In Osterwieck, the houses speak. Not verbal - but if they could, they would have a lot to tell. At a total of 43 houses in the Old Town Osterwiecks you can see house inscriptions from the time of the reformer. However, they do not confine themselves as usual to information on the edification of the house, but convey very clear messages.
Fachwerk plays a big role in Osterwieck. A total of 400 half-timbered houses are protected monuments from the late gothic and renaissance period. Here are the so-called "fan rosettes" to see. At Osterwieck's "Old Bailiwick" they are dated to the year 1533 and are thus likely to be the oldest surviving fan rosettes according to the current state of research.
But much more interesting than the architectural style are the house inscriptions. After this is first handed down from Braunschweig in 1530, also the Osterwiecker confessed in 1533 in Latin and German with Protestant foreign exchange, Bible quotations, psalms to the Protestant faith - quite an impudence to their sovereign, Cardinal Albrecht, who was not only bishop in Halberstadt but also Archbishop of Magdeburg and Archbishop and Elector in Mainz. Again and again one finds "Verbum domini manet in aeternum" - to German: "the word of the gentleman remains in eternity" - this was nevertheless the motto of the Schmalkaldic federation of the Protestant princes and cities. Here in Osterwieck it is 1534 for the first time at a house on the Schulzenstraße 9 handed down. The naked boy with his head over a skull symbolizes the "transience of the earthly" over the "eternity of the word of God".
"He who fears the Lord has a strong fortress" and "alone" God's word is eternal "is even said at Schützenstraße 2 - this is" Osterwiecker Reformation "par excellence! The ornaments at the beginning and at the end of the text quotes are called magic knots - they symbolize infinity.
House inscriptions are filigree carvings that have been either positively or negatively carved into the timber of the framework. Originally they were not highlighted in color, but lived protected by an oil painting, only the play of light and shadow - as can be seen on the wooden panels on the not yet restored "Old Post" in Nicolaistraße 2 well. Had not been carved here, but only worked with color, the almost 500 years old inscriptions could - long since faded - no longer recognize.
It is written in the house of Sun-clover 40: "Cast your request upon the Lord, he will take care of you, and he shall not forsake the righteous, nor go to his seed for bread" (Ps 37:25). "It is all in the blessing of God" (Luther's title of Psalm 127). The many inscriptions in German would not have been possible without the translation of the Bible by Martin Luther.
"The High House" in Nicolaistraße 30 towers over the neighboring houses on three floors. On it is written the Bible saying, "The fear of the Lord makes the heart happy, and gives joy and pleasure forever." (Jesus Sirach 1:12) and the popular saying, "Do nothing without a turn, so do not go after it."
books (in german)
HARZFORSCHUNG 21: Osterwieck – Frühe Mission und frühprotestantische Bilderwelten
HARZFORSCHUNG 26: Osterwieck – die Fachwerkstadt aus dem Reformationsjahrhundert
Osterwieck – die Stadt des Fachwerks und der Reformation
Die frühprotestantische Kirche St. Stephan in Osterwieckread morecollapse