Station: [6] Protestant Parish Church of St. James, Kirchplatz 2

F: The church of St. James is the focus of Protestant life in Niederstetten. First mentioned in 1290, the late Romanesque church was probably built earlier, between 1230 and 1240. In 1788, during the Baroque era, the church was rebuilt and remodelled. It’s thought the remains of an even earlier church from around 800 AD may lie beneath the nave.

M: The church proudly bears the imprint of its history in a mix of Romanesque and Baroque features. Take a look at the remarkably thick walls – and the atypically small windows in the side walls. Both are a clear sign that the building dates from the Romanesque period, when churches were pretty much built as God’s fortified castles. From about 1600, people started to cut larger window openings into the Romanesque side walls. They no longer wanted to sit in a gloomy nave.

F: Originally, St. James's church was a choir tower church, which means that the choir was inside the base of the tower. In 1788, the derelict tower was demolished and the choir was enlarged, but no new tower was raised above it.

M: A day's journey from here, there’s another church of St James – in the city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Pilgrims may be familiar with that destination, since Rothenburg is on the famous Way of St. James, the "Camino". Perhaps the Camino once included a detour that led past Niederstetten ...who knows?

F: We’d love to be able to show you the interior of the church. But unfortunately, it’s not always open. However, we’ve taken some pictures, which you can view at the next stop.

Fotos: © Trüpschuch