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Das "Hüsli" in Grafenhausen
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The "Hüsli"

Grafenhausen is situated on a sunny high plateau in the southern Black Forest (800-1000 m) near the Schluchsee, Wutachschlucht and Feldberg. The village is known for the Black Forest "Hüsli", which served as the setting for the television series "Die Schwarzwaldklinik" (private apartment of Prof. Brinkmann). In reality, it is the local history museum of the district of Waldshut and has an excellent collection of Black Forest folk art.

The Romans had already settled the land of the Rhine plain, but the heights of the southern Black Forest remained uninhabitable until the beginning of the 11th century. King Heinrich III. (1038-1056) left the area to the Counts of Nellenburg and jurisdiction from the Schluchsee down to the Rhine valley. In the following years, the high forest areas were cleared and prepared for settlement.

Count Eberhard III of Nellenburg (1012-1079), called the Blessed, was the founder of Grafenhausen. It is assumed that he became acquainted with the devotion to St. Fides in Conques on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and brought it with him to Grafenhausen. Sainte Foy became Saint Fides in Germany. In 1047, Count Eberhard III commissioned the building of a monastery in the shipping settlement of Schaffhausen on the Rhine, which was consecrated by Pope Leo IX in 1049 and later given the name quot;Allerheiligen". In 1052, Count Eberhard III donated uninhabited lands around Lake Schluchsee and the area around present-day Grafenhausen to the monastery of Allerheiligen. He initiated the clearing and settlement of the Upper Black Forest. In 1075 he himself went as a monk to the monastery he had founded.


A document kept in the Schaffhausen Museum Allerheiligen, confirms that in 1095, Bishop Gebhard III of Constance consecrated a St. Fides Chapel in Grafenhausen. As early as 1078, Abbot Sigfrid of Allerheiligen Monastery had founded the daughter monastery of the Benedictine nuns in Grafenhausen. The monastery cell - like the church belonging to it - was also dedicated to St. Fides.

The nunnery of St. Fides in Grafenhausen experienced many ups and downs in the following centuries. The decline came in the middle of the 15th century by the robber barons in the area and by the fact that Allerheiligen no longer had any interest in the Black Forest monastery. Around 1470 the last nun the last nun from the monastery of St. Fides.

For Grafenhausen, the year 1530 was the year of its separation from Switzerland. The town of Schaffhausen exchanged the distant estates for the closer Schleitheim and Beggingen. Thus the village passed to the landgraves of Stühlingen. Three forest areas were excluded from the exchange. This is how the Swiss town of Schaffhausen today still owns four square kilometres of forest within the Grafenhausen state and private forest.

However, Grafenhausen was not to remain with the landgraves of Stühlingen. Via the Pappenheim and Mörsberg families, the lands came into the possession of the monastery of St. Blasienin 1609. possession of the monastery of St. Blasien. The monastery retained the properties in and around Grafenhausen until its own dissolution in 1806. Prince Abbot Martin Gerbert founded the Rothaus brewery, which became the state brewery after secularisation and is still an important economic factor for the community today.

The church of Sankt Fides in Grafenhausen
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The church St. Fides in Grafenhausen in 2008

After being destroyed by fire in 1622, the church of St. Fides in Grafenhausen was completely rebuilt. Fides in Grafenhausen was completely rebuilt. Only the lower part of the church tower from the middle of the 14th century survived the catastrophe. Around 1900 the nave was added as an extension in the neo-Gothic style. A somewhat unfortunate renovation in 1957 changed the interior considerably. Only a few baroque basic structure of the church could be restored.

The patron saint of the parish is depicted several times in the church:

An oil painting on the right side of thenave, a work by Konrad Schmieder from 1890 shows the girl being sentenced to death. She stands upright before the court, the stone for burn torture already lies in a male hand, the bundle of rods for the burning torture and the axe for the beheading lie ready, and the laurel of the martyrs floats down in an angel's hand.

Die hl. Fides wird zum Tod verurteilt

The coloured ceiling painting, painted in 1950 by the artist Manfred Schmidt, shows the Assumption of the Mother of God into heaven as well as St. Fides on the left edge of the picture. Below is the village of Grafenhausen with the church and town hall, which, as it were, ask for the protection of the Mother of God and St. Fides.

ceiling painting, St. Fiden, Grafenhausen

In the centre of the high altar is a statue of Fides, which was found in the attic and thus did not originally belong to the (Mary) altar of 1730, which was purchased in 1980 from Mauenheim in Hegau. On both sides of the high altar are the figures of St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Fides on the main altar in Grafenhausen

The church has a left aisle with a Gothic Marian altar.

Innenaufnahme St. Fides in Grafenhausen

Every year on the Sunday after 6 October, the parish celebrates the church patronal and the subsequent parish festival in the Schwarzwaldhalle.
During the service, the congregation enjoys singing the Song of Fides:

O heilige Fides hör dies Wort am Thron des Herren, unserm Hort.
Dein Name Treu und Glaube heißt und hin zu Gott den Weg uns weist.

Erfleh o Fides durchs Gebet, dass alle Tage früh und spät,
wir stets dem Dienst des Herrn uns weih'n, um ewig einst bei ihm zu sein.

"O holy Fides, hear this word at the throne of the Lord, our refuge.
Thy name is called Faithfulness and Faith, and it points the way to God.

Pray, O Fides, that all our days, early and late,
that we may always devote ourselves to the service of the Lord."

Die Kirche Sankt Fides in Grafenhausen
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In the churches in the vicinity of Grafenhausen, some representations of St. Fides can be found, e.g. east of Grafenhausen in the St. Nicholas churches of Wellendingen (wall altar as a war memorial with St. Barbara, Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and St. Fides) and Lausheim (small oil painting in the top of the right side altar).

Photos: Gerhard Eichinger, Sept. 2008