Visiting the Friedenskirche, Eupen, Belgium: Neo-Gothic structure with a prominent spire, built 1851-1855
Lutheran or not quite; German but not now in Germany
This church building, the Friedenskirche (Peace Church) in Eupen, Belgium, dates from 1851-1855.
Although — from a skyline perspective particularly — the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche, with its twin towers, is probably Eupen's most well known church building, the Friedenskirche (Peace Church), as it is called, is also prominent in Eupen's Downtown area, not least because of its conspicuous spire, executed in zinc.
The Friedenkirche's style is Neo-Gothic. Thus we see the profusion of pinnacles and features such as recurring, pointed window arching.
Stein of Aachen is known to have been responsible for its design. Interestingly, the structure was built when Eupen was part of Prussia, before a united Germany emerged from the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, and before what are known as the Ostkantone were annexed from Germany by Belgium at the end of World War One.
This church has been Protestant since its inception. Of course, at the church building's inception, Eupen was in Germany and the church was known as Lutheran.
Today, it forms part of what is known as the United Protestant Church in Belgium (German: Vereinigte Protestantische Kirche in Belgien), which is a state aided group. There are also many French- and Dutch-speaking congegations in this church grouping, which, because of the history of Protestantism in Belgium is not regarded as specifically Lutheran, although close to Lutheranism.
In addition to the main photo (above), I have supplied, (above, right) a view of the Friedensgericht law courts building, with the Friedenskirche clearly visible behind it.
Eupen and the Ostkantone are situated in Belgium's Liège (German: Lüttich) province, in the Walloon region (German: Wallonische Region; French: Région wallonne). The Friedenskirche, known also more fully as die Evangelische Friedenskirche (1), is located at
August 7, 2013
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(1) The term Evangelisch in German does not translate exactly as 'evangelical' in English; but in Germany it is usually synonymous with Lutheran; in Belgium (see also main text, above) the state-aided Protestant church uses the term Protestantisch in German to describe itself, although Evangelisch is also used.
Also worth seeing
In Eupen itself, other noted buildings include: the Sankt-Lambertus-Kapelle, dating from 1690, the town museum, housed in a property dating from 1697 and Haus Grand Ry, seat of government for Belgium's German-speaking Community (German: Deutschsprachige Gemeinde).
How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Eupen: 126 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB maintains a service from Brussels to Eupen. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Eupen: historic architecture in the capital of the German-speaking Ostkantone, Belgium
- Visiting Kettenis, eastern Belgium, in the German-speaking Ostkantone: castles and past, official eq
- Visiting the Weser Valley Dam, Belgium: scenic waters, changing language policies
- Visiting the Three Country Point, near Gemmenich, Belgium: formerly a Four Country Point, including
- Visiting the Royal Palace, Brussels, Belgium: imposing workplace of the monarch
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