In the 12th century the Kluskirche in Niederuppsprunge was built on the site of a chapel from the Carolingian period. It was originally a single-nave Romanesque building with a square tower, which is a windowless fortified tower. The original Romanesque building was extended in 1682 by the Bredelar abbot Absalom Heuck with a square yoke and a choir end to the east. This extension is clearly distinguished from the older part by burr-shaped cross vaults.
In 1700 the church received a new baroque altar, which, like many wayside shrines in the surroundings of Giershagen, originates from the Papen workshop. The sculptor's workshop of Heinrich Papen (1645-1719) and his son Christophel (1678-1735) in Giershagen was one of the leading and most creative workshops of the Baroque period in Westfalen. They processed alabaster, marble and flourstone, the rocks found in the surrounding area. They left behind an extensive inventory of over 160 art monuments, including more than 40 altars, in more than 50 locations in the Westphalian and North Hesse-Waldeck area.
Early on, the Kluskirche, which had Saints Fabian and Sebastian as its patron saints, became a place of pilgrimage, which was also credited with miraculous healings. Many utensils that pilgrims left in the church testified to this in the past. Once a year, a solemn procession to the Kluskirche took place with great participation of the neighborhood, followed by a Kirchmess (Kirmes).
In 1475 a papal indulgence was granted for participation in this pilgrimage. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII renewed the plenary indulgence for visiting the Kluskirche on high feast days and during processions.
The Kluskirche is one of the most important architectural monuments in the town of Marsberg. This gem is known by art connoisseurs beyond the region and is recognized as a valuable cultural monument. Its special significance lies in the fact that, according to the LWL, it is the only remaining deserted church in Westfalen. While other former village churches also decayed and were demolished after the villages became "deserted" (abandonment of the village as a place of residence), the Kluskirche, the village church of the former village of Uppsprunge, has been preserved because it served as the local church for the remaining village of Oberuppsprunge/Giershagen until 1802, even after the destruction and abandonment of the village.
Due to its importance in art history, the church was also preserved in the following period and fundamentally restored several times (e.g. by the RAD in the 1930s, most recently by the state of NRW). The state of NRW has the duty of maintenance because the church is one of the few patronages of the state of NRW.
The Kluskirche was the parish church of Giershagen until the 19th century and is now the center of the idyllically situated cemetery in the Diemeltal.
You will find the Kluskirche at the end of Giershagen on the L870/Unterm Klausknapp in the direction of the B7 on the right.
The vestibule of the church can be visited, the nave is closed by a grid.
The Kluskirche is also the first destination of the nationally known horse procession every year. On the second Sunday after Easter, horses with their owners, riders and coachmen gather in Giershagen on the church square - usually about 50 animals: large and heavy cold-blooded horses carrying crosses and flags, noble warm-blooded horses with silky, shiny coats, as well as small horses and ponies, with bold, alert eyes. In addition, various carriages, from single to four-in-hand, take part in the procession.
After the blessing and the first sung praise of God in the parish church of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, the procession goes down the valley to the Klus Church and the cemetery, the first stop. Here the deceased are commemorated. In total, four stations are visited during the horse procession.