Evangelical Lutheran Church in Juodkrantė

The origins of the first church in Juodkrantė are related to one of the greatest disasters of the Curonian Spit. During the seven-year war, as the Russian army occupied the peninsula in the middle of the 17th century, its forest were severely destroyed – a phenome resulting in the movement of the free sand and the coverings of the settlements with sand, which continuously haunted the local residents. The resident of the buried Karvaičiai village moved to Juodkrantė, where a church was built and the former parish was moved at the end of the century. However, not a century has passed when the churched burned down – just seven years later. In 1884 – 1885 a new brick sanctum was built with the collected donations. According to the trends of the construction of the German churches of that time, the sanctum was given an expression of the Middle ages and neo-Gothicism.

The sanctum of a rectangular volume was completed with a lower, but also a rectangular presbytery with an adjacent smaller sacristy on the side. A dormer window with Gothic splitting integrated in a pointed arch portal above the door. The middle section of the tower is completed with a brick pattern frieze at the top; the upper section is highlighted from all three sides with double, pointed arch windows located in the pointed arch niche and a small stepped niche.  Above the modest triangular pediments – a multi-slope low spire. The adjacent smaller staircase extension on the eastern side disrupts the symmetry of the front façade. The lateral façades are completed with openings and single-section, fine pediments located in the Gothic niches and with splitting typical of the style. They are more complex in the corners of the presbytery – of two or three sections. The rear facade of the presbytery is fitted with a massive niche with a three-windowed structure and a small round dormer window above it. The basilica-like interior of the church consists of a single nave covered with a gable roof. Wooden elements typical of the region – consoles supporting the profiled beams, the organ choir, located above the entrance, with a modestly decorated wall supported by two columns ending in profiled structures at the top. The presbytery and the lower section of the tower are covered in cross vaults. After the year of 1945, the church became a witness of the second greatest disaster of the Curonian Spit: as the former residents were no more, the church was heavily ravaged and due to this, the authentic internal equipment did not survive. Used as a grain warehouse, it was not until the late 1970s when it was restored by adapting it to cultural needs. The relatively small Lutheran community recovered the building only in 1990.