Kierspe St Josef

What you need to know about this church

St Josef-Kirche Kierspe

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Josef-Kirche is located in Kierspe, a town in the “Märkische Kreis” in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

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Kierspe St Josef
Church from south-east
Kierspe St Josef
Church from north-west
Kierspe St Josef
The tower in the atrium

Visiting Kierspe St Josef

The Roman Catholic parish church of St. Joseph in Kierspe is certainly one of the most unusual churches here on the website, as it breaks almost all conventions of “normal” church construction. In this respect, apart from the round tower, it has nothing in common with the mostly medieval churches on the site. But I have included it for the sake of completeness, and because it is a church well worth seeing. The problem with my visit to the church was, for once, not the weather, which – as you can see from the photos – was at its best, but the fact that a large crowd of people had just gathered at the church for a wedding. So I was only able to take a few photos in quick succession. Many of the numerous sights are therefore not included in the slide show. But it is not that far away from us, and it is also open every day, so we can quickly visit it again once the current restrictions are over.

About the history of the building: the building was erected from 1959 to 1961 according to plans by the architect and sculptor Gottfried Böhm. The building complex stands over a rectangular ground plan, in the disposition of an atrium house. The walls are raised in plastered brick. The choir and the soaring tower emerge from the complex. They are accentuated by ornamental tufa window bands. An entrance is located in the western outer wall. In the niche above is a tuff figure of St Joseph with the infant Jesus. The atrium with a fountain is flanked by the sacristy and the rectory. The entrance to the flat-roofed, low church hall is through the round tower. The overheight choir with 3/8 end is set as an altar house with a six-sided tent roof. Cast-iron columns serve as choir screens. The coloured windows, made according to designs by Robert Rexhausen, are room-high in the west and appear precious on the outside due to a gold coating. The southern windows depict the Passion and the Last Judgement, the northern window shows the apocalyptic lamb.

The formal language of the church comes from the Orient. The architect Gottfried Böhm had taken the Book of Secret Revelation as a model and designed the church according to its text. Thus, the interior is quadrangular and represents the four cardinal points and the earthly rooms, while the heavenly rooms are octagonal or dodecagonal. Images were not intended in this church from the beginning. The cross above the altar did not exist when the church was built. Also, the altar was a little further forward at that time and the sacred space was separated from the rest of the building by a cupboard with a communion bench.

The tabernacle, which used to be in the chancel, is now in the room to the right of the altar and has a house or tent shape and repeats the design of the chancel. Where it now stands was formerly intended to be an altar of St Joseph. The church has been a listed building since 11 May 2004.

These information were taken from the church website; more extensive detailed information can be found on the excellent Wikipedia article linked above (in German).

Conclusion: open and welcoming church in a most unusual design - well worth a visit

Kierspe St Josef
Choir with altar
Kierspe St Josef
View from the choir
Kierspe St Josef
Window detail