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Hamburg Michel

The main church St. Michaelis, better known as Hamburg Michel, is one of the most famous and traditional landmarks of the Hanseatic city. The church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the English Plank is considered one of the most magnificent Baroque churches in northern Germany and was rebuilt several times after destruction by fire and war. Worth seeing are the tower clock, which is considered to be Germany’s largest, the baroque interior decoration as well as the crypt with graves of famous Hamburgers. It is possible to climb the tower on foot or by lift.

Above the roofs of Hamburg

The Protestant St. Michael’s Church not far from the harbour and the Landungsbrücken is Hamburg’s landmark. With its 132-metre-high tower, which towers above many buildings in the city centre, it seems to be present from everywhere and serves as a point of orientation, especially for ships sailing to Hamburg on the Elbe. The tower also has a viewing platform. This is accessible to visitors and offers a spectacular view over the city at a height of around 82 metres.

The largest tower clock in Germany

Another special feature is the largest tower clock in Germany, which is located just below the viewing platform. It has a total diameter of eight metres, with the large hand alone measuring almost five metres. It was put into operation as early as 1911, later converted to electric operation and has been controlled by radio since 1994. The five church organs are also considered to be neo-baroque sound monuments, especially because of their special timbre. Visitors can experience their melody every noon, when the organist plays the instrument for a quarter of an hour.

Music is also played by the “Türmer vom Michel”. According to an old custom, he blows a chorale in all four directions on his trumpet. The spectacle is celebrated twice a day on weekdays and once a day on Sundays and public holidays.

A look at the history

The landmark has a long history. In the 1600 century the “little Michel” was built for the first time. This served as a branch church near a plague cemetery outside the city walls. It was not until around 1650 that the building was erected on its present site on the site of the former St. Michael’s Chapel.

However, the proud sacred building fell almost completely victim to devastating fires on two occasions. When it was rebuilt after the last fire, the old outer form was retained at the request of the citizens. The construction is fireproof and consists of concrete and steel and could finally be opened to the public again in 1912, true to the original.

However, the building was not spared during the Second World War, for in 1945 the nave was hit by a bombing raid and again severely damaged. The church tower, however, survived the war unscathed. Since the 1980s, the sacred building has been continuously renovated. This includes the renewal of the tower, the copper roof, the renovation of the crypt and an interior renovation.

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