Church Village and JunctionHistorical Tour: Karby
The brickworks building you may see in Eckernförder Strasse was constructed around the year 1880. Erected in the solid, formal style of the period, it served as the office and administration building for the brickworks, but has since been converted to residential use. The brickworks in Karby operated until approximately 1920. The brick kiln included a 26-metre-tall smokestack. The clay for the bricks was obtained from the Ziegelteich (brick pond). The hand-formed bricks were stored in a large drying shed prior to firing.
The building located at “An der Kirche 5” is another good example of a rural knee wall house from the German Second Empire period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Originally built in 1878 for the Karby merchant Heinrich Marten, by 1900, August Jochimsen and his daughter Minna were operating a post office here. The structure housed a post office until 1981. The building was then used as a veterinary clinic before later being occupied by doctors’ offices and a dental laboratory. It displays all the typical features of a knee wall building: these include, in addition to the high exterior walls, the wooden trim, known as “Mäkler”, and the “German band”, the brickwork frieze that wraps around the building.
The nave and chancel of the church in the early Gothic style were constructed around the year 1260. The brick structure originally had a wooden beam ceiling, but was soon given a vaulted ceiling and extended by a sacristy. The Karby church was further expanded with a fortresslike tower – its walls are two metres thick – around 1500. The church was completely renovated in 1937. The tower clock was also installed in that year. The windows of the church, made to designs by Käte Lassen, are from 1938. The interior of the church boasts an impressive Renaissance pulpit from 1592, attributed to the wood carver Hans Gudewerth I. The 12th-century baptismal font is older than the church itself.
This Wilhelmine villa with its cupola-topped tower was constructed in 1904 for Paul Franz Bechler. The official purveyor of butter and honey to the royal court commissioned the Eckernförde architect Wilhelm Kruckau with drawing up the plans. The construction work was supervised by one Blaas, a master carpenter from Kappeln. With its delicate tones of white and red, the villa stands in idiosyncratic contrast to its surroundings. Since 1984, the villa has housed a small medical clinic. To the right of the access drive is a historic boundary stone with the inscription “Dörphofer Wegescheide 1835”, which once marked the end of the road which the farmers in nearby Dörphof were compelled to maintain.
Typical of the architecture of the Wilhelmine period are richly decorated, historicist facades. In more rural areas, however, this period left behind another architectural heritage: rather than the “Low German” houses or “Fachhallenhäuser” that had traditionally characterized village construction, Kniestockhäuser (knee wall houses) began to appear. These were distinguished primarily by exterior walls extending about a metre above the level of the ground floor ceiling, thus creating a higher, habitable upper story. One well-preserved, typical knee wall house can be seen at Eckernförder Straße 45. It is now a private residence.
Gasthaus Nüser Hotel
From 1888 to 1958, Karby was served by the narrow-gauge local railway that ran between Eckernförde and Kappeln. The platform for Karby station was located at the curve in front of the church. The Rathje railway hotel burned down in 1911, ironically during the fire department festival. Otto Rathje, a Bremen architect, erected a new, two-story railway and hotel building on the same site in 1912. After the Second World War, it also housed a bank and a doctor’s office. Since 1984, the building with its striking, dormer-studded hipped roof has housed the Gasthaus Nüser Hotel.