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Augustinerkloster Erfurt

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photo LEFT: Bas-relief memorial slab on the outer wall of the Augustinian Church.

Augustinian church

An English-language leaflet for the Augustinerkloster states:

"The church of St. Augustine is the oldest and first to becompleted of all the monastic churches in Erfurt....(It) occupies the site of the former parish church of St. Phillip and St. Jacob that was built in 1131. The  church and the majority of monastery buildings were constructed in a relatively short time (1276-1340).

"From the outside, one sees the simple elegant lines of a basilic church with a matching choir....In the church, the wooden barrel roof lends the basilica a plain and simple impression."

Plain and simple though it may be, the church is quite attractive, with three aisles and an impressive collection of stained-glass windows from the early 1300s--among them, a "picture-cycle window" that portrays the life of St. Augustine in multiple scenes. (My own favorite window is the "Lion and Parrot Window," in which the lions are said to represent Christ, or the Lion of  Judah, and the parrots invite the worshipper to imitate the voices of the apostles.)

Behind the choir loft, on both sides of a tall stained-glass window, a restored Walcker organ from 1938 is available for services and choir performances. (If you're visiting during the summer, ask about the Augustinerkloster's 10 p.m. evening concerts in the church or the monastery courtyard.)

Church hours and religious services

The Augustinian Church is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and tourists can explore the church freely except during worship.

Church services with communion are at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays and public holidays. (Services are in German, but you can always hum along to Ein' Feste Burg ist unser Gott if you can't manage the lyrics.) For a current calendar of services, see the Augustinerkloster's Gottesdienste page.

Every day but Tuesday, the sisters of the Casteller Ring Community have prayers at 7 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and (except on Saturdays) 7:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to attend. See the community's German-language Veranstaltungen page for up-to-date schedules of prayer meetings, meditation evenings, and other events. (Also see their Weihnachten calendar if you're visiting around Christmas.)

Next page: Monastery tours, directions


Augustinerkloster

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Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Robin Ahle

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