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Shejns A. Je.

Among the submitted 4 projects for the competition, the project of the architect Hermann-Karl Shevrembrandt (from Stuttgart, Württemberg) was named the best, the architect was charged with implementing the work.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

Type of building:
Religious cult structure (Lutheran Church)
Administrative (Parsonage)

Style:
Neoromanticism, brick (Lutheran Church)
Eclecticism (Parsonage)

Architects:
G. K. Shevrembrandt , H. Y. Skveder (Lutheran Church)
A. E. Sheyns, A. I. Bernardazzi (Parsonage)

Date of construction:
1824-1828 (Lutheran Church, old building, not preserved)
1895-1897 (Lutheran Church, the new building)
1897-1899 (Parsonage)
2000-2002 (Parsonage, reconstruction for hospitable home)
2005-2010 (Lutheran Church, restoration and reconstruction with restructuring of the altar)

Status:
Architectural monument of national importance (Lutheran Church)
Historical monument (Parsonage)

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Construction of the new Lutheran Church coming to an end, the beginning of 1897

Reconstruction of the Lutheran church was the first construction project of Shevrembrandt in Odessa. A great service for the success of the construction work belongs by right to his assistant — the architect and engineer Christiane J. Skveder (later collaborated with E. Y. Mesner), who carried out the basic control of the works. Reconstruction carried out in the years 1895-1897, was actually a building of the new church.

The new Lutheran Church building on old postcards

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Rare card of the late XIX century, with images of both buildings of the Lutheran Church

Over the next two years, the development of Lutheran block ended with erection of the new the Parsonage at the corner of Topolsky lane and Novoselskogo Street (combined with the almshouse), a project was performed by other prominent Odessa architects of the time — A. E. Sheyns and A. I. Bernardazzi.

Most popular view of postcards publishers, the main façade of the street in

Dvoryanskaya Street perspective

Main facade General view General view General view General view

In 1895 the old temple was demolished to make room for the new one. A grandiose (by the standards of Odessa) building, with a capacity of 1,200 people, was built in just two years. In 1897, the last stone was laid. The total cost of construction amounted to 110,000 rubles. Occupying an area of 50 meters, a width of 22 meters and having a steeple 48 meters high, the building of a new Lutheran church was the third in size in the Russian Empire (after St. Petersburg and Moscow). The peculiarity of the temple was the fact that the main entrance was directed to the north-east (traditionally a church entrance orientates in the west, and an altar — in the east).

New Lutheran Church in pre-revolutionary photographs

General view General view General view Stereo card Photograph from the stereo card

November 1, 1897, the solemn consecration of the new St. Paul's Lutheran Church, was carried out by the pastor Gustav-Adolf Lokkenbergom, serving in Odessa parish from 1892 to 1907. For «signal achievements in the building of the outstanding landmark» architect G.K. Shevrembrandt in 1903, when celebrated the 100th anniversary of the parish, was awarded with the Russian Order of St. Stanislaus of third degree by the Russian Emperor. In the same year, the famous architect, having built several exquisite and colorful buildings in Odessa, having given up 13 years of life to the city, left the Russian Empire forever. Settling in Berlin from 1905 to 1908, Shevrembrandt issued a professional magazine «Architectur-Konkurenzen», devoted to the European architectural competitions. Further life of the architect is under a veil of secrecy, and with the beginning of the First World War his traces disappeared completely.

Lutheran church in Odessa. German church.

Daniel Shteynvand, the successor of Gustavus Adolphus Lokkenberg, the pastor and the provost of the Church of St. Paul's from 1908 to 1919, the last pastor of the pre-revolutionary times

By projecting Odessa Lutheran Church, Shevrembrandt used elements cult German architecture of Romanesque period. In the exterior of the building there are easily noticeable features of famous cathedrals in Mainz, Speyer and Worms, and the Maria Laach abbey church. Double-deck counterforts unload Romanesque heaviness of the building and give a silhouette upward aspiration, which is undoubtedly more traditionally for Gothic.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

The plan of «Lutheran court» with all the buildings of the community of St. Paul after the implementation of G. K. Shevrembrandt's project

An impressive five-tiered steeple is the compositional dominant of the temple, at the time of construction — the highest in the city. In addition, the church is located on the highest point of the plateau of Odessa, causing the steeple visibility from a long distance — it was visible even from ships at sea and was included in many sailing directions as a reference point.

