Evangelisch-Lutherische
Kirchgemeinde Eisenberg
Castle Church St Trinity

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The Castle Church St Trinity owns its existence to the division of the Dukedom Saxe-Gotha after the death of Duke Ernest I in 1675. The fifth of his eight surviving sons, Christian, received a territory in the East of the Dukedom and was created Duke of Saxe-Eisenberg. In 1677 he made Eisenberg his residence and built the Castle Christiansburg. His title lasted only for one generation for he died without an heir in 1707. But it was time enough to leave a building of breathtaking beauty. Today the castle itself accommodates the County administration – merely the floors are open for visitors.

The Church (left entrance of the castle) was consecrated on the first Sunday of Advent 1692. It is one of few baroque Churches of their kind, which was protestant from the beginning.
The church was never a parish church for the town. It rather served as Court Chapel for the Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg till 1918, when it became a property of the state of Thuringia. Today the town of Eisenberg owns and maintains the church.

During the time of the Communist regime it had a sad story. The church was desecrated and turned into a museum. In 1958 the walls were painted with white latex paint – which didn’t allow the walls to respire causing great damage. Later a beam above the organ broke down and destroyed several square metres of the ceiling fresco. Eventually the church was closed for the public due to safety reasons.
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Immediately after the German reunification extensive reconstruction works started. On the first Sunday of Advent 1992 – exactly at its 300th anniversary – the church was consecrated again by the Lutheran Bishop of Thuringia at the time, Roland Hoffmann.

Since than the congregation of Eisenberg celebrates its Sunday services in the Castle Church during summer once a month, from Easter Monday till October.

Castle Eisenberg - today County Administration

Every year, the Lutheran parish and the Town of Eisenberg organize a concert program. Furthermore the church is a popular place for wedding services. Some families also wish their children to be baptized explicitly in this church.

The restored frescos on the walls and the ceiling follow a theological programme. Unusual for a baroque church there is almost no gold to be seen. Alone the superscription of the altar is covered with gold:

V.D.M.I.A.
Verbum Deum Manet In Aeternum –
The word of God shall stand for ever – Isaiah 40:8

Duke Christian certainly wanted to make history in building this beautiful castle – but he was a pious man nevertheless, knowing perfectly well that everything he may create will be worldly and finite.

 

View to the ceiling frescos above altar and organ
 

The inscriptions on the entrance have their own history.

The one above the door, carved in stone, alludes to the name of the church, St Trinity:

O SANCTISSIMA TRINITAS
CUNCTORUM MISERERE PECCATORUM
Most Holy Trinity
Have mercy on all sinners!

The two golden inscriptions on the wings of the entrance door were a thorn in the flesh of the communist leaders before 1989. They much disliked the idea that the word “Christ” was distinctly recognizable even for those who don’t understand Latin. So they painted the door with black tar paint. But the Gold was strong: again and again the words came through. When the door was restored in 1992 the conservators found several layers of tar. The fight against the words had been pertinacious but without success!

Today again is clearly written:

IANUA DIVINI DANS VITAM CHRISTUS OVILIS
Christ who gives life
Is the holy door to the sheep.

AD COELI SOLUS GAUDIA CHRISTUS ITER
Christ alone is the way
To heavenly joy.

Outside service times the church is open for visitors (see opening times below).

 
  Services 2012 - 10am
  April 21st May 11th
  June 9th July 20th
  August 24th September 14th
  October 19th  
 
  Conzerts 2014(Status from June 8th)
April 18th, 3pm
St John's Passion - Reading and Music
May 18th, 4pm
"Frauenherz" - Ballads with Linda Feller
July 18th, 7pm
Organ Concert, Tim Rishton/Bergen, Norway
August 9th, 7pm
Classic Love Songs, Björn Casapietra

September 14th
12 and 2pm

Guided Tour trough the Organ on the occasion of the "Day of the open monument"
September 14th 4:30pm
"Glamour of the Baroque" -
Carsten Tupaika/Stadtroda
and Rupprecht Drees/Weimar, Trumpets
Philipp Popp/Eisenberg, Organ
October 2nd, 7:30pm
Organ Conzert, Wolfgang Karius/Aachen
 
  Opening times
April till October
Tuesday till Sunday 10am to 4pm
November till March
Tuesday till Friday 10am to 4pm
  Saturday / Sunday 1pm to 4pm
  On Mondays as well as on December 24th, 31st and January 1st the castle church remains closed.
 
  The town of Eisenberg charges
an entrance fee of 1 € per person.