Lazariterkirche, Gfenn (ZH)


A landmark of national importance stands in the Gfenn, the Lazariterkirche, a church from the 13th century. The Lazariterkirche once belonged to a monastery of the Lazarus Order, whose lay brothers ran a leper hospital. The town had it carefully restored and since 1967 it has served as a parity church. It is also used for weddings and concerts. Beside the church there is a group of houses, which was built in 1828 on the foundation walls of the monastery's burnt down convent house. Two of these houses were restored by the town in 1988. The "Klosterstube" and the rediscovered Romanesque cellar now serve as attractive public rooms.
The Lazarite church consists of a rectangular nave with a square choir. The nave was once accessible through three round arch doors: through the high entrance in the eastern part of the north wall, the Convent entered the church from the convent building via a bridge; a similar high round arch door near the southwest corner in the south wall once led to the gallery; the main portal in the west façade could be restored very well again. Above it lies a small round window. The southern eaves side shows the high entrance as well as two Romanesque round arched lucids and - to the west of them - a pointed arched window. The three Romanesque round-arched windows are preserved in the north wall.

On both sides of the northeastern corner of the nave niches are built into the wall. The larger one in the north wall is 1.5 m high and 2 m wide and possibly housed a side altar. In the east wall there is a 110 cm high, 80 cm wide and 25 cm deep round arch niche 15 cm above the church floor. Possibly there was a picture or a washbasin. In the north and south wall there is a small square lavabo or light niche.
The choir room is spanned by a groined vault, the flat wooden ceiling above the nave is more recent.