Photo: Stadt OsterwieckThe Eulenspiegelhaus in OsterwieckThe old merchant city of Osterwieck in the northern foothills of the Harz mountains was a pioneer during the introduction of the Reformation. A Lutheran preacher was already appointed in 1535. With great determination, the citizens committed themselves to the teachings of Martin Luther. In Osterwieck, the earliest Protestant house inscriptions can be found. They were carved into the beams of the timber-framed houses.
One of the oldest Protestant city churches
In the city, which used to belong to the Catholic diocese of Halberstadt, the path towards the Lutheran faith can be understood better than in most other cities of Saxony-Anhalt. One of the earliest Protestant city churches can be seen there: the nave of St. Stephani, which was built between 1552 and 1557, after an old nave had been demolished. Only after 1568 did the whole diocese of Halberstadt gradually turn towards the religious renewal movement.
Photo: Stadt OsterwieckSt. Stephani church in Osterwieck 376 listed timber-framed buildings
Today, the more than 1025-year-old city of Osterwieck is especially popular because of its many well-preserved timber-framed houses. 376 of them are listed, around half of them were built before 1720, and - this is unique - more than a third come from the period before the end of the Thirty Years War. The probably oldest house was built in 1480.