St. Nikolai Kirche, Hamburg
St.Nikolai in the centre of Hamburg has the 3rd highest church-spire in Germany (after Cologne and Ulm). The church was almost completely destroyed in 1944, but the spire had survived !
The church dates back to the year 1195 but in 1842 it burned down and was rebuilt again.
Today it is mainly a memorial against the war and under the former church you may enter a small museum, explaining the history and also the sad end of that formerly beautiful church.
A modern lift will take you up the spire for a great view over the city of Hamburg and its port. Don't miss it , when the weather is sunny and clear, unfortunately I had just rain...
Normally I dont do tips on the main part of Hamburg but this time I will make an exception :-).
The Nikolai Kirchebuilt in 1847 is the only gothic style church in Hamburg although not much of it remains. What is left is a few sections of wall and the spier with the bells and an elevator up to the viewing platform.
Why? It like most everything else in Hamburg was bombed by the British during WW2. The viewing platform has a memorial to the Jewish people who died and a spectacular view of the city and Speicherstadt.
The elevator costs 2,50 euro and takes you up to the top of the 130 some odd meters. The tower itself is 147.3 m high (483ft).
July 1943. The tall spire of St. Nikolai Church serves as an unwitting beacon for pilots of the RAF as they launch "Operation Gommorah," the code name for the massive bombardment of Hamburg and its suburbs. Over the course of the next few days, wave after wave of British bombers dropping thousands of bombs over the city, unleashing deadly devastation and creating massive firestorms. At the end of the week, 43,000 civilians were dead, tens of thousands more injured, and most of Hamburg - including St. Nikolai Church itself - lay in ruins.
(Interestingly enough, St. Nikolai Church had been designed and engineered by a British architect, George Gilbert Scott Sr. (1811-1878), one of the leading lights of the Gothic revival in England. Scott Sr. is perhaps best known as the original architect of the St. Pancras Street Station in London.)
Now, the ruined church is a moving and effective memorial to the war dead in Hamburg. In the crypt is an interesting exhibit of rare photographs showing the devastion that followed the attack. (In Hitler's Germany, it was a capital crime for anyone to take non-official photos of war damage, so pictures of the ruined city are rare.)
Appropriately, there are also photos that show the effect of earlier wartime German attacks upon cities such as Warsaw, Rotterdam, Plymouth and Coventry. I thought that whoever mounted the exhibit did a good job of placing the destruction of Hamburg in a suitable historical context.
You can take an elevation up nearly 150 meters to a viewing platform that offers stunning views of the city, spreading out across the Elbe valley.
The ruined church of St. Nikolai is one of Hamburg's most striking monuments. It had been one of Germany's finest churches, in the oldest area of Hamburg, before being flattened during WW2. Now all that remains is the ruined tower and some parts of the interior. The church has been left in its destroyed state as an anti-war memorial. Standing "inside" is a strange experience as you can clearly see where many parts of the church once had been, such as the vaulted ceilings.
Further St.-Nikolai-Kirche is seen - neo - gothic church of the nineteenth century. Now there is only a tower - one of the highest in Europe - 147 meters.
The Gothic Revival Church of St. Nicholas was formerly one of the five Lutheran Hauptkirchen (main churches) in the city of Hamburg. It is now in ruins, serving as a memorial and an important architectural landmark.
The church was the tallest building in the world from 1874 to 1876 and is still the second-tallest building in Hamburg.
Like Coventry Cathedral in England, the ruins of St. Nikolai have been preserved as a reminder of the horrors of war. The church was once the tallest building in the world, but the firebombings of Operation Gomorrah in 1943 gutted the once proud church and left it a burned out shell. In the grounds of the church are memorials to the tens of thousands who died. But there's also a lighter side. The spire of the church remains, and a glass elevator has been built inside. You can ride it to the top for outstanding views of the city.
The church of St Nikolai was built in the mid 19th century. As one of the earliest neogothic churches in Germany, designed by an English architect whose plan even beat the one by Gottfried Semper in the competition, it is of interest to the art historian. Unfortunately it was destroyed during the war and not rebuilt. Only the steeple is preserved as an admonishing memorial of the war and its victims.
A neo Gothic Church ruins merely with a skeletal window frames is one of Hamburg's famous building.This church was revived after a devastating city-wide fire in 1842. It was heavily damaged once again in 1943 by Allied bombing. Much of the ruins were cleared in the 1950s, leaving the tower to stand alone. The parish of St. Nikolai rebuilt in a different location. In 2001 the church was restored and a platform in 75-m height was repaired to enable visitors to enjoy the splendid view over the city and port of Hamburg.
This is the third highest church tower in Germany spirals up to an impressive 147-m height.
May - Sep 10:00 - 20:00 daily
Oct - Apr 10:00 - 17:30 daily
Lift & exhibition € 3.50
Old St Nicholas Church, the ruins of it, with it's towering spire, 145 metres. It was once the third talles in Germany, have been left exactly as it was after the bombing of the second world war, to act nowadays as a call to peace and a monument to the 50,000 people who died in the air raids in Hamburg alone.
St. Katherinen Church is one of the 5 main churches of Hamburg as featured as part of it's skyline, and is the second oldest preserved building in the city having been built with additions between 1256-1420. In the 1400's, part of it was rebuilt in traditional German "Brick Gothic" styl,e and traditionally served as the church of seamen throughout its history. Johann Sebastian Bach was an organist for St. Katharinen in the early 1700s, and played its then famous organ which was later destroyed during the Second World War. The church itself was heavily damaged in the summer of 1943 during a WW2 air-raid, with only the spire and outer walls left standing. The church was restored in the 1950s, and a reproduction of the organ played by JS Bach was underway as of fall 2012.
St. Katharinen is open daily from 10am-5pm, and in addition to its regular church services, is noted as a venue for the city's best classical music performances with religious works composed by Bach.
Once, St. Nicholas Church was one of the main churches in Hamburg, but was destroyed by bombings during World War II. The church was never rebuilt, and today only the tower, the crypt, and some walls remain. The ruins serve as a memorial for the war, and you can visit the information center in the old crypt or take the elevator inside the tower to a viewing-platform (75 meters above Hamburg).
I didn't take the elevator, but instead visited the information center. There was an exhibition about the history of St. Nicholas Church, and also about the destruction of Hamburg, Warsaw, and Coventry. Not very big, but quite interesting...
The Church of St. Nicholai on Hopfenmarkt was destroyed during the air raids of World War Two. Its ruins left standing as a memorial.