A Jewel on the Baltic SeaHistorical Tour Waabs
Marienkirche in Waabs
The oldest portions of the church in Kleinwaabs date to the Gothic era. Its predecessor was believed to have been sited closer to the water, and to have fallen victim to fire in the 14th century. The Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church) attained its present appearance with the construction of the massive, four-story tower toward the end of the 16th century and the vaulting of the nave in 1608. The church houses several notable works of art, including an early Gothic baptismal font made of Gotland limestone and Gothic wooden sculptures, believed to originally have belonged to a large altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary from 1460. The Renaissance murals in the sanctuary should also not be missed.
Along with the church, the historic Armenstift (almshouse) is one of the defining structures in the centre of Kleinwaabs. This protected historic charitable building was erected next to the Marienkirche in 1730 by the lord of the local manor of Ludwigsburg, Friedrich Ludwig von Dehn. For centuries, it provided a home for the older residents of the community. Today, the former almshouse of Waabs is a private residence. The low brick building with its steep, red-tiled roof stands on a stone foundation.
The final element of Kleinwaabs’ historic village centre, along with Marienkirche and the almshouse, is the house for the use of the village pastor. Built in 1842, it was the successor to two previous such buildings, destroyed by fire in 1670 and 1724 respectively. The vicarage is noteworthy for its large garden – a remembrance of days past, when pastors had to provision themselves. Part-time farmers for centuries, the pastors of Waabs kept their own livestock in the yard, and cultivated fruit, vegetables, potatoes, and herbs.
This estate was once known as Kohövede, or the Cow Farm. The manor was built on the foundations of a medieval moated castle, and was long one of the largest estates of the Duchy. Construction of the present manor house and gardens was begun in 1729 for Ludwig von Dehn, who also renamed the estate after himself. The three-story building is one of the most important surviving artefacts of the Baroque period in the region. Of particular significance is the “Bunte Kammer”(Painted Chamber), decorated with 145 oil paintings. Also worth a look is the 15th-century gatehouse. Ludwigsburg today draws visitors from around the region and beyond to its cultural events, café, estate shop, and its annual Christmas market.
Long Barrow at Karlsminde
Numerous megalithic tombs testify to the long history of human settlement in the region around Waabs. Only a few of the 65 to 70 surviving graves are in a good state of preservation. The 56-metre-long long barrow of Karlsminde, constructed around 2,500 B.C. during the Neolithic period, was comprehensively rebuilt and restored between 1976 and 1978. Since that date, the archaeological monument with its 108 boulders and three burial chambers has attracted visitors from near and far. The site is freely accessible and visible from a distance. Multiple burial chambers arranged alongside one another in a long barrow are typical for megalithic tombs of the style found in Karlsminde.
Farmers settled what is today the district of Langholz starting in the 13th century. Until the 19th century, the village was part of the Ludwigsburg manor estate, and fishermen plying their trade on the adjacent Baltic Sea also lived here. One reminder of those times is the thatched Fischerkate (fisherman’s cottage), a historic half-timbered house near Langholz’ unspoiled beach. Built in 1861, it was used for decades as a smokehouse, and also housed fishermen and day laborers, along with their families. Today, the restored cottage has been converted into a restaurant. Whether inside the cozy cottage or outside on the summer terrace, visitors can enjoy excellent food or coffee and cake.