It was very cold today (55 deg. F) but we decided to visit Weissenfels, the childhood home of Heinrich Schütz, about 40 minutes by train. When we got there, our first stop was the Marienkirche, which a caretaker opened for us specially, along with two other visitors to the BachFest in Leipzig. Even though Schütz was a church musician in Dresden for 55 years, he considered Weissenfels his hometown, and came back often to visit his family.
The church was restored during the DDR, but because it is built on marshland, the high humidity is the reason that further work needs to be done. The organ dates from 1864.
We walked just a little further to see the exterior of the Heinrich Schütz house. Unfortunately it is being renovated and won’t be finished until October of 2012.
Then we decided to climb up to the Schloss (castle) which was built for Augustus. The chapel was much more interesting than the museum, and featured painted Italian plasters. There were several plaques outside the building–one said that J.S. Bach was the consultant on the building of the chapel; another said that Handel played the organ here.