Haus

Hochstraße 20, 56321 Rhens

The house Marienbiltgen also called "Zum Marienbildchen" is a stately home and was built in 1734 by the councilman Philipp Altenhofen (1686-1770).

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From 1651 to 1685, the church house of the Protestant Reformed congregation of Rhens was located on this very spot. This was a parish hall equipped with benches and a pulpit. After the Electorate of Cologne had decreed the conversion or emigration of the last Protestants of Rhens in 1679, contrary to the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, the Protestant tradition of the town of Rhens, which had existed for over 150 years, came to a complete standstill in 1685. In order to remove any outward sign of a confessional division of the town, the pews and pulpit were removed. The building was rented to a blacksmith, but despite all the efforts of the then pastor Daniels, it could not be taken for the Catholic church, because it belonged to the landgraves of Hesse. In 1698 the building burned down - allegedly because the blacksmith had handled the fire somewhat carelessly. Nevertheless, rumors persisted that the schoolmaster had started the fire intentionally. Evidence for this assumption could not or would not be produced. The property with the collapsed cellar of the Lutheran church house remained undeveloped until around 1730 when the Hessian authorities became aware by chance that they still owned a plot of land in Rhens. They sold the building plot to Philipp Altenhofen and donated the proceeds to the new building of the Protestant Reformed congregation in Bad Schwalbach, which the last Protestant pastor of Rhens, Johann Bernhard Delph, had founded in 1685. One may speculate about the history of the little picture of the Virgin Mary, which is located between the initials of the builders in a niche at the bay window. Perhaps it belonged to a wayside shrine that was already in this location before the construction of this house. In that case, like the shrine below Dionysius Church, it would have expressed the triumph of the Catholic Church over Protestantism - all the more so because the Protestants' aversion to the Catholic cult of the Virgin Mary was a popular theme of the 17th century confessional controversy.

Text: Alexander Ritter; Torsten Schrade; Dehio, Georg: Handbuch der Deutschen Kunstdenkmäler. Rhineland-Palatinate Saarland. Edited by Hans Caspary et al. Darmstadt 1985; redact. Ed. S.G.

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Haus Marienbiltgen

From06.05.2021 until the 31.12.2022

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56321 Rhens Hochstraße 20
Haus Marienbiltgen
Hochstraße 20
56321 Rhens


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