The first recorded evidence of a chapel in Alertshausen dates back to 1553. The year 1674 was very important for the chapel and the community: a tower was built for a new church bell. In 1718, it became necessary to carry out the first extensive renovation of the chapel. Nevertheless, the chapel had to be torn down in 1802 when it fell into disrepair. A new chapel was consecrated the same year.
The chapel has been an architectural monument since 1983 and thus an important cultural asset of Bad Berleburg Township, of which Altershausen is a part. The chapel is still used for cultural activities, such as art exhibitions.
Chapel schools form a solitary architectural type for the Siegerland and its neighboring regions.
As stand-alone buildings and conspicuous in their surroundings, like the one in Alertshausen, they reveal the connection between religion and school education starting from the domain of Count William I of Nassau-Katzenelnbogen (1487-1559) and his son John VI of Nassau, Katzenelnbogen and Dietz (1536-1606). The hybrid used buildings existed until the end of the 19th century and in parts even until the 20th century.
Chapel Schools a solitary architectural type
The Siegen fine art photographer Thomas Kellner recognized the historical and cultural value of these buildings and set himself the task of preserving and recalling this typical regional cultural asset through a new medium. By means of photography he transfers the chapel schools into an artistic context and gives the historical topic a new dimension in the present (art).
Just as the chapel schools united in themselves two spheres of life, this publication also conveys different contemporary perspectives on the history and genesis of the chapel schools. While Kellner tries to rethink the type of building, which oscillates between profane and sacred, with his artistic realization, Chiara Manon Bohn, Isabell Eberling M. Sc. Dr. Andrea Gnam and Dr. Stefanie Siedek-Strunk provide an insight into the historical, architectural and religious classification of the chapel schools up to the pictures of Thomas Kellner in text contributions.