Steeple

General view General view from the new wing roof General view from the new wing roof Upper tier Upper tier Upper tier window Semi column capital of a window case of the upper tier Hipped roof lucarne Original tile masonry of the hipped roof New cross, crowning the steeple

Stair towers

Right-side tower Left-side tower Left-side tower Pier between the left-side tower windows
Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

A view of the corner of Novoselskogo Street and Dvoryanskaya Street(Peter the Great Street) from the stair tower windows, 1970-80s.

Due to the same steeple, the silhouette of the Lutheran Church main facade effectively closes the perspective of Dvoryanskaya Street.

The walls of the building are made of selected blocks of shell limestone of Kasperovskaya stone quarry, they were not planned to be covered with plaster and paint. According to the architect, the few carved parts from a single stone had to contrast subtly with the larger-scale compositional elements composed from artistically considered masonry (which is characteristic of so-called «Brick style» of the time). Lack of plaster and stucco mouldings reduced the cost of construction. Here and there the masonry alternate with zones of red brick, that often occurs in the Romanesque and Byzantine architecture.

Main facade elements

Cornice of the front wall of the main bulk, facing the main façade side Stair tower base Window of the stair tower lower tier and brick inserts of the masonry Window of the middle steeple tier Counterfort face (right-side)

Demolished during the last reconstruction apse was on the roof ridge slightly lower height compared to the bulk of the building and was flanked at their junction with two square towers (fortunately preserved).

Altar part towers

Right-side tower from the new wing roof Right-side tower Right-side tower Right-side tower, a view top-down from the new wing roof Right-side tower, the element, crowning the hipped roof Left-side tower, a view from the new wing roof Left-side tower Left-side tower Left-side tower Left-side tower, the capital of the central semi column case Left-side tower, the capital of the central semi column case Left-side tower, the capital of the side semi column case
Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

A view of the apse and the altar part tower shortly before the fire in 1976

Portals to the axis of the transept are made in the form of massive verandas, taken out ​​of the range of the facade plane and decorated with medallions.

Side portals

Right-side portal, general view Right-side portal, general view Right-side portal, general view Right-side portal, medallion Decorative semi column

Side facades elements

Second tier window Second tier window
Dummy aperture of the second tier Second tier window, the capital of the semi column case First tier windows First tier windows First tier windows A panel over the first tier windows Cornice
Central fragment of the side facade Central fragment of the side facade
Window of the corner utility services room Window of the corner utility services room Window of the corner utility services room

Portal of the main entrance (in Novoselsky Street) is covered with pilaster sides in the form of slender semi columns with magnificent carved capitals. Above the portal there is a rose window, initially served as a source of lighting for utility services rooms directly under the steeple.

Portal of the main entrance

General view General view General view Decorative semi column Decorative semi column Decorative semi column, capital Triple semi columns capitals Triple semi columns capitals Triple semi columns capitals Triple semicolumns capitals

Main entrance door

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Door before the fire 1976

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Recreated forged decoration of the main entrance door.

Roof planes of the main bulk are enlivened with the lucarnes.

Lucarnes

First tier lucarne First tier lucarne
Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Corner lucarne on the cornice level
Initially, they and the apse were covered with Marseilles tile of various colors (brand: Grande ecaille pour toiture, Brevetes SGDG, St. Henry-Marseilles, Roux-Freres), of which polychrome geometric patterns were folded.

Initially, the Lutheran Church roof was covered with the similar tile Tile from the roof of the main bulk

Such a solution was often encountered in the late Gothic style in different European countries, and later in the Northern Renaissance. Among the examples worth mentioning one of the architectural symbols of Vienna — St. Stephen's Cathedral.
The time and circumstances, which will be discussed later, spare neither laps nor the roof of the building. Built of brick of two colors the steeple spire retained geometric patterns, once being in harmony with the tile patterns on the roof.

Early Christian basilica, with its principles of organization of the longitudinal space (the temple embodies the ship) was laid in the plan of the building.

The Lutheran Church scheme

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

The internal bulk was divided into three naves, and the main motif of the interior was semicircular arches. In contrast to the stylistic originals here, however, there was no depressing feeling of heaviness, owing largely to the role played by the abundance of Gothic interior parts with their soaring proportions. In particular, the apse finishing, the altar and the choir were gothic. Most of the items were made of dark tones wood in a variety of color combinations.

