Chapel School Werthenbach

Chapel school Werthenbach

In 1737, a chapel school was built in Werthenbach in the Netphen Township. The syllabi were guided by the Catholic view of New and Old Testament biblical history. The chapel school, named after St. Mary Magdalene, was expanded in 1818 to create more space. The building was a school until 1965 when it was torn down. The chapel school was faithfully restored to its original state, receiving a color scheme corresponding to the period before World War I. Today, the former chapel school is located in Detmold and is Germany’s largest living history museum.

Chapel school Werthenbach photograph

Chapel school Werthenbach 3 photograph

Werthenbach in: The Chapel Schools' Book

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 Werthenbach, 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.