What had to happen in order for a witch trial to take place? Who were the women and men who were accused and convicted of being witches and wizards and thus executed? How and where did they live in the city? Who were the representatives of the so-called "witch justice"? How did they justify their eagerness to prosecute? What effects did the witch trials have on the life in the city?
The tour through the city leads you to the places in Lemgo which were connected to the witch trials. The tour starts in the museum Hexenbürgermeisterhaus, the private residential house of the Cothmann family. In 1654, Catharina Goehausen, wife of Dietrich Cothmann, a merchant, was accused of being a "witch" and thus executed. Hermann Cothmann, the mayor of the city and son of Catharina Goehausen and Dietrich Cothmann, acted in compliance with his reputation of being a fanatic "witch hunter". The house of the Cothmann family was located not far away from the Heilig-Geist-Bauernschaft. There, most of half of the accused - of whose domicile is known - lived between 1628 and 1637. Several houses from the 17th century are still preserved in the street Orpingstraße. At the gate Regenstor, reconstructed remains of the city wall can be found in part. The accused were arrested and brought to the towers of the city wall. The house of the executioners' family Clauss/Clausen was located in the street Papenstraße . The market square was the place where the verdict which had been drawn up by the council was read out to the public. Between the city hall and the church St. Nicolai, the "Stein des Anstoßes" (the "bone of contention"), the memorial for Maria Rampendahl, can be found. In the church itself, a sculpture commemorates the priest Andreas Koch, who was executed in 1666 after being accused of being a wizard.
The tour ends in the city archive of Lemgo, where the files of the witch trials are kept today. These files provide a significant source for us and our knowledge about the witch trials in Lemgo.The tour lasts about 2 hours. You can sign up for it at the museum Hexenbürgermeisterhaus.
The tour "Life as a Jew in an Old City" starts in the museum Hexenbürgermeisterhaus, leads you to various places of Jewish history in the city and ends with a visit to the Frenkel house.
The tour lasts about 2 hours. You can sign up for it at the museum Hexenbürgermeis- terhaus.
"So that people don't (like superstitious people do) think every disease is... bedevilment" (Jodokus Hocker, theologian and priest in Lemgo, 1568). The book by Jodokus Hocker, which was published in 1568, is kept at the Hexenbürgermeisterhaus and is shown during the tour. The tour leads to the traces of belief and superstitiousness at different places in the city, the museum Hexenbürgermeisterhaus and the churches St. Marien and St. Nicolai. For example, signs of scratches on the walls of St. Nicolai and the leaf mask in St. Marien are pointed out and explained.
The tour last about 1.5 to 2 hours and is offered to young people, for example those taking part in confirmation classes, and of course to adults. You can sign up for the tour at the museum Hexenbürgermeisterhaus.