The Tower

At 132.14 metres tall, St. Michael’s tower is Hamburg’s most famous landmark, dominating the city’s familiar skyline alongside the towers of the other main churches and, in the centre of them all, the tower of town hall. Standing tall, it points to God and reminds us that in this church in the heart of Hamburg beats the heart of He who opens His heart to all people. In this virtual tour, we would like to show you all the special features the tower has to offer.

Please click on the red dots with the mouse.

Tour of the tower

Hamburg's Iconic Landmark

Early on, the tower served as a landmark to ships sailing along the river Elbe to Hamburg. Located at a height of 106 metres, the tower deck offers a panoramic view of the city and can be accessed by foot via the 453 steps or a lift.

The observation deck

On the observation deck located 106 metres above the Elbe, you have the whole of Hamburg spread out before you and can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and port.

From the lift hall on the first floor (52 steps), you can easily access the observation deck via the lift or by using the stairs (452 steps).

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The Tower clock/clockwork

When you look at the sketches Ernst Georg Sonnin made for the construction of the church tower, it becomes clear that he was hoping to create an unusually large and clearly visible tower clock. In some of his sketches, the clock face had a diameter of 10 metres.

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The Bells

Millenium Bell (Bell 1)

The millennium bell had to be taken out of service in 2006 due to stress fractures. The new bell was manufactured in May 2008 by the Glockengießerei Bachert bell foundry in Karlsruhe.
Weight: 9,040 kg
Year of manufacture: 2008
Inscription: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.’ (Psalm 130:1, 4) and ‘For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past.’
(Psalm 90:4)

People's Bell (Bell 2)

Its predecessor was melted down in 1917 for use in the war.
Weight: 4,900 kg
Year of manufacture: 1924
Inscription: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.’
(Hebrews 13:8)

Marine Bell (Bell 3)

Its predecessor was melted down in 1917 for use in the war.
Weight: 2,850 kg
Year of manufacture: 1924
Inscription: ‘Launch out into the deep’
(Luke 5:4)

Oldest chruch Bell (Bell 4)

Weight: 2,012 kg
Year of manufacture: 1910
Inscription: ‘O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard.’
(Psalm 66:8)

