The ‘Petri-church ‘exists since 1096. The late-Romanesque construction of today’s nave was built around 1250; the portal at the south front is preserved up to today. The early version of the ‘Petri-church’ was quite small and only included two bays. Around the church extended a circle of houses with stoned attics and supply buildings, which one can imagine as a circular fortress of the church. The circular construction also endangered from medieval feuds, as human and animals could find protection in the centre of the round of houses. That is why an own well (close to the today’s chores) was needed as well. Furthermore, dead humans were buried here, to be close to the holy – the church. Obviously, the space got too small quite quickly, hence, houses for the dead should help. In 1842 a new graveyard was built.
The ‘Petri-church’ itself was rebuilt several times during the later centuries: first, in 1550, when the ship was extended by a double-bay choir construction. After 80 years, static problems occurred which demanded a strengthening of the buttresses. The high vault and the opening of the masonry for high windows had destabilised the choir room. In the late 16th century, the construction of the fortified tower was built, followed by a bell tower and a weak base floor. In addition, the tower was completed with a gable roof whose lateral stepped gables are striking. On April 16th of the year 1683, a fire spread to the choir room of the church and the room was partly destroyed. At that time the church archives were also destroyed by this fire. However, a few months later, the ‘Petri-church’ was rebuilt. An inscription on the outside of the eastern gable wall confirms the disaster: "Is burned Anno 1683 April 16; but re-erected Anno 1683 in August."
Later during the 18th century the ‘Petri- church’ became too small. In 1737, finally, the laying of the foundations for the north aisle took place; in 1751 the expansion got inaugurated. Since then, ‘Petri’ exists of two naves, spanned by a high pitched roof with half-timbered gables on both sides which clutch the naves together. However, more additions or conversions took place during the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the top of the spire (in 1904) and the cultivation of the sacristy (in 1906). Nevertheless, its basic substance was not changed, but the church’s square which was cemetery up to 1842. In 1876 the Versmold war memorial was built. Initially, nine metres high and topped by an eagle it should remember the fallen soldiers of 1864, 1866 (four names) and 1870-71 (11 names). Later on, it also became a monument to the fallen soldiers of the First World War.
The ‘Petri-church’, can now, since the recent renovation which was completed in December 2008 with an eight months rebuilding phase, be described as bright, welcoming and friendly. Noteworthy is also the rich decoration of the church. As the most culturally valuable piece, the baroque pulpit on the south side of the choir is considered; it may have been made during the early 18th century. Also been preserved has been the baroque baptismal font which was also built during the late 18th century. On the apse wall, however, one can find remains of the Apostle Cycle which can be dated back in the late Gothic. Moreover, on the north wall three baroque Apostle Figures (Luke, John and Matthew) are presented together with a small figure of Christ. They were discovered during the latest renovation work, then restored and now share this worthy place.
Shield No. 2
An der Petrikirche