The Hospital Church is Hof’s next oldest church after its mother church St. Lawrence. Its origins go back to the end of the 13th century when the “Hospital”, a house for old people and the poor, was built (1268) for Hof’s citizens from the Unteres Tor outside the town wall. There even was an extra entrance from the hospital into the church, which was built especially for the patients: the Hospital Church.
Hospital Church and former Hospital
“It was a small church just like an orphan...
...that nobody was looking after and that wasn’t seen much or at all by the ladies’ and lords’ of the town”. Thanks to its location the church – unlike all the other historic churches in Hof – was spared the destruction by the great fires.
The shrine in the middle of the late Gothic winged altar, which is being dated back to 1511, shows Maria with the child accompanied by Catherine and Barbara. St. Catherine holds a book and a sword and St. Barbara has a pyx. The openable wings of the altar show four special reliefs – they tell the Christmas story.
The creator had been unknown for a long time. Up until the year 2007, people had been wondering whom the initials MH – which are to be seen in the emblem left and right of the predella – belong to. We know today that Michael Heuffner is responsible for the altar screen. Heuffner was born in the free imperial town called Eger, went to school in Nuremberg and worked in Zwickau.
The highlight of this 13th century church is a wooden coffered ceiling with 90 hand-painted depictions taken out of the Old and New Testament. The portrayals of stories out of the Old and New Testament are based heavily on paintings by Matthäus Merian “the Elder” (“Merian Bible”) and the “Osiander Bible” published by Osiander. They were completed within a year between July 1688 and August 1689 by Hofer painter Andreas Lohe and his son.
"Als angesetztes Jahr ward diese Deck gemahlet/,
(the ceiling was painted in the scheduled year)
Hat jedes Tafelbild die milde Hand bezahlet./
(The kind hand was paid by each panel)
Der anbenannten hier: zwei Thaler war der Preis./
(of the people mentioned here: two thaler was the price)
Der Dank sei Gott und dann auch des Malers Fleis. "
(Thank goodness and also the painters` effort)
What is left of the buildings of the hospital are the cellar, the prebendary, the convent parlor and the public servant parlor on the north side of the courtyard. On the opposite side, the south side, stables, in which the Museum of the Bavarian Vogtland is situated, remain.
Today, the functions of the hospital are performed by a modern retirement and nursing home.
Monday 9.00 - 11.00
Tuesday to Friday 9.00 - 12.00
Tuesday to Thursday 13.30 - 16.00
and after agreement.
Brief informations about the church
An information board in the courtyard of the hospital gives per QR-Code a brief overview on the history of the church.
Brief informations about the church see here.
View from the city hall tower
The view from the city hall tower is worth-while the climb of the 152 steps. At a height of 32 m one has a wonderful view of the city.
The tower is accessible in the summer months during the opening hours of the tourist information. There you can also get the key.