West of Oberschopfheim stands the Leutkirche which was first mentioned in 1343. It was originally called the Gutleutkirche because there had been an infirmary, also known as a “Gutleuthaus” in the immediate vicinity since the 12th century. It also served as the parish church of the Schopfheim March Confraternity.
During the Reformation, the Ortenau region switched religion several times, and the Leutkirche became Protestant for a while. In the end, the denominations agreed to share the use of the building. In the early 18th century, the War of the Spanish Succession raged along the Upper Rhine, and the Leutkirche was destroyed by the French in the summer of 1703.
It remained a ruin until 1750, when a chapel was installed in the choir tower, and the pilgrimage in honour of Mary Mother of Grace was revived. These rituals of popular piety were considered undesirable during the Enlightenment, and there were moves to suppress the pilgrimage and demolish the church. But they failed.
In 1905, the first repair work began, and half the roof of the nave was rebuilt. In the process, wall paintings from the late Middle Ages came to light. In the 1960s, the entire church was restored under Rector Paul Gröner.
All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim