Church Marienkirche in Altkalen

The church in Altkalen - photo: © Christian Pagenkopf
photo: © Christian Pagenkopf

Worth seeing are inside the church Marienkirche (red brick church dating from 1244) are the important wall and ceiling paintings from the 13th century.

The abbot of cloister Dargun got in 1232 the right of patronage over the church in Altkalen. In Kalen there existed a Wend castle and a castle chapel as well. Kalen was located at the “via regia”, one of the most important trade routes. In 1253 Prince Borwin III. vested the charter of Lübeck on the young city. Soon after they started building a new church, that still exists. Especially worth seeing are the re-discovered and restored paintings in the vault.

Die municipality Altkalen is located in a hilly area near the source of the river Peene in between the small towns Gnoien, Dargun and Neukalen. The Kummerower See (Lake of Kummerow) and Mecklenburg´s Switherland are distanced approximately 10 km. The diversified landscape is furthermore marked by small lakes (Neu Pannekower Lake and Lake Pfarrsee) and megalithic tombs that are more than 4000 years old (in the forest of Lüchow and in the marsh Postmoor). The highest rising with 46 m over sea level lies between Altkalen and the district Damm.

Kalen is first mentioned in a document dating from 1174. The name 'Kalen'  is of slavic origin and means “moor”, “marsh”. In 1232 the bishop Conrad of Camin gives the abbot Thietmar of Dargun the patronage over the church. Kalen gets town privilege. After 1236 the hamlet Kalen, also 'Kaland' (today  Altkalen), situated at the trade route from Stettin to Rostock gelegen, was developed into a city with a strong fortification by Prince Heinrich Borwin III. zu Rostock. The new city got landholdings and and was vested in 1253 the charter of Lübeck. But already in 1281 the hamlet was stripped of the charter. Prince Waldemar of Rostock fonded the hamlet Neukalen, a strategically much more importand place about 10 km south near the hamlet Bugelmast, and vested it the charter. The old Kalen became a village again, now Altkalen.

Source: Wikipedia / Kirchgemeinde Altkalen