If you would like to see the historic side of Hamburg during your visit, you should plan a stop at the St. Nikolai memorial. The former main church was destroyed during air raids in 1943. Today, the ruin is a place for remembering the victims of war and tyranny.
The tower is still the highest church tower in the city. A glass-walled panorama lift travels up to an outlook platform at a height of 76 metres. The museum in the vaulted cellar provides information about the destruction of Hamburg in the Second World War.
St. Nikolai Memorial is Hamburg’s most important memorial for the victims of war between 1933-1945. During the bombing raids on Hamburg, the church tower served allied pilots as a point of orientation. During Operation Gomorrha in 1943, along with the 270,000 homes that were destroyed, the church was hit as well and suffered the same fate. Approximately 35,000 people were killed at the time. The ruins serve today as a memorial.
In the first civic church of Hamburg, visitors can experience German war history up close. A permanent exhibition in the crypt of the ruins depicts the causes and consequences of the aerial war in Europe. Visitors are able to understand the history of St. Nikolai based on historical engravings, drawings and original church windows; black and white photos recall the war and the destruction it brought with it.
The memorial also serves as a cultural meeting place. A current event calendar with concerts, films and lectures creates a link to the present and focuses attention on current conflicts and social flashpoints. A variety of events actively deal with the German culture of remembrance with lectures that discuss current international politics. Germany's largest glockenspiel, installed in the tower in 1993, is sounded at concerts in remembrance of the victims of war. As a member of the "Nagelkreuzgemeinschaft" (Cross of Nails Community), the St. Nikolai Memorial works for peace and reconciliation.
The almost undamaged 147.3 metre tower of the former main church is considered the fifth highest church tower in the world and it can be explored with a glass panoramic lift. This takes visitors to an observation deck at a height of 76 metres. The view from there extends across the harbour, Alster and the city centre.
Hamburg CARD Discount
- Erwachsene: 4,50 € statt 6,00 €, Ersparnis: 1,50 €
- Kinder (6-17 J.): 2,00 € statt 3,00 €, Ersparnis: 1,00 €