Taufbecken of Herrnneuses

It was late afternoon by the time I reached Herrnneuses and its church, St. Matthäus which dates from 1713. As is the usual custom, churches in these small villages remain locked when not in use with a key held by a local custodian. My search for the designated person left me cold and lame with disappointment. I left for the nearby Fiedler Guesthouse in Oberrossbach were I like to stay. On the way back, I stopped on a whim at the cemetery at Herrnneuses.  Alte baßhaftiger atheist that I am, I had an experience that left me wondering if something were not looking down upon my efforts with favor. A woman was tending a grave and I used the opportunity to practice my German. I explained that I had been visiting Herrnneuses in hopes of viewing the famous Taufbecken but had been unable to gain entry.  The woman told me that in fact she was the organist of the church and had a key herself.  She kindly accompanied me back to the church.  Not only did I have a chance to photograph the church and its contents, but did so to the accompaniment of organ music!  It just doesn't get any better than that.

The font at Herrnneuses occupies a central place in front of the alter.  It was so charming to behold that I laughed with pleasure.  I forgot to touch it and do not know of what it is made. I suspect some sort of stone. The Taufbecken Angel lacks the more prominent wings of its progeny, but there is a belt. My new friend gave me a book about the history of the churches in the area that attributed the Herrnneuses Taufbecken to "the sculptor Diefenbach of Wilhermsford in 1730."  I understand that it has been functioning in the church of Herrnnoises for almost 300 years. (I did not remember it that day, but there were Hasselbachers living in Herrnneuses in the late 1600s and 1700s.)  Despite my personal attachment to Balthasar, this last find was an emotional high point of the day, perhaps because it was so unexpected.


The Trail of Taufatlant Continues.

My last task of that day was to follow the heritage of Balthasar's Taufbecken backwards in history.  A task for the next visit will be to chase its history forwards! Pfarrer Bacigalupo told me of another minister from near Ansbach whose hobby is wood carving. (When I have permission, I will give the proper credit.)  That person re-created Balthasar's Taufbecken for the Klaussteinkapelle near Kirchahorn, about 20 km south of Alladorf.  An internet search tells me that the decor of the chapel is very much like that of the church in Alladorf.  Much to my pleasure, I even have a photo of the newest Engelatlant!  Next trip perhaps I can pay a visit in person.

I took many photos and some video of all three of the churches above.  I plan to post them elsewhere on this website.  I placed an audio-visual supplement to these pages on YouTube.


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