The ruin of the main church St. Nikolai on Hamburg's Hopfenmarkt is dedicated as a memorial to St. Nikolai "to the victims of war and tyranny between 1933 and 1945".
The church was founded in 1195 and its last neo-Gothic version was completed in 1874. Its 147.3 meter high tower was the tallest structure in the world from 1874 to 1877. After the war destruction in 1943 and the extensive demolition in 1951, part of the southern outer wall and the walls of the choir are still preserved next to the tower. For a memorial, works of art and monuments were set up on the open space of the former church interior and in the immediate vicinity. In the basement of the ruin, the Rettet association founded in 1987 organized the Nikolaikirche e. V. (meanwhile renamed the Förderkreis Mahnmal St. Nikolai) a documentation center with a permanent exhibition. The memorial museum was extensively rebuilt and expanded in 2012/2013. The permanent exhibition "Gomorrah 1943 - The Destruction of Hamburg in the Air War" has been on view here since September 2013. Since 2005, a glass elevator in the tower has led to a viewing platform at a height of 76 meters.
The main church St. Nikolai was relocated in 1962 as a new building in the Harvestehude district of the Klosterstern.
Source and further information:
July 19, 2017
Since 2005, a panorama lift has enabled barrier-free access to the 76-meter viewing platform of the historic tower. The elevator cabin is glazed on three sides and offers exciting views even during the 40-second journey. Once at the top, an impressive view opens up over the Hamburg city center, the town hall, the Alster, the harbor, the cruise terminal, the Speicherstadt, Elbphilharmonie and the Hafencity. Historical photographs on the viewing platform show the turning point the destruction represented for Hamburg in 1943 and how the city looked then compared to today.
The panorama lift at the St. Nikolai memorial is barrier-free and can be used by wheelchair users.
When it was completed in 1874, the tower of the St. Nikolai Memorial was the highest church tower in the world with a height of 147.3 meters. Like the whole church, it was designed by the British architect George Gilbert Scott, one of the most internationally successful architects of historicism.
It was the tower of the former main church that involuntarily initiated the downfall of Hamburg and, strangely enough, it survived the destruction. The tallest building in the city was used by British warplanes as a target; When they flew their nightly attacks on Hamburg, they chose the tower of St. Nikolai as a landmark. Today the tower - still the fifth highest church tower in the world - rises up into the sky as a "warning finger" and is a reminder of the horrors of the Second World War. At the same time, he promotes tolerance and international understanding in a forward-looking manner.
May 25, 2019
In the know? Log-in to add a tip for other adventurers!
Our Tour recommendations are based on thousands of activities completed by other people on komoot.