Historisches Lahnstein

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St. Martin's Church

St. Martin's Church

In the Name of God

The Catholic parish church of St. Martin has successfully integrated many different architectural styles into its structure during the course of its development. For countless generations the church has been a visible sign of faith in Oberlahnstein - a townscape dominated by fortifications.

Over a thousand years ago this site is already occupied by a first small wooden church. In 1190 this is replaced by a triple-naved basilica built in the Romanesque style. Both towers have survived, the north tower in its original state, the south tower with a later additional storey and four corner pinnacles. In 1332 the original Romanesque choir is replaced by a larger Gothic sanctuary. Half a millenium after its foundation, the church can no longer contain its growing congregation and some parts are in need of repair. And so between 1775 and 1777 the naves are demolished and replaced by a great Baroque hall. Between the years 1895 and 1899 two side-aisles in the Neo-Gothic style are added to the Baroque central nave and the sacristy is extended. Finally, in 1954, the tower walls in the interior of the church are removed and the load transferred to a reinforced concrete structure – this elaborate conversion enlarges the sanctuary and provides a clear view of the high altar from the side-aisles.

Apart from its architectural history, St. Martin’s is also remarkable for its furnishings. The church has a valuable Baroque organ which was built in 1742 by Johann Michael Stumm from Rhaunen in the Hunsrück. The towers have five bells, one of which is the largest bell between Mainz and Cologne. The peal is tuned to the oldest bell of St. John’s Church in Lahnstein. St. Martin’s has a large number of figurative works and some elaborate stained glass windows such as the middle window of the sanctuary. This was created in 1953 by J. Beeck and shows the church’s patron, St. Martin, and scenes from his life.