News: 625 years anniversary church "St. Anna" to Gronau

Photos of the exhibition "Being Evangelsist"

Press Release:

In the Evangelical Church of St. Anne in Bensheim-Gronau is on Sunday, the exhibition "What does it mean for me to be Protestant?" Was opened. On display are large posters where people provide information from all 34 parishes in the Protestant Deanery mountain road, why they are a member of the Protestant church, which characterizes their faith and what it means for them to be Protestant.

"We have the exhibition on the occasion of our Church anniversary brought to Gronau Zell, "says parish priest Peter Voss. From his church to Norbert Hebenstreit had participated in the interview project. He was former worker at the Bensheim mill Euler and says: "As of 2006, the company management announced to close the site in Bensheim, helped us the commitment of the Protestant Deanery. How have thus public support get ... be Evangelical for me is to get involved and take a clear position. "

The posters were on Sunday to see the first time at a special and well-attended Sing-service, which was led by Christiane sacrifice man and to the Also the confirmation actively involved. They present different texts and scenic views of the Church year.

Following the congregation invited to wine tasting. The Gronauer Winzerfamilie Elke and Frank Dingeldey had specially created a jubilee wine for 625 year church anniversary. The label with the inscription "625 years Church of St. Anne in Gronau" shows a spatial view in which the Church is at the center. With the proceeds from the sale of the semi-arid Rotlings the floorboards of the church are to be renewed. "So we are protected from below as from above," Pastor Voss said with a wink.

The next highlight of the church anniversary is a four-part lecture series on the topic "What's 'sacred' for Protestant Christians today". Kicking off on March 6 it comes to the question of what football game ends and its fans is "holy."

The of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) excellent exhibition: What does it mean for me to be Protestant? can be seen until Easter 2012 in the Church of St. Anne.

From the history of the village Gronau in Bensheim on the Bergstraße

"Gronau" means "green Aue". The village is not far from the mountain road, that old north-south traffic route through the Rhine Valley on the edge of the Odenwald. It's certainly a foundation of the monastery Lorsch, the famous imperial abbey from which was populated by 800 of the largest part of our territory until late in the Odenwald into it. An exact founding date of the place but has yet to be found. The first mention we refer to the Lorsch Codex, a comprehensive collection of documents of the monastery: Around 1150 pays a Gerolt of Grunowe interest to the monastery. To 1210 and 1318 there are two other mentions.

In 1232 the Imperial Abbey of Lorsch had been dissolved. Their property became part of the Archdiocese of Mainz to a large extent. But the nobility, descendents of the secular Klostervögte had enriched themselves at the possession of the ruined monastery. While the southern part fell to the Count Palatine, stretched from the east, from the Odenwald ago, the taverns of Erbach their territory in the western neighborhood of where the wine-growing regions of Bergsträßer they attracted particular. From 1464 they were final owner of the Office Schönberg, whose important Kirchdorf was our Gronau. Here also the dead of the rule were buried.

Our own parish church can be shown for the year 1387. Your altar was dedicated to Saint Anna. When the beautiful Gothic church was built is uncertain, but it was proven in 1509 carried out a thorough renovation: "The tower 18 schu in Gemucher herhocht and made the helmet daruff, item the chorus of reason uffgefuhrt ...". From this church there is a lovely picture of the romantic Fohr from the year 1814. Unfortunately, in 1827 the church was demolished and replaced by the current neo-classical building.

In the Middle Ages the village was very small. 150 to more than 200 residents farmed the "Huben", the farms that crowded around the church and the stately Pachthof. Above and below the village still stretched much of the old "Aue" (wet meadows), that had given the village its name.

From 1503 flow the sources of the village history abundant because of particularly favorable circumstances of the quite complete parish archives preserved from that time on. Since that time, we now have to in the 18th century into the parish register (basics of parochial grade by kind) available to one of the oldest church records of southern Hesse, which begins in 1552. Thus we are able, since that time to identify the names of the farmers, in some cases their relationship, birth and death dates, the economy, field names, types of fruit grown and naturally also many indicating the vineyard and track.

But unfortunately already received the oldest message of 1503 the report of the pastor of a terrible passage of the plague, which about 50 people were killed, about 1/3 of the population. Other features of the disease followed. In 1573-74 over 75 people, mostly children died. Entire families were wiped out.

An important event was the introduction of the Reformation in Gronau. It took place by the former Jesuit priest Peter Lesch, who was a highly educated man (he was said to be also a surgeon). He served from 1519 to 1539 as a Catholic priest and then to 1559 as a Protestant minister. So he had worked at his death 40 years in Gronau.

The next serious turning point in the history of the village was carried out in the course of the 30 Years War (1618-48). The mountain road to be especially important north-south link was always haunted by the pervading armies of both denominations and completely looted. The Gronau inhabitants died of starvation, were simply beaten to death, fell victim to diseases and epidemics or emigrated. Only five old famly names from the period before the war are still detectable after the village. The farms were deserted, the fields deserted. In 1636 a priest had written a letter to the Count of Erbach and ask for help from starvation.

After the war it went slowly up, new families took over the desolate Huben, the fields were re-appointed. But even 25 years later, around 1674, we hear of new wars, heavy war taxes, billeting and from the flight of the peasants in the woods, from looting and finally the theft of church bells. Only at the beginning of the 18th century the village came slowly back to peace, although campaigns occurred repeatedly. The village population increased. Throughout the century, some farmers were wealthy, so we read in a report from 1804 by 18 farmhouses, 41 manual workers- and day laborer houses and 323 inhabitants. And literally it says then: "The place has an abundant fruit ground, grows wine, gaining good fruit, has beautiful private hedges (Bauernwald) and is wealthy Incidentally flow due perpetrated by local residents Waldfrefeln annually several hundred guilders to Bensheim..

When specifying the apartment buildings the relatively large number of artisans and laborers to fall. A substantial increase of the trade is for the 18th century. Allenthalten determine. In Gronau rattled at that time the same 8 looms; but also the cooper and other traditional crafts are then represented in striking frequency. Some weavers have been able to hold on until the end of the last century.

In the 19th century was also a long time a quarry operation is an important employer for the villagers. The most important and most typical professional course remained of the farmers, especially in wine; and if today how many people go everywhere by car to foreign jobs, so cover their vineyards but still the southern slopes of the Gronauer Tales.

Finally, a few comments on the present village Picture: The old village with its half-timbered houses - some of which date back to the period before the Thirty Years' War - has its homely image largely preserved. At the eastern end of the village, a new district was created, inhabited mainly by families of Gronau. In the south, a school was built, which has been preserved as an elementary school today and in their neighborhood had moved townspeople built their new property. Similarly, the development was in the north and in the west, where the old "Au" was gradually built over. So also approaching the population, in the 60s, even to 800, now the thousand mark. Unbroken was the love of Gronauer to mergers; the club life is very active. And remained unbroken joy of Gronauer of social gatherings.

Eberhard Kühner (1985)

Translated by Google