Südbrookmerland in the Aurich District of Lower Saxony is comprised of ten formerly independent municipalities: Bedekaspel, Forlitz-Blaukirchen, Moordorf, Moorhusen, Münkeboe, Oldeborg, Theene, Uthwerdum, Victorbur, and Wiegboldsbur. They have merged in 1972 to create what is now Südbrookmerland.
It is an area that dates back to the early Middle Ages, and today it remains an area filled with historic churches, as religion had once dominated medieval life. Maybe that’s the reason why there are no less than seven churches scattered throughout this town. There are also quite a few windmills dotting the landscape from at least the 19th century.
Shall I list some or all of them? Yes? Okay…
The first is the Church Bedekaspel of 13th century origin. A storm on Christmas 1717 severely damaged the church, and has continuously been been flooded throughout the years and quite expensive to renovate after each.
The Church Engerhafe (in Oldeborg) and its Roman Style date back to 1250. With the western part added twenty-five years later, in 1285, it was redesigned in the Gothic Style. When the church’s size was reduced in 1806, it was shorted by at least 3 meters (approx 9 feet). Gone are the 16th and 17th century bells, having been replaced now by bells from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Church Forlitz-Blaukirchen is a simple understated church designed in 1847 when the two municipalities were joined. The Church Moordorf was built in 1767, with the new tower added in 1908. The “new church on the block” is the Church Münkeboe Moorhusen, built in 1900 in a Gothic style. The tower was struck by lightening in 1927 suffering severe damage and went under extensive restoration 1976.
The Church Victorbur is quite an imposing structure with walls up to 2 meter (approx. 6 feet) thick and built in the 13th century. Excavations show there was once a wooden church here, and the oldest section is the center tract, while the Gothic windows are a bit younger.
The Church Wiegboldsbur is another 13th century building and also had an original wooden structure prior. Once having three bells, only 1 remains from the 16th or 17th century.
Don’t forget the restored windmills that are scattered throughout the area of Südbrookmerland. The Mill Wiegboldsbur dates from 1812 and the Mill Munkeboe, dates from 1854. The Mill Bedekaspel was used right up until 1920 for drainage of the land.
Chances are, no matter how long you stay in Südbrookmerland or what village or district you visit, you’re sure to see churches and windmills as far as the eye can see! Why else would I dedicate an entire page to them? ;-)