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Landmark in the east of Leipzig - the Lukaskirche in Volkmarsdorf
The Evangelist Luke is known for focusing on the poor, common people in his account of the events surrounding Jesus Christ. The namesake may well have been aware that Volkmarsdorf was a typical working-class district in 1893, when the Lukaskirche was inaugurated.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Volkmarsdorf was an up-and-coming suburb of Leipzig that needed its own church. An imposing brick building in neo-Gothic style with 1,000 seats was built according to plans by the prominent architect Julius Zeißig. Badly hit in the Second World War, only individual elements of the once elaborate design of the interior, which was largely made of wood, have unfortunately been preserved, such as the large chancel window with its representation of the four evangelists. The standing cross, which is also located there, was made from rough roof beams from neighboring Wilhelminian-style houses. These were demolished in the 1980s and replaced by prefabricated buildings. On the church facade, the five scenic mosaics above the various entrances are worth seeing. The nave and the entire district are dominated by a 71 meter high tower. Visible from afar on the train, it always signals to me: "You're back home".
An information board on the church forecourt indicates the role of the church in the time of the fall. Towards the end of the 1980s, the Lukaskirche and its pastor, Christoph Wonneberger, developed into a meeting place for opposition groups. In July 1989 the STATT Kirchentag was held here, a counter-event to the emphatically apolitical Kirchentag of the Saxon regional church.
When St. Luke's Church was built, the parish that went with it had around 18,000 members. Their drastic reduction to 350 people, of whom only a fraction regularly goes to church, meant that church services were no longer celebrated every Sunday for a long time. This has changed for the time being because the building has found a new user: a Lutheran free church, whose previous church in Eutritzsch has become too small, has filled the Lukaskirche with new spiritual life.
Good to know
Lukaskirche, Volkmarsdorfer Markt, 04315 Leipzig. Current church service times on the website of the Free Church of St. Trinity Congregation: www.lutherisch-leipzig.de. Getting there: Hermann-Liebmann-Straße / Eisenbahnstraße stop, tram (lines 1, 3, 8), bus (line 70).
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