Brass of the Month
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Hermann, 1386, & Otto von Oertzen, 1449,
Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg, Germany
This month’s contribution is an incised slab of Gotland stone commemorating Hermann von Oertzen II d. 1386 and Siegfried von Oertzen 1 d. 1449. It is located on the south wall of the south ambulatory of the former Cistercian Abbey of Doberan Minster in Mecklenburg, in what was the von Oertzen chapel until the mid-
A double canopy, with side and centre shafts surrounds the figures, with the ogee-
A(n)no d(omi)ni Mccc˚xxx/vi˚ o(biit) herma(n)nus de· ortzen armig(er) A(n)no d(omi)ni M˚ cccc˚/xii xi k(a)l(endas) Julii i(n) t(er)ra s(an)c(t)a / o(biit) sifrid(us) de ortzen sepult(us) in mo(n)te syo(n) apud mi(n)or
This states that Siegfried died on 11th July 1449 whilst on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and was buried on Mount Zion.
It is known that Siegfried had decided to undertake a pilgrimage in 1431 but it did not take place until at least ten years later, probably on account of his young age. By that time he had married Abele von Buchwald, who bore him a son (Siegfried II). He made a Will on 21st
December 1431 prior to his departure, a usual precaution for pilgrims. When he died he was buried in a Franciscan Monastery on Mount Zion. German sources have speculated as to whether he was simply a guest at he Monastery at that time or whether he had become a Franciscan friar -
Oertzen is a well-
By 1945, the residential castle at Roggow had had an association with the family for over 600 years. It has recently been rescued from dereliction and restored by Peter von Oertzen for use as holiday apartments and for conferences. Today, as well as in Mecklenburg, the family has branches in Saxony and Denmark.
The von Oertzens in common with the families of Moltke and Axekow were major patrons and benefactors of Doberan Minster. There are two incised slabs to members of the Moltke family and four to the Axekows in the Minster, as recorded in detail by Magin. All of these slabs depict military figures, with three of the latter family showing two relatives on each, in a similar format to the Oertzen slab – in full armour, canopied, with bold marginal inscriptions, and prominent heraldic displays.
The Minster, now a Lutheran church, is seen as the most important Medieval Brick-
1. Wichert, Sven: Das Zisterziekloster Doberan Im Mittelalter. Lukas Verlag 2000. ISBN 3-
2. Erdmann , Wolfgang: Zisterzienser-
3. Voss, Johannes & Brüdern,Jutta: Das Münster zu Bad Doberan. Deutscher Kunstverlag 2008. ISBN 978-
4. Magin, Dr. Christine: Zwischen Kloster und Welt: Die Mittelalterlichen Grabplatten des Klosters Doberan. Presentation at Bad Doberan on 2nd August 2012. www.inschriften.info
5. Lisch, Georg Christian Friedrich: Urkundliche Geschichte des Geschlechts von Oertzen. Vol. 1, Schwerin 1847 & Vol. 2b, Schwerin 1860.
© Kevin Herring – Article & Photos