In the Netphen district of Eckmannshausen, St. Joseph’s Chapel was built from 1858 to 1861. Until the middle of the 19th century, it remained intact in its original state of construction. In 1957, fundamental renovation work was carried out and a chapel extension was built. Although it had been decided as early as 1936 to build a new school building to provide more space, the plan could not be implemented due to World War II.
Starting in 1968, young people from the neighboring villages of Herzhausen and Unglinghausen also attended the school. The St. Josef Eckmannshausen chapel association still maintains the chapel today.
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 Eckmannshausen, 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.