The Minister and his Innkeeper

In Bavaria, and also especially in Franconia, the rapport between the minister and the innkeeper has always been important.

Historically, the minister would attend to the citizens’ psychological health, and the innkeeper would supervise their physical wellbeing. As it is all over Franconia, so it is also in Memmelsdorf: the church rises up, immense, impossible to overlook, direct in the town’s center. Built in 1707, the church in Memmelsdorf was an expanded baroque design of master builder Balthasar Caminata using the plans of Leonhard Dientzenhofer. On the grand church wall, various holy figures stand since 1977, chiseled in stone shaped by Ferdinand Tietz. Like everywhere in Bavaria, the tavern lies directly across from the church – Drei Kronen is no different…

It was the grandmother of the present owner, the Forster family’s Kathi, who was a cousin of the old minister Josef Lang. This relationship led to a rather unusual start for the new minister Lothar Güthlein in 1974. The old parsonage was urgently in need of renovation, so the new parsonage with Ewald Thoma, its chaplain, transitionally occupied the second floor of the brewery inn. The second floor, without further ado, was converted and renamed. So it was thus that a division of labor arose: the innkeeper’s employees took messages, removed parsonage deadbeats, and helped to organize events including the first carnival ball. The minister’s employees published guest room keys, helped hotel guests with heavy suitcases to their rooms, and also preached once at “Stammtisch” (the regulars’ table). This interlude lasted 18 months until the renovation of the parsonage was complete.

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