Blick auf Franziskanerkirche am Ludwig-Erk-Platz
Franziskanerkirche am Ludwig-Erk-Platz © Peter-Jörg Albrecht

The earliest document mentioning Franciscan monks in Wetzlar dates from 1248. The Gothic church, built around 1300, has 3 naves and a choir with three bays and a fivesided apse. The turret is typical of Gothic mendicant church structures. A stone relief above the Baroque northwest portal depicts the symbol of the Franciscans: a knotted frock rope belt surrounding a cross and two crossed arms, one sleeved, one bare, the palm of the hands displaying the wounds of crucifixion.

After 1826, the monastery buildings and church were altered a number of times to adapt them to use as a prison, as a magazine, and as a barrack. The nave was enlarged in 1877 and has since then been used as a school. Today it is home to a music school.

The choir of the church is today the Protestant “Untere Stadtkirche,” the church for this lower-lying part of the old town. In 1586, it was given as a place of worship to the 60 Protestant Walloon refugee families who had been settled in Jäcksburg/Jakobsburg. The steps between Jäcksburg/Jakobsburg and Rosengasse which they used were known as the “Reformed Steps” since the parsonage and school of the reformed congregation were to be found here.

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