The Foundations of Dr. Gregorius Mättig
In Dr. Mättig's
will of 9th May 1650, foundations with the following aims were enacted:
The curator of the foundation would also receive a fee. All in all, a total amount of 24,250 Reichstaler was set aside for all these purposes.
- To provide free meals for schoolchildren of the town school who were also members of the protestant
live-in choir at the St Peter's Cathedral. From 6 to 20 schoolchildren annually benefited from these free meals.
In 1762, the free meals were stopped and converted into a weekly monetary allowance of one Reichstaler
- To provide free cloth to clothe poor schoolchildren.
- To annually provide three University scholarships for descendants
of Dr. Mättig's family and for talented yet impecunious children in Bautzen.
- To provide financial support for the protestant clergy of the St Peter's Cathedral.
- To provide financial means for the acquisition of candles to adorn
the large chandelier in the St Peter's Cathedral.
- To provide financial means for the upkeep of Dr. Mättig's funerary
monument as well as the pulpit in the St Peter's Cathedral, also donated by Dr. Mättig.
- To provide financial means for the upkeep and aggrandisement of
Dr. Mättig's library, which he donated to the city of Bautzen.
- To provide financial support to poor female descendants who wish to marry.
- To provide apprenticeship premiums to poor male descendants.
- To provide financial assistance to poor old people.
- To provide bread and beer to the occupants of the Bautzen hospital.
Most benefits of these foundations went to the children of the local school in Bautzen. Hundreds of talented
young people thus obtained the necessary material requirements in order to benefit from a decent basic and further education.
The annual grants were donated following a school feast. This tradition was carried on even late into the 19th Century and
constituted a highlight in the local calendar.
If one analyses these individual foundations, it becomes clear that the main purposes of Dr. Mättig were the
development and education of the young, as well as the promotion of spiritual and cultural life. In a time
of suffering and need, the city doctor and erstwhile councillor, Dr. Gregorius Mättig (1585 - 1650)
stipulated in his will that several foundations should see the light of day, which would not only
benefit the burghers of Bautzen, but also people who had previously lived in the city and even
further afield. Dr. Mättig's charitable foundations spread their benefits for nearly 300 years,
before they were left devoid of any financial means due to inflation and wars. In the years
following the Second World War, they ceased functioning - ideologically speaking, private
initiatives were not high on the agenda in those days… In 1949, the Mättig foundations were
incorporated into a general city foundation. The former power and dynamics of the Mättig
foundations was lost.
proceeds left over from the Mättig foundations were allocated for different cultural purposes. Members of the Lissack family,
themselves descendants of Gregorius Mättig, asked themselves if the aims and the goals of these foundations had not, in fact,
remained timeless and
if therefore a revival would be desirable.
Through talks with several city officers, the the district Sparkasse Bank of Bautzen, several private individuals and institutions, it became
clear that this was indeed an issue to be followed up and the goal for such a revival was supported.
The documents relating to the Foundations' administration, which are still preserved in the city archives,
prove in a rather impressive way the foundations' effects on the development of spiritual life in Bautzen,
especially during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Further effects of Gregorius Mättig's actions can be witnessed
until this very day.
The city library is the proud recipient and curator of a rich inventory of historical books from
Mättig. Through Mättig's legacy for the creation of non-resident chorister places,
he fostered the city's musical life.
The St Peter's Cathedral is still adorned by two brass chandeliers, donated by Mättig, as well as his epitaph.