The pulpit, with pictures of Jesus and the evangelists, in the church of St. Eckard at Stedten was given in 1711 by Schultheiß Fröbel, who was a carpenter and glazier.


This village church stood before the Reformation, which was introduced to Stedten in 1529. The Gothic construction is from the 15th century, and may be as early as the 12th century.


The baptismal font of 1575 is decorated with lilies, which are a symbol of purity of heart.

Ancient arms of Hammelburg
Ancient arms of Hammelburg with the cross of the Abbey of Fulda and three lilies, called the crest of Simplicius

Baptismal fonts were symbolically placed prominently at the entry of a church. It is through the gift of this sacrament that God miraculously washes away our sins, works faith in our hearts and brings us into the family of believers. The baptismal font is a symbol of God’s love, and a comfort and assurance.

The use of natural light has been a critical design element in Lutheran churches, because natural light spilling in from clear glass or stained windows is used to symbolize God’s presence and enhance the natural, earthy qualities of places of worship.

The church St. Eckard
The church St. Eckard in the village of Stedten an der Ilm is one of the oldest in the district.


Caspar Froebel

The ancestry of Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of Kindergarten, has been traced to Caspar Froebel, who died on 14 June 1640 at Großgölitz.


Caspar was appointed to the office of Schultheiß (a village magistrate or sherrif). A Schultheiß (Middle High German: Schultheize, Latinised: Scultetus or Sculteus; also: Schulthies, Schulte or Schulze ) was the head of an administrative district, an executive official of the ruler. It was his duty to order his assigned village or county to pay the taxes and perform the services due to the ruler. The name “Schultheiß” originates from this function: “Schuld” (debt) and “heißen” (to order).

Source: Caspar Froebel


Caspar Fröbel was a farmer and Schultheiß in Großgölitz. His great grandson, Nicolaus Fröbel was born in 1684 in Leutnitz. Nicolaus was Schultheiß in Leutnitz, where he died in 1755.