Hohenroth is a village in the Driedorf Township of the Lahn-Dill District in Central Hesse. There you will find a former chapel school building. The “old school,” as it is referred to in the village today, was built in 1757. The schoolhouse itself was a half-timbered construction and consisted of two floors. The schoolroom was located in the lower half of the building, while prayers used to be held on the upper floor. The chapel school of that time was initially built with a gable roof and a square ridge turret.
The building was used as a schoolhouse until a new school was opened in Westerwald in 1966, when it temporarily became the property of the parish. The parish sold the house to private individuals. Until today, the building remains in private ownership.
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 Hohenroth, 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.