St. Michaelis is a former monastery church of the Benedictine monastery St. Michael and one of the main churches of the city of Lüneburg.
The monastery used to play an important role, the abbot had a high position within the region. The monastery school was well known and from 1700 to 1702 even Johann Sebastian Bach sang as a choirboy in the Mettenchor. For this reason the church square is now called Johann Sebastian Bach Platz.
In 956, Otto I, the Great, allowed the Michaelis Monastery to receive customs duties from the production of salt in the Lüneburg saltworks. This document is the oldest in which the monastery is mentioned and at the same time the oldest proof of existence for the city of Lüneburg.
Originally the church and the monastery were built on the Lüneburg Kalkberg, but after a storm by the Lüneburg citizens they were removed and rebuilt within the city walls at the foot of the Kalkberg. The foundation stone for today's St. Michaelis Church was laid in 1376, the tower was built until 1434. A problem of the construction is still the statics, the church stands on the edge of the underground salt dome. The mighty columns inside the church are up to 70 cm out of alignment.
As the only monastery in the Principality of Lüneburg, the St. Michaelis Monastery was not abolished during the Reformation and continued to exist as a male monastery. Today the church belongs to the monastery chamber of Hanover, which is also responsible for its maintenance.
The Church of St. Michaelis is an important work of brick Gothic and as a reliably open church it is open to visitors during the day, except during worship times.
December 6, 2018
St. Michaelis, one of the three main churches in Lüneburg, is the striking point in the old craftsmen's quarter. Built in the 14th century as the monastery church of the former Michaeliskloster. The tower with its top is striking.
A memorial plaque is dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach for his two-year stay as a choirboy (1700-1702). Accordingly, the place in front of the church is called after.
This church is also struggling with the subsidence area and has been extensively renovated. After nets had to be stretched, the people in the church should not have plaster or stones falling on their heads.
During the opening times you can enter the tower (from the square), marvel at the old mechanical clockwork inside and take a look up into the tower vault. Through a glass door you enter the interior with a view of the choir. To the right of the chancel it goes down to the crypt. It is not possible to climb the tower, only with special permission from the Landeskirche Hannover.
Opening times: Mon - Sat 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sun 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. (in winter). A little longer in summer and closed in January and February. Official link: sankt-michaelis.de
The castle that gave the city its name was located above St. Michaelis on the Kalkberg. The castle was conquered by the Lüneburgers on 02/01/1371, which was followed by the War of the Lüneburg Succession between Welfen and Wittenberger. There was a lot of back and forth in the following years. Ultimately, the Lüneburg merchants were able to make their cut and almost made it to an imperial immediate status. The castle served the Lüneburgers as building material for the city, as well as the Kalkberg itself.
The decline of the Hanseatic League and the lack of herring schools led to impoverishment (no need for salt). The ransom in the Thirty Years' War spared the city, but drove up the debt all the more.
December 22, 2016
When you enter the interior for the first time, you notice: the pillars are crooked, but why? The subsidence area is to blame here. Lüneburg stands on a salt plinth up to 40 m below the ground. Large caverns were created as a result of the salt mining.
The church threatens to tip over to the left into the former Michaeliskloster. About 100 years ago the columns were connected with steel anchors, clad with wood. An undisguised anchor looks right in front of the organ. The whole purpose is to increase stability.
One can only hope that the subsidence will subside. You can't know.
January 8, 2017
The monastery church of the former Benedictine monastery St. Michael is one of the main churches of Lüneburg and is located at the foot of the Kalkberg not far from the old town hall. The Michaeliskloster laid the foundation stone for the construction of the church we know today in 1376. However, the monastery itself existed many years earlier. A document from 956 already mentioned the Michaeliskloster. The document is also the oldest evidence of the city's existence.
The lower church of the brick building was completed in 1379, the main church was completed in 1412. Overall, the church measures 53 meters in length and 27 meters in width. St. Michaelis is badly affected by subsidence. An indication of this are the crooked columns inside the church, which, however, do not detract from the great spatial effect. A pulpit from 1602 and an organ front from 1708 dominate the interior. The works of art in the church include a crucifix on the north side, an epitaph in the western nave and four oil paintings depicting the four evangelists.
As in the St. Johannis Church, Johann Sebastian Bach played a small part of his musical career in St. Michaelis, where he was one of the choir singers of the monastery school from 1701 to 1702.
June 23, 2020
Station 22 of the Friedenspfad Lüneburg - St. Michaeliskirche, burial place of the dukes of Lüneburg; Garrison Church
Commemoration of the soldiers killed from 1870/71 until after the 1st World War. Boards in a niche in the tower hall list the names of the men combined with the request: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."
7 days ago
This staircase, at the foot of the St. Michaeliskirche in Lüneburg's old town, is hardly inclined to pay the appropriate attention, as the church attracts attention.
The bumpy and stumbling stairs fit perfectly into the old town, complete the overall picture and are indispensable.
6 days ago
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