Historical Tour in SchleswigBellmann district
Schleswigs “Balcony”: the Michaelisallee
In the early 19th century, the residents of Schleswig discovered the appealing qualities of the heights to the north of the Schlei. Through fundraising campaigns and collections, they had by 1825 made it possible to lay out and construct a tree-lined boulevard. This attractive boulevard, the Michaelisallee, ran parallel to the Lollfuß from the since-demolished Michaeliskirche to the Schneckenberg, where the Chemnitz-Bellmann monument was later erected. To this day, the Michaelisallee, Schleswig’s “balcony”, offers a magnificent vista of Schloss Gottorf, the Friedrichsberg district, and the Schlei, and past the Schützenkoppel to the beautiful historic heart of the city.
The Chemnitz-Bellmann Monument
In the middle third of the 19th century, the nationality question took centre stage in the Duchy of Schleswig as well. The high point of this development was the Schleswig Singers’ Festival of 1844. More than 12,000 people gathered on the Hesterberg festival meadow on the 24th of July and greeted with applause the premiere of the Schleswig-Holstein anthem. The text of the song, which remains popular today, was rewritten from an earlier song shortly before the festival by the lawyer Matthäus Friedrich Chemnitz. The melody was composed by the Schleswig cantor Carl Gottlieb Bellmann. The two are commemorated by the monument on the Schützenkoppel, designed by Paul Peterich and built in 1896.
Petersenburg in the Chemnitzstraße
A further contribution toward the objective of creating a uniform urban fabric in the “Heimatschutz” style in the Bellmann- and Chemnitzstraße area was also represented by the buildings of the Heimstätte Schleswig-Holstein erected at the same time, and especially by the private residences designed by Julius Petersen. He designed for his own use in 1927 the duplex at Chemnitzstrasse 55/57, known as the “Petersenburg”. The two-story house of red brick is characterized by its two corner towers, each with an unusual conical roof. It represents the architectural pinnacle of the residential architecture of the Neustadt district, and is an excellent example of the rich and varied detail to be found in its highly diverse houses.
House of the Agricultural Chamber
A new architectural movement, the “Heimatschutz” style, arose around 1900. Its objective was to promote a regional identity in architecture and urban planning. It fought against the mingling of styles, favoring the red tiles and muntined windows of Northern Germany. Schleswig’s municipal architect Julius Petersen cleaved to this ideal when he designed the Neustadt residential development for government employees in 1925. The development was centred on the former agricultural school with its imposing Expressionist facade and, perpendicular to it, the arcaded Bellmann athletic hall that marks the square. Petersen’s master plan envisioned a striking water tower positioned between them, but the Great Depression ensured that it was never built.
Forced Laborer Memorial on the Hesterberg
During the Second World War, the Stammlager XA POW camp operated on the Hesterberg in Schleswig. The camp housed up to 1,100 prisoners of war, as well as approximately 850 civilian foreign and slave laborers recruited from Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Soviet Union.
Most were forcibly compelled to leave their home countries and work in Germany, held captive in private homes, camps, and work details under often inhumane conditions, and were made to labor for private companies and in public works. A memorial for the forced laborers, designed by schoolchildren, was dedicated in 2007. The six spheres arranged around the statue of a mourning girl each represent a country of origin of the laborers.