The Church, the Tower and the View
Hamburg has many large churches – but St. Michael’s is unique
From the top of its 132 meters high tower, we have a fabulous view of Hamburg, the port and the surrounding landscape – and this is exactly where we started our visit to Hamburg.
It was rebuilt three times between 1641 and 1912 and was completely destroyed twice due to fires.
The Evangelical Church of St. Michael, affectionately called “Michel” by the inhabitants of Hamburg, is more than just an impressive landmark overlooking the Hanseatic city, it is the very identity of the inhabitants of Hamburg.
Inside, four organs with around 10,000 tubes, guarantee a unique sound experience.
In the 18th century, Georg Philipp Telemann and his godson Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, son of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach, were musical directors in Hamburg and acted several times in this church.
One of the organs, the one on the left, is that of CPE Bach, who came to occupy the position of Musical Director of Hamburg for over 20 years and is buried in the Crypt of the Church of S. Miguel.
Johannes Brahms was baptized and confirmed here, and the creation of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony is closely linked to this church.
In addition to a baroque interior in festive white and gold, very beautiful and luminous and a beautiful view of the bell tower over the entire city, the spirit of these master composers can still be felt today through various concerts and in the daily devotions of midday that include an organ performance.
We can go up to the tower, by stairs or by elevator.
Going up the stairs we can do some exercise and visita small museum with all the history of the Church and see the bells.
Then, reaching the platform at 106 m in height, we have a 360 ° panoramic view of the city center over, the port with Hafencity and Elbephilarmonica and Speicherstadt, Reeperbahn and DOM – or Köhlbrandbrücke, Alster, the Stadium and the Airport .
On the way down we can visit the clock.
The big clock on the tower had only one hand and that was usually enough. But the people of Hamburg wanted to keep up with the times and have a watch with 2 hands. Unfortunately the technologies of that time were not the most reliable, especially considering the weather in the Hamburg region.
After a watchmaker from Strasbourg, since 1912, ensured that the Hamburg watches worked correctly, this watch has remained in good working order and is the largest tower clock in Germany, with an impressive 8 meters in diameter and in operation for over 50 years.
Today the clock’s control mechanism is electronic, but the old mechanical clock continues to work correctly.