I was especially attracted to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church because of its very distinctive bell tower/spire – unsurprisingly, very German looking. The round windows are a another interesting and distinctive feature of the church.
This church, designed by James Cumming, opened in 1872. It and the old school and stables building (added in 1873) to the rear are built from Mitcham bluestone. The school, along with all other Lutheran schools in South Australia, was closed by Act of Parliament in 1917, due to a combination of war hysteria and the German schools resistance to registration and Government inspections. The school building was converted into a church hall (Excelsior Hall). The ground floor stable area was originally converted to Sunday school rooms and later to a general meeting area.
While the church has a bell tower, and a very beautiful one at that, it does not have any bells in it. Three bells for the church arrived in Sydney in 1879 and were exhibited, and won a first prize, at the Sydney International Exhibition in the same year. Mysteriously, the bells never made it to Adelaide.
For the first 40 years of its existence services were conducted in German. From around 1910 services in English were slowly introduced and from then until 1939 there was a monthly service in German.
From what I can ascertain the church is only open for services, details of which can be found on the attached website.
The building and especially its spire is certainly worth a look in passing. Unfortunately I didn’t get to have a look inside.
Address: 170 Flinders Street