Original( not preserved) Lutheran Church interiors

A view of the altar A view of the altar A view of the altar Interior columns, photograph of the midst 1960s Organ choir part over the main entrance, 1975 Choir (picture by U.E. Klimenko), 1974

Generous donations made it possible to cast three bells and make stained glasses. The new organ was assembled and delivered by the well-known «E. F. Walcker» from Ludwigsburg in Württemberg.

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The small two-storey modest building, a part of a complex of buildings of the present-day community of Odessa NELTCU has not seen tumultuous historical events for the years of its existence.
Originally the house was designed to accommodate a pastor room and various church services. In Soviet times, the building played a role of an ordinary residential house, and remained so until the early 2000s. In 2000-2002, in the Parsonage, restoration works with rearrangement for accommodation the administration of NELTSU were carried out.
In addition to administrative offices, there was a room equipped for events up to 190 seats. A main service for the decoration of the interior and memorial facade elements belongs to the artist T. Kammerer, who had participated in the reconstruction of the Church of St. Catherine in Kiev. The first experience in Odessa was a success and, subsequently, Kammerer completed interior decoration of Odessa Lutheran Church.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

Type of building: residential, administrative
Style: Eclecticism
Architects: A. E. Sheyns, A. I. Bernardazzi
Date of construction: 1897-1899
Date of restoration and reconstruction: 2000-2002
Present-day functions: hospitable house
Status: Historical monument

Facial facades after the restoration

Lutheran Church, the Parsonage, Odessa

General view from Topolsky lane and Novoselskogo Street crossroad

Facade facing Topolsky lane Facade facing Topolsky lane Facade facing Topolsky lane
Lutheran Church, the Parsonage, Odessa

Corner part of the building

Facade facing Novoselskogo Street Facade facing Novoselskogo Street Facade facing Novoselskogo Street and butt  from the Lutheran Church side Facade facing Novoselskogo Street and butt  from the Lutheran Church side

Facial facades details

Lutheran Church, the Parsonage, Odessa

Facade facing Novoselskogo Street, frame of the end axle and the blade

Attic floor lucarnes Corner hipped roof, appeared during the restoration and enriched the building silhouette
Painting of the corner part of the building (by T. Kammerer) St. Paul sculpture (by T. Kammerer) Plate under St. Paul sculpture Memorial plaque with Sviatoslav Richter profile ( by N. Stepanov)

Backside facades

Butt facing the Lutheran Church General view of backside facades General view of backside facades
Lutheran Church, the Parsonage, Odessa

Balcony

General view of the Lutheran community buildings

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In February 1920, power of the Bolsheviks was established in Odessa, and in October 1921, a special committee withdrew church registers of births, which had been conducted since 1820. Spreading famine gave rise to the confiscation of many church treasures from the Evangelical Lutheran parish of St. Paul by the province executive committee on May 3, 1922.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

However, the really difficult times had come to the community with the beginning of large-scale repression of the 1930s (so-called «Great Terror»), when about 8 million Soviet citizens, among them priests and the religious of all confessions of the country were annihilated on unjust charges. Friedrich Merz, who served as a vicar in Odessa in 1916-1919, was lost in 1931 at the Solovetsky camps. The last pastor of Odessa parish Karl K. Fogel was arrested July 4, 1937 and executed by shooting on October 27 of that year; the church choirmaster and organist, professor of Odessa Conservatoire and concertmaster of the Odessa Opera House Theophilus D. Richter (the father of the eminent Soviet pianist of the twentieth century Sviatoslav Richter) was shot with the other 23 members of the «German» church in October 1941, shortly before the entry of the German and Romanian troops in Odessa.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

K. Fogel, the last pastor of the Lutheran Church

Public liturgy in the Lutheran church stopped in 1938, the same year the cross from the spire of the church was removed. During the Romanian occupation of Odessa the Church of St. Paul was again opened on 7 December 1941, the service was held until the end of December 1943. The celebration in Odessa parish in this period was carried out by the Lutheran pastors of the German community in Romania. In such a short period, a total of about twenty pastors, to some extent, contributed to the restoration of church traditions in the city.
After the war the building was given Popov Institute of Communications, which main building rose up close to it. The temple was used as a warehouse for a long time, and later — the gym. The apse was equipped with toilets and showers for athletes, and a laundry was attached to the outside of the building, that led to the destruction of the foundations due to the ingress of water and wastewater.

Lutheran Church in postwar times

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

General view from Popov Institute of Communications side

The choir were equipped to practice cycling, wrestling and gymnastics. As a result, deep cracks appeared in bearing structures of the temple. The Lutheran Church destruction continued for decades — slowly but inevitably the building was perishing.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Cracks and other extensive damages of the façade, photograph 1975

In the early 1960s, the Institute leader’s plans to demolish the dangerous structure for the construction of another student’s dormitory became known to the public at large. In 1965-1966 a fierce struggle for the preservation of the church of St. Paul broke out. Not only the State Security Service of the cultural heritage of Ukraine, but also the leading intellectuals of Odessa and students from various higher schools protested against the demolition of the church. Through their vigorous resistance, it was success in cancellation of the planned explosion of the long-suffering building.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Roof fragment, photograph early 1970s

In 1971, the Regional Union of Architects applied for identifying the building of the church of St. Paul in the category of architecture monuments and its preservation (it was only in 1979).
Meanwhile, in the church there were systematic restoration works: in order to use it as an organ and concert hall. Public at large supported this project with donations.

When this goal was almost achieved, the fire at night May 9, 1976 almost completely destroyed the building, leaving only the stone case. Almost completely interiors and partially lap structures were lost. Rumors about a deliberate arson have not been ceasing in the city until now.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Fire at night May 9,1976

Lutheran Church after the fire

General view, the end 1970s General view, the end 1970s General view, photograph 1978
Steeple, photograph by N.Dutsenko at the turn of 1970s and 1980s Right-side facade  and altar towers, photograph by N.Dutsenko at the turn of 1970s and 1980s Main entrance portal, 1978 Altar part and apse, 1978 Side facade, portal and outward walls
Interior columns and beams charring during the fire Choir

Only in 1987, the reconstruction of the building was resumed. Raised funds, of course, were enough only to carry out anti-damage measures in the ruins of what was once the Lutheran church. And everything again reached a dead end.

Restoration Plan, developed by the Kiev Institute for Protection of Monuments (1989)

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Title page

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

Church and parsonage (nursing home) conversion plan in the Concert Hall and Music Center

The building was becoming dilapidated disastrously fast, turned into a dangerous shelter for the homeless and persons of doubtful lifestyle.

Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church.

A view of Lutheran Church to the centennial celebration in 1997

A fragment of the facade ruins (the second half of 1990s) A fragment of the facade ruins (the second half of 1990s) Laid windows of the lower tier (the second half of 1990s) Main entrance portal (the second half of 1990s) Windows of the utility services room (the second half of 1990s) One of the small semi columns (the second half of 1990s)
Church interior, a view of the laid apse, 1989 A view of the main entrance from the apse Lobby Stabilizing steel structure in the apse

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Cruel fate fell to one of the most significant objects of historical center of Odessa — St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Passed all stages of the Soviet struggle against the «opium of the people», being more than once on the verge of collapse and demolition, the temple has risen almost from ashes.

Lutheran Church   1824—1894   1895—1917   1918—1991   Restoration   Parsonage  Temples-prototypes   Slideshow

 Lutheran Church in Odessa. German church. Tourism in Odessa.

General view

Type of building:
Religious cult structure (Lutheran Church)
Administrative (Parsonage)

Style:
Neoromanticism brick (Lutheran Church)
Eclecticism (Parsonage)

Architects:
F. C. Boffo, G. I. Torricelli (Lutheran Church, the  old building)
G. K. Shevrembrandt, H. Y. Skveder (Lutheran Church, the new building)
A. E. Sheyns, A. I. Bernardazzi (Parsonage)

Date of construction:
1824-1828 (Lutheran Church, old building, not preserved)
1895-1897 (Lutheran Church, the new building)
1897-1899 (Parsonage)
2000-2002 (Parsonage, reconstruction for hospitable home)
2005-2010 (Lutheran Church, restoration and reconstruction with restructuring of the altar)

Status:
Architectural monument of national importance (Lutheran Church)
Historical monument (Parsonage)

1824—1894

1895—1917

1918—1991

Restoration

Parsonage

Temples-protypes

 
References and Archives

Authors