James Church (Brunsbüttel)


August 19, 2022

The Jakobuskirche is a baroque hall church built in 1679/1723 in Brunsbüttel. It belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Brunsbüttel within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany.


Construction history

In a document from the Archbishop of Hamburg from 1140, seven parishes are named for Dithmarschen: In addition to Meldorf, Weddingstedt, Tellingstedt, Süderhastedt, Lunden and Büsum, there are also Uthaven. This place had to be abandoned in the 13th century as a result of storm surges. The exact location of this medieval church village can no longer be reconstructed. It was probably a little southwest of today's church. Brunesbutle was first mentioned on July 14, 1286. This place, located close to the Elbe, also suffered from repeated storm surges. After the dike had been moved back several times and entire villages had to be abandoned, the water broke through the dike and fortress wall right next to the church in 1629, shortly after the attack by imperial troops in the Thirty Years' War during a storm surge. Finally, in 1656, a part and in 1676 the entire patch was diked and the inhabitants were resettled. A new cemetery was laid out in 1654. The property on a mound, on which the church was to be built two decades later, was donated by the parish bailiff Matthias Boie, who wanted to be buried on dry land. After the demolition of the old church in 1677, the new building began, which was designed by D. Sommer from Stade based on the model of the St. George Church in Oberndorf an der Oste, which was completed in 1653. The church was consecrated on November 16, 1679. Like the previous building, it was dedicated to the apostle James. A sandstone plaque from 1684 attached to the eastern outer wall with a depiction of the patron saint James as a pilgrim reminds of the construction, the inauguration and the names of the responsible representatives of the parish and the landscape. Richard Haupt assumed that the "Gothic church" had three naves and a stone vault. This church, into which the medieval inventory of the old church, including several carved Gothic altars, was also transferred, was also not safe from the floods: in the decades that followed, water stood in the church several times. On November 12, 1719, it burned down to the outer walls after a lightning strike during the service. Since the community was completely impoverished by the loss of land in the storm surges of the past decades, it took until 1723 for the reconstruction to be tackled under the direction of the Itzeho carpenter Hans Peter Töpfer. As sovereign of Süderdithmarschen, King Friedrich IV contributed more than 3,000 marks to the construction costs of 14,900 courant marks. As a thank you, the community had a particularly magnificent royal box built next to the organ gallery, which Friedrich IV never used. The altar and the organ came to Brunsbüttel from the church of the Glückstadt Palace, which had just been demolished.

Pastors and Church

Since the Reformation, the church has usually had two preachers, a pastor and a poorly paid deacon, who often took his place after the death of the pastor. The first evangelical preachers were Heinrich Dimmerbrock in 1524, who became the first superintendent in the royal part of Dithmarschen after 1559, and Magister Boethius Boje, the brother of the Meldorf reformer Nicolaus Boje. Boje's epitaph is still preserved in the church. The community suffered greatly from wars and floods. In 1629 there were not only devastating floods, but also three preachers, Petrus Tezin, Petrus Zinghen and their successor Johannes Emichius, died of the plague. After them came the scholar Lambert Alard, who stayed until his death in 1672. Johannes Wackerow, who was a deacon from 1640 and pastor from 1672 as Alard's successor, oversaw the construction of the de