The Church of St. John
Hatzfeld, Germany

The Church of St. John was probably built in the 14th century. Located approximately 50 meters from the top of Castle Hill and just inside of the medieval city wall (a portion of the wall is approximately 20 meters west of the Church), the site is believed to have housed an earlier church. St. Johnís is constructed in the Gothic-timber style.

Originally a Catholic church, the parish and church became Lutheran following the Reformation in 1526. From1606-1624 the parish and church were Reformed Calvinist because Prince Mortiz, landgrave of Hessen, the sovereign of the territory, converted to Calvinism. Since 1624 the parish and church have been Lutheran.

The invading Swedes damaged the Church during the Thirty Years War (1615-1648), although the Swedes never conquered Hatzfeld. According inscriptions on wooden pillars in the church, the damage was repaired in 1676. In 1787/88 the church was renovated following storm damage. During this renovation the exterior walls were covered with slate, a new portal was installed and the colorful images of apostles and evangelists, as well as the floral pattern on the parapet of the gallery, were added.

The church contains several artifacts. The most beautiful artifact is a wooden Gothic crucifix suspended over the apse. At the four ends of the cross are the symbols of the Evangelists. The carving on the crucifix is of high artistic quality and probably dates to the 15th century. An engraved stone panel from 1636 memorializes the death of the nine sons of George Anton of Hatzfeld. It is likely that the children died during the Plague. A tombstone for his son, Heinrich Leo dates from the same year. The oldest of the three church bells dates from 1459 while the other two date from1659 and 1664. The church has written records of all baptisms, marriages and deaths in the parish from 1636 until the present time.

In 1958 new pews, a new organ and a new altar were installed. In addition, six new stained glass windows with images depicting the biblical stories of the prodigal son and the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, the Last Supper, the kiss of Judas, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection were installed.

Services are held on Sunday from 10:35 am to 11:35 am. Visitors are welcome.