Between Bad Bibra and Steinbach, the church stands today without its village Steinbach and for this reason alone it seems to be something special. The Margareten church, built around 1220, is a treasure of Romanesque architecture, and the creation of such a church, which is not usual for a small village, can only be explained by the effect of the Augustinian canonry. It was built
Between Bad Bibra and Steinbach, the church stands today without its village Steinbach and for this reason alone it seems to be something special. The Margareten church, built around 1220, is a treasure of Romanesque architecture.
The emergence of such a church, which is not usual for a small village, can only be explained by the effect of the Augustinian canonry. It was probably built by master builders of the Naumburg cathedral building school. Like the Naumburg Cathedral, it is decorated with many ornamental forms that were typical of the late Romanesque period. The village of Steinbach itself was first mentioned in a document in 952. The old Steinbach is said to have stood in the area of today's church and was probably completely destroyed in the 30-year war and has been rebuilt in its present location. Remains of a place near the church could not be proven until today.
The late Romanesque complex shows a typical staggering: a square west tower, a rectangular nave, a choir in the east, to which the apse is attached. The tower was certainly built later. It was completed with a Baroque decoration, partly covered with slate, and the round-arched and richly articulated columned portal was particularly skilfully designed: beautiful capitals with plant motifs and remains of an eagle and a tympanum (arched field) above the door. Arched friezes on the choir and apse with different consoles, a staircase frieze on the choir gable and the beaded embrasure on the original windows are striking. Inside the church, the massive arches of the choir and apse are impressive. Then one discovers the richly decorated capitals, plant ornaments and a face, on the corner columns in the choir. Through these columns and also through the unevenness on the plastered side walls of the choir, one can imagine an original cross vault. Today, the choir has a flat wooden ceiling, as was also common in the Romanesque period.
Nevertheless, the church raises many questions when you look at it and, despite building research, it still holds many a secret. Where was the village that once belonged to the church? Who gave the order for the elaborate decorative ornamentation, which was otherwise reserved for an important cathedral or monastery church. Let us wish the church that it will remain with us for a long time to come and that many a secret can still be revealed.
open church on weekends from May to October