Maybe you are wondering why I am showing you all these little, hidden, and forgotten temples. (But if you’re already here, you’re probably not). They all have something in common – interesting or mysterious background, often lacking any historical documents. And of course, on the vast majority of them, there is no information in English at all.
The Chapell of St. Stephen in Oberlascheid isn’t an exception. On the contrary, there is even a greater curiosity about it. Because it is not a very ancient temple, and yet, nothing is certain about its history.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I landed at the village inn of Oberlascheid, where the key of the temple is kept (a quite ironical custom in so many settlements).
After I tried a couple of minutes, in vain, to open the beautiful door
with this impressive key, I was compelled to return to the inn. And there, while I was broken-heartedly telling this to the hostess, a young man who was sitting at the bar, just grabbed the key from my hand and said:
– Come with me, I’ll help you.
Then he led me to the church, opened the door very skillfully (there was a specific technique for it indeed), and after that, he was waiting for me outside giving me all the time that I needed to take all the photographs that I wanted. He then closed the door for me, handed the key back to me, and just vanished. I mean, I went back to the inn, but he didn’t. So, I didn’t have another chance to speak to him, or to say ‘thank you’.
So, at the inn I spoke to the hostess about the temple, because, as said above, I couldn’t find any information on it anywhere else, and she told me, much to my surprise, that the history of the church is unknown and nobody knows anything about it, even the locals. Her father knew, but he passed away few years ago, and this knowledge has vanished with his death. Then she remembered, she had a brochure of the church, and took out from a drawer of a table at the hall four printed sheets of paper. This could barely be called a brochure, but it was such a precious ‘gift’ to me, which I had to shoot with my camera, because it was the only copy remaining.
The author of the text is Franz Meier from the village of Bleialf.
According to it, it is assumed that the building or at least its tower dates from the 16th or the 17th century (a fairly relative presumption).
And this conclusion was drawn only from the two statues on the church tower –
an interesting depiction of the Divine Trinity above the door
and a statue of St. Gangolf, patron saint of the chapel until 1604.
The meaning of the third sculpture – on the outer side of the altar, is still unknown.
And here is my personal mystery, something that happened for a second time with my camera – to capture something that wasn’t supposed to be in the photograph
(see the figure on the bottom of the picture) and that I have no clue what it is. It also seems that the figure was moving at the time of capture.
Actually, there is not much to photograph inside the church –
it is a neat and simple little temple.
The high altar with the Virgin Mary and a pelican as a symbol of the redemption is from the 18th century.
But the mystery still persists.