St. Adalbert's Church

St. Adalbert's Church



Kaliningrad, Pobedy prospect, 41

St. Adalberts Church (photo 1)
Construction time: 1904. In 1932, the expansion to a larger than the original area after the extension of the nave on the south-west side. In 1944/45 the old chapel and the tower were slightly damaged. The extension was completely destroyed, to date, completely absent. Architect of the chapel: Friedrich Heitmann Extension architects: Johannes Lauffer and Georg Schönweiler Hufen and Amalienau were perceived by developers as an independent part of the city; and if the evangelical community found the church in memory of Queen Louise as a worthy church of God in 1901, the Catholic community received at least a chapel in 1904. And for her in terms of building a corresponding place was provided: while the section of the Louise church lies on an expansion that looks like an area, in which the Hufenallee is divided into Lavsker Alley and Hammerveg, the Catholic section is located further along Lavsker Alley at the place where the alley expands to Sternplatz. The entrance is on the side, and it is typical of most Heitmann churches; the foundation of the tower becomes a passage; and the tower itself is asymmetrical with respect to the nave. From the point of view of urban development, he occupies an excellent position: the roof of the tower was visible from afar. Partitioning from the outside occurs with the help of buttresses; they give the chapel a gothic character. Upon closer inspection, you notice that Heitmann deliberately played with Gothic elements: each narrow Gothic window is surrounded by a window field, culminating in a very flat lancet arch (almost like a semicircular arch), and ending at the top with a steep lancet roof. On it – as a gothic supplement – a phiale is installed. With its high nave and slender tower, the chapel gives the impression of being larger than it actually is. It has four normal spans, and the length, together with the apse, is only 13.80 m, with a width of 6.60 m. However, the total height of the arch of 10.40 m is amazing. This “gothic” spatial relationship can best felt in the cut. The interior made an impression of a larger size with the help of a cunning move: initially the windows did not reach the present size at the bottom, at the bottom of the wall were closed, it seemed that the light was falling from a great height. Construction began, first and foremost, thanks to a sense of community. Most of the amount of construction and almost all the furnishings were donated. Architect Heitmann supervised construction work without payment. He is personally associated with this church structure. The use of a damaged church was typical of a pragmatic approach to recovery in the 50’s. And if the building stood in the center of the city, then in all likelihood it would be demolished. But here, on the outskirts, less involved in the elimination of German buildings. The roof of the church was in perfect order; there was no question of using it as a church. There was no need for a building with a hall in this part of the city (at the same time, in the nearby Ratshof, the church of Christ was rebuilt as a house of culture). And therefore two overlappings were added, so that a two-story administrative building was created. The tower was temporarily covered with a flat roof. The inner vault, which has been preserved until now, was hidden under the intermediate overlap. The reverse transformation into a church room (or into a room in which there is a need for a vault) would be possible without great expense. During the pre-World War I Friedrich Heitmann was one of the most famous and successful architects in Konigsberg. As a young construction manager at the Higher Postal Directorate, he came to Konigsberg in 1886; in the competition for Palestra Albertina he received the first prize (but could not get a contract for the execution). His first great work was the church in memory of Queen Louise in 1899 – 1901. In Konigsberg, he built three above-mentioned churches, as well as the destroyed church of Luther (1910). In the province they erected Catholic churches in Tapiau, Rastenburg, Pillau, Dietrichswald and Allenstein (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph). In addition to the district buildings in Gerdauen and Brownsberg, the hospitals in Gerdauen and Morungen, in addition to numerous local and residential buildings in the city and province, his significant contribution to Königsberg was the construction of the Amalienau settlement, which he developed together with his friend, construction advisor Kretchmann, and whom he helped in a financial sense, as a co-founder of the Königsberg Society for Real Estate and Construction. Many of the remaining villas and multi-family houses in Amalienau were designed by him. At the same time, in the early days, he devoted himself to the care of monuments and helped Adolph Böttiher with construction photography and drawings when he published ‘Monuments of art and construction of the province of East Prussia’. He received the recognition of Kaiser Wilhelm I and was awarded the Order of the Crown at the consecration of the church of Queen Louise in 1901 and the award of the title ‘Royal Construction Advisor’ in 1914. At the top of his work, when he turned 60, World War I broke out. In the rank of sergeant of the land forces, he took part in the battles in East Prussia and later in Poland in 1914. At the same time, he fell seriously ill and was forced to return to Konigsberg. His health deteriorated, he could no longer draw, abandoned his bureau. In 1918, he had to sell a villa built in Amalienau. He found refuge in the priest’s house he had designed near the chapel of St. Adalbert. He died in 1921. With the end of the World War I came not only a political coup, but also a coup in the general understanding of architecture. Heitmann grew up in ‘historicism’ and he loved his romantic version with the abolition of symmetry. He also reworked the general forms of ‘Jugendstil’, without going into, however, in its typical decor. This style of design, which became the object of progressive criticism even before the outcome of the World War I, with the end of the war also found its end. All architects felt a debt to the ‘new’. The era just ended was strongly criticized on an emotional level. At present, the building is occupied by the administration of the Western Branch of the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation named after Nikolay Pushkov of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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