck influence in the wall structure, especially in the composite piers. Three piers with round core and attachments in the main axes bear the wide partition arches in the nave, above which the rib vaulting is staggered from the sides towards the centre.
The carved front of the four-winged high altar, dating from between 1430 and 1485, shows 14 procession images of Christ’s passion, the work of the Lüneburg artist Claes Klovesten, and 16 female figures created by his son Volkmar Klovesten. The prophets on the predella and the apostles in the upper row are presumed to be the work of Severin Tile, dating from 1485. The four inside panels of the wings visible in the first open position were created in 1482-84 by the Hamburg artist Hinrik Funhof. They show the story of John the Baptist and the legends of three saints. The second open position reveals pictures by the Funhof pupil Hans Espenrad.
A pyx (ca. 1480) in the form of a Gothic church stands in a small niche to the right of the altar. In the centre of the baldachin altar in the north aisle stands a carved figure of St. John the Evangelist (1400). Close by hangs a virgin chandelier, donated by the furriers’ guild (ca. 1490). In addition to these medieval works of art, St. John’s Church has many Renaissance items.The size of the church is as follows: east-west 75 m, width 44 m, height of nave 22 m, spire 108 m.


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