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Initially the current church functioned as a Cistercian abbey turned into a catholic church in 1400. Between 1540 and 1550 the evangelical religion was imposed to the people of Richiş. Thus, the local Saxons moved to the “physical transformation” of the church, too. Because they were proud and wanted a church with the whitest and cleanest walls possible, they limewashed the church each year… thus, after a while, the lime layer on the walls grew as thick as a finger.
The fortification wall was added around the year 1500. In front of the church tourists may notice the belfry separated from the building itself; this is because initially the Cistercian order was not allowed to build a belfry on the church.
In 1957, the new priest arrived in the village mobilised all the locals to clean up the old lime from the walls and reveal the beautiful early gothic motives. It took one entire summer for the locals to clean the church, but their effort was worth it.
The church from Richiş is an undeniable treasure which reveals itself step by step to the knowing eye of the visitor. Its interior is abundant in unique animal, vegetal and human motives. The most captivating is, by far, the ubiquitous figure of the “green man” seen in various stances, the “little devils” as Mr Schaas calls them. Another interesting element is the 1775 baroque altar illustrating the Crucifixion.
At the church you will be welcomed by Mr. Schaas, one of the few Saxons left in the village. Mr Schaas is the perfect guide; his stories about the people, the village and the church are countless and one day in his company never seems to be enough.
For further information please go to: www.reichesdorf.de, www.richis.eu.
Did you know...?
Originally, the Green Man was a pagan deity. Nevertheless, its figure is illustrated in very many churches as a symbol of vitality, land fertility, return to nature. It is likely that the locals from Richiş used the image of the Green Man to illustrate soil fertility.
In front of the church portal lies the tombstone of music composer Peter Georg Meyndt (1852-1903) known for his Saxon dialect songs.
Coordonate GPS: 46.10 N, 24.48 E