Via Gintoft and Steinberg to the Oestergaard ManorHistorical Tour Steinbergkirche
St. Martin's Church in Steinbergkirche
The historic tour in Steinbergkirche starts at St. Martin’s church. An examination of its stern, imposing facade reveals the passage of different architectural eras. The eastern half of the elongated nave and the choir were part of a Romanesque stone church of the late 12th century. The church, then topped with a wooden tower, was lengthened in the 13th and 15th centuries. It was extended yet again in 1753, also receiving its present tower with a curved roof and open lantern. Inside the church, the Gotland baptismal font, the magnificently carved altar, the Baroque pulpit, and the votive ship suspended from the ceiling are well worth closer inspection.
Reformation Lime Tree
In the cemetery of St. Martin’s stands what is likely the oldest lime tree in the entire region of Angeln. The age of the tree cannot be determined with certainty, but experts attest it could be up to 800 years old. Most likely, however, it was planted around 1520 to commemorate the arrival of the Protestant Reformation, thus the name “Reformationslinde”. It soon also functioned as a “Thingplatz”, or site for communal assemblies. The men of the district would gather beneath the branches of the lime tree in the 16th century to consider local matters or hold a trial. Unfortunately, this lime tree was split by a lightning strike. Now measuring some 9 metres in circumference, its crown has had to be heavily pruned in order to prevent it from breaking apart in a storm.
“A traveler in Angeln is tempted to believe that every sizable farmhouse is a noble’s manor,” states a travelogue from 1855. And for good reason: In the 19th century, many prosperous farmers in the region laid out their farms as three-sided, U-shaped compounds, with a free-standing, villa-like farmhouse, a stable, and a barn arranged around a central square. This architecture remains a defining feature of the rural region between the holiday region of the Schlei and the Flensburg firth. Several such three-sided compounds that remain working farms may be found in the hamlet of Gintoft. The Otzen Farm is one of them, today operated as a horse boarding facility. Also worth seeing are the von Spreckelsen holiday farm and the Norgaard farm.
The name of the estate is from the 16th century, when the eastern end of the village of Steinberg was moved. The present manor house with its vaulted cellar and ornate, cast iron exterior stairs was built in 1856. Since 1926, the estate has been operated by four generations of the Lempelius family.
The estate was one of the first agricultural businesses in the region to recognize the economic potential of tourism. Today, holiday homes and apartments await visitors, as well as a café open on weekends during the holiday season and a corn maze in late summer. Oestergaard has also made a name for itself as a venue for concerts, markets, and festivals. Numerous jazz concerts and craft markets are held every year.
In Steinberg as well, the Flensburg local railway left a mark that remains visible to this day. A brick-built railway station was constructed here in 1884 that served as the centre of village life until railway service on this section of the line was terminated on November 30th, 1952. Later, the station building was converted into a restaurant, and the former railway right of way became Bundessstraße 199.
Today, the Steinberger Hof is a charming hotel and restaurant.
Old Railway Station, Steinbergkirche
The Flensburg local railway inaugurated service on the line between Flensburg and Glücksburg on August 20th, 1885, originally using a narrow-gauge track. On July 1st of the following year, the line was extended to Kappeln. One station on the line, until it was shut down in 1953, was Steinbergkirche. Built in 1886, the inn diagonally across from St. Martin’s church also functioned as the railway station’s reception building. There was also a small locomotive depot with an engine shed, coaling facilities, and water crane – financed by the innkeeper, who calculated that trains would thus make longer stops here, and more passengers visit his establishment. Restored from 1997 to 1998, the former railway station is now a protected historic site.