The first Brick Gothic information signs in front of Frankfurt’s Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church)

The first Brick Gothic information signs in front of Frankfurt’s Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church)

The city of Frankfurt (Oder) has been a member of the association “European Route of Brick Gothic” (EuRoB) since 2012. Over the last decade, many travellers have come to Frankfurt (Oder) to visit St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest hall-type churches with north German Brick Gothic architecture. They have invariably carried a Brick Gothic travel guidebook, which is available for free in tourist information offices and other public offices. They have visited the church even though Frankfurt’s Brick Gothic architecture can now be enjoyed on virtual media. However, up to now there have not been any signs in the typical brick-red design which other cities and towns in the association use to provide guidance to tourists and culture enthusiasts who are following the route through northern Germany, Poland and Denmark.
The two new information signs near the western portal of St. Mary’s Church are the first step in making Brick Gothic architecture and the network of the association visible in the urban context of the city. The location was a deliberate choice because it reactivates the former sign system on Regierungsstrasse after the outdated information signs were removed some time ago following an autumn storm.

In future, visitors can find out more about St. Mary’s Church, the town hall, the Peace Church and the concert hall (Franciscan monastery church) even when St. Mary’s Church is closed. One side of the sign offers information about the opening hours, the permanent exhibition with an audio guide and the fixed events such as the “Tower at Night in Advent”. The other side of the sign provides text and pictures which briefly explain the special features of St. Mary’s Church. The second sign focuses on the other historic brick buildings in Frankfurt and offers an extract from the city map as guidance.

All texts are displayed in German, Polish and English. The translations were provided with the financial and specialist support of the association “European Route of Brick Gothic”. The costs for the production of the signs are borne by the city’s culture department. The layout of the signs matches the corporate design of the association “European Route of Brick Gothic” and was created by the Frankfurt media designer Ingo Carsten Rosche. The production and installation of the signs was carried out by the Complot company.

After an on-site meeting in December 2022 to plan the signs, the EuRoB manager Dr. Edith Kowalski has now travelled to Frankfurt (Oder) again, almost exactly one year later, to see the result of the project with her own eyes. During this visit, the first arrangements were also made for the annual members’ meeting of the association in 2027. In that year, Frankfurt (Oder) will host the meeting of the roughly 40 German, Polish and Danish member sites and cities for the first time.

Until then, the aim is to make the special features of Brick Gothic architecture in Frankfurt better known both in the region and internationally. The first initiative to achieve this is to offer information events on the annual Day of Brick Gothic, which is always held on the third Saturday in June. In addition, there are ideas on how to improve and extend the available signs, because there are still several almost unknown treasures in Frankfurt – such as the 13th century wall paintings on the gable under the roof of the Peace Church, which are now being uncovered, analysed and documented for an exhibition in a project subsidised by the German Environment Foundation.

Photo: Jana Schmidt/Kultureigenbetrieb