Braunfels Castle Church is a late Gothic hall church with three aisles. It was once brightly painted, but all that has survived of the original decoration is an early 16th century fresco in the choir. It shows the son of the church’s founder with his family. Count Bernhard the Third, his wife Margarethe and their ten children are seen kneeling in prayer before the Virgin Mary, who is surrounded by an aureole. The fresco originated at a time when this was a Roman Catholic region – that’s evident from more than just the adoration of the Virgin Mary. The children’s clothing is another clue. The daughters were nuns at nearby Altenberg Convent on the River Lahn, and at Walsdorf Convent near the town of Idstein. Two of the sons were canons in Mainz, Cologne and Strasbourg. The eldest son – the one wearing armour on the far left – followed the teachings of Martin Luther. He brought the Reformation to the county of Braunfels.
However, the county only remained Lutheran for a few decades. The next generation adopted Calvinism. To the right of the pulpit, you can see the mortuary monument of Count Conrad and Countess Elisabeth, who introduced the Reformed faith in Braunfels. Countess Elisabeth was the sister of William the Silent, Prince of Orange-Nassau. Thanks to his victories in the Dutch Wars of Liberation, he is still revered in the Netherlands as the "Father of the Fatherland".
The sandstone monument was only painted in the early 20th century, when the interior of the church was extensively renovated and the windows in the choir were donated. The middle window was the gift of Princess Ebba zu Solms-Braunfels, who was originally from Finland. The windows on either side depicting the Evangelists were donated by Senior Pastor Hermann Bingel. The window on the far right with the letters Alpha and Omega was funded by the Braunfels congregation.
The present colour scheme of the walls and surfaces was recently introduced.
Your tour continues in the square outside the church.
All depictions: © Schloss Braunfels