St. John's Church and the Oldest Miners Hospital -
New Hypotheses on the Origin of the Miners Welfare Association
23 years ago, Professor Gerhard Dapprich, former teacher of mining law and president at the Federal Social Court, gave plausible reasons for identifying the remains of the northern wall of St. John's church near Goslar as a hospital for miners. He put the date of the original building in the second half of the 11th century and the extensions around 1200 which would make the hospital the oldest social facility for miners and the forerunner of the miners social welfare systems. Recent research on the early history of Goslar and Rammelsberg as well as a critical review of Dapprich's thesis have however made his results questionable.
The article first gives a brief outline of the history of the town and its mines as the establishment of the alleged hospital for miners in the Middle Ages is closely connected with the development of the town of Goslar and its mining industry. The author then deals with the evidence provided by Dapprich and comes to the conclusion that there was no old hospital for miners built in the second half of the 11th century on the north side of St. John's church, Goslar. Work on the construction of the hospital at St. John's church was not commenced until just before 1260 and was completed after 1260.