St. Michael's Church

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St. Michael's Church


Alternately known as St. Michaelis, Michelskirche or just “Michel”, St. Michael’s Church is one of Hamburg's five main Protestant churches (Hauptkirchen) and the most famous church in the city. It is a fine example of the Lutheran Baroque style, imposing but subtle. The name of the church is devoted to Archangel Michael. The most impressive feature of the church is its brick-and iron tower, topped with a dome of hammered copper, and soaring up to a height of 433 ft. The tower has the largest clock in Germany- all of 26 ft in diameter- and offers a matchless view of the city around. Hauptkirche St Michaelis also has a vast crypt- the largest in Europe- which contains the mortal remains of a number of illustrious people, including the composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

The church building that stands in Hamburg today is the third one at the place. The building has been destroyed and reconstructed on many occasions. The original building was constructed in 1687 but was destroyed in 1750 by lightening. It was then completed in 1786 and was a creation on the design by Johann Leonhard Prey and Earnst Georg Sonnin. St Michaels Church, Hamburg was reconstructed twice in the twentieth century after being destroyed by a fire during the construction work and by bombings during the Second World War.

St Michaels Church, Hamsburg has a seating capacity of about 3000, which makes it the largest church in the city. Musical performances are still a regular attraction at St. Michael’s especially Handel and Hamburg hometown boys Mendelssohn and Brahms. The exquisite beauty of the church spire and its great elevation helps the tourist to have a good view of the city below and the Hamburg Harbor. The church’s viewing platform in the bell tower can be reached by elevator or stairs, with the interior of its wood over brick construction visible.

The church can be visited as part of the Hamburg City Walk "Port Promenade" and many city bus tours make it one of their main stops for the church and the medieval shopping street nearby.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Hamburg is in late springs or early summer.


Climb the 453 steps to the viewing platform and be rewarded by fabulous views over Hamburg and the harbour - one of the best panoramic city views in Europe. One can also have an excellent view of the Church during a cruise along the Alster Lake.


During the summer season St. Michael’s church is open to visitors from 9.00am to 5.30pm on all days except Sundays. On Sundays it opens at 11.30 am and closes at 5.30pm.

In winters the timings for visiting the church are 10.00am to 4.00pm from Monday to Saturday and on Sunday from 11.30am to 5.00pm.

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