Evang. Kirchengemeinde
Römerstraße 41
70180 Stuttgart
Tel. 0711 / 60 62 59

Of all inner city churches in Stuttgart, the Markuskirche (St. Mark's Church), built in 1906 - 1908 by Heinrich Dolmetsch, survived the Second World War almost unscathed, so that the church is essentially in an authentic condition.

The Markuskirche is one of the outstanding Protestant church buildings from the beginning of the 20th century in Germany. In terms of urban planning, style and construction it shows some remarkable innovations. The architect took into account the practical requirements as well as the demands for a high-quality and liturgically appropriate interior. Due to its good acoustics, the Markuskirche is a place where large concerts are held regularly.

In the autumn of 1904 the well-known architect Heinrich Dolmetsch was commissioned to draw up the plans for the Markuskirche. His third design was the first to be accepted by the various committees and he was commissioned to build it. After the building department approved the plans on April 6, 1906, construction work began immediately. The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone took place on 8 July 1906. A new and pioneering feature was that significant sections of the Markuskirche were made of reinforced concrete for the first time in a German church. The tower, the barrel vault of the nave, the ceilings of the side aisles, the gallery and the floor of the choir were made in this way. Despite a delay of several months (due to late approval of the structural design and demonstration of the strength of the concrete), the consecration of the Markuskirche was celebrated on 29 March 1908 with an extensive festive programme in the presence of the King and Queen.

Special features of the Markuskirche

In his first plans, the architect had already included community rooms in the church, such as the hall under the gallery and the hall under the organ. A special technical feature is the wooden partition that can be lowered between the church and the hall under the gallery as required.

Heinrich Dolmetsch was particularly concerned about the acoustics of the church. The sound waves are absorbed by a special cork plaster and are no longer reflected back into the church interior. Other construction measures also support this positive effect. The builder also put a great effort into the design and acoustics of the pulpit.

During a walk around the church you can see the sculptural elements.

Four statues of angels in the four cardinal points adorn the tower. They are equipped with different accessories symbolizing combat (sword), peace (palm tree), hope (anchor) and resurrection (trumpet). On the ridge of the main roof on the western gable is the winged lion, the symbol of the Evangelist Mark, the eastern gable carries a stone cross.

The main portal is crowned by a head of Christ. The inscription on the lintel of the portal “Come with me” (Mark 1:17) refers to this. The capitals of the portal are the only ones with figurative representation of some birds. They refer to the words “They do not sow nor reap nor store in barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them” (Matt 6:26).

The other representations, vine patterns and stylised palm leaves and pearl rods, can be traced back to early Christianity.


The altar is in line with the pulpit and the baptismal font. Its importance is underlined by the semi-circular barriers on both sides, which are made of stone, just like the altar. The altar frontal and the hangings in the spaces between the altar-screen are made of leather.

The pulpit and its construction were very important to the architect. The double perforated walls with high spaces between them have created a resonance body that has an optimum effect on the acoustics of the church. It is decorated with three relief inlays: in the middle “The parable of the fig-tree” (Luke 13,6-9), on the left “The sower” (Mark 4,2-9) and on the right “The reaper” (Mark 4,29). The panels were designed by Rudolf Yelin and executed by Karl Spindler.

The baptismal font is surrounded by a niche with inlaid panelling. It ends with a relief framed by two crabs, showing the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The stone baptismal font itself bears the inscription “Let the children come to me” (Mark 10:13). Its copper cover features a frieze of fish, shells, and starfish, and, as a crowning glory, the figure of John the Baptist.

The crucifix is the central element in the church. It was designed by the sculptor Hermann Lang. The base is an abstract representation of a tree, which is to be interpreted as the tree of life, framed by ears of corn and flowers.

The Walker organ is a typical late romantic instrument, today with 60 stops. It enjoys an excellent reputation for the interpretation of romantic literature.

The stone organ front and the singer's podium are special features of the Markuskirche. The organ prospect was originally open in the centre, so that light could shine through the choir window into the church interior.

The reliefs on the walls of the nave above the arcade area show the following scenes, beginning on the south side at the choir arch: Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:11), blessing of the children (Mark 10:13), the widow's mite (Mark 12:43), and the healing of the paralytic (Mark 1:34). On the north side leading to the choir arch: Jesus with the sinners (Mark 2,17), the cleansing of the temple (Mark 11,17), Gethsemane (Mark 14,36), the raising of the cross (Mk 15,25). The reliefs were created to designs by Friedrich Keller.

The colourful stained glass windows (W.D. Kohler) were installed in 1958. They show scenes of Adam, Noah, and Abraham on the south side and scenes of Moses, David, and Elijah on the north side, each in groups of three windows. The east window above the gallery shows a scene from the Revelation (Kohler, Jr.). They were made by the Gaisser glass company.

Looking at the church fittings, it is clear that the architect Dolmetsch left nothing to chance. The furniture of the sacristy, the pews, the doors, the lamps (unfortunately only a few originals still exist), the chairs, and the railings were made and installed to his designs.

Translation: Alexander Burden