What are the five main virtues

The 5 virtues

Quite inconspicuous, on the left hand side, at the entrance to the village from the direction of Wolferode, they are in a garden. Hatzbach's unknown art treasures from the 18th century. They have come a long way, those five virtues, expressed in stone. Damian Hugo von Schönborn, a man of the church, originally had the figures made for the Marburg Baroque Garden, which today is only known as the old Botanical Garden. For this he hired the sculptor Johann Friedrich Sommer (1671-1737) in 1718 and 1719, who was in the prime of his important sculpting career these days.

Three of the characters are depictions of theological virtues (faith, hope, love); their selection seems clear in view of the ecclesiastical inclination of the client. Why von Schönborn decided to depict the two cardinal virtues “justice” and “temperance” remains a mystery for all days.

Sommer created the figures, with all their attributes, according to their depiction, e.g. children or falcon, from a block of Lahn sandstone each. All virtues are represented by women dressed in fluttering robes.

Originally, in 1721, Sommer applied white paint to embellish them; to emphasize the intention, he highlighted the mentioned attributes separately by means of gold decoration. Sommer's sons repeated this procedure in 1754; after 33 years; this explains of itself that that color was consumed by the weather and that the virtues of that time appear in the original sandstone. Today they are only adorned with shimmering moss.

It wasn't until over a century later that the figures found their way to their last destination to date. After a fire in the baroque garden in 1754, the town keeper Christian von Isenburg arranged for them to be relocated to Marburg's Fasanerieinsel. However, they were damaged in quarrels and disputes, so that some of them are still missing their hands today.

It was not until 1867 that they passed into the possession of the von Knoblauch zu Hatzbach family as part of the wedding dowry. They have been on their bottom since that day.