People of Hamburg are proud of their “Michel”, one of their most popular landmarks. Michel is short for St Michael’s Church. It is one of the most important baroque churches in northern Germany.The Michel Hamburg is a Protestant church dedicated to Archangel Michael. A bronze figurine of him can be found above the church portal. He is depicted as the victor of the battle against Satan.
The Michel Hamburg is the most popular church in Hamburg. The building is within eyeshot of the bay so that sailors on the incoming ships knew that they had made it to a safe harbour when they spotted the church. The copper roof of the church raises 132.14 meters high above the ground.
For our time in Hamburg we had the typical “Schietwetter” (shit weather). Long live the stereotypes. It wasn’t my first time in Hamburg, but my first visit to the Michel. To be honest, I thought it would look bigger and more impressive. Actually, this church looks just like any other church from that time period.
What surprised me was the interior. The inside of the church is 52 meters long and has enough space for 2500 people. I particularly liked the embellishments of the benches. The altar is about 20 meters high. It is made of marble and looks proper pompous. What I liked the most were the organs in the Michel in Hamburg. 5 of them can be found in the church. Three of them in the nave of the church. The biggest one is located on the western gallery and has 6674 pipes. The two other organs are on the southern and northern gallery. They consist of 2671 and 676 pipes. An organ concert that features all three of them must be absolutely remarkable.
Due to poor weather conditions, we did not climb up to the top of the church tower. Whoever is up for it can find the entrance to the tower in the vestibule of the church. After the first 52 mandatory steps, visitors can either use an elevator for the rest of them or climb the remaining 452 steps themselves. I heard that the view is quite nice when the weather is good.
We also avoided the crypt of the Michel Hamburg because it was very busy on that day. The crypt is a huge vault underneath the building which was used as a bunker in the Second World War. Today, some famous people found their final resting place down there. A 30-minute long movie about the history of the city is shown in the crypt.
In my opinion, the Michael is a must see in Hamburg.
Hauptkirche St. Michaelis
Englische Planke 1
Opening hours chruch, crypt and tower:
November – April:
open daily 10.00– 18.00 (last entry 17.30)
May – October:
open daily 09.00 – 20.00 (last entry 19.30)
Admission (from 2015):
Adults: 5,00 €
reduced: 4,00 €
Children between 6 and 15: 3,50 €
Adults: 4,00 €
reduced: 3,00 €
Children between 6 and 15: 2,50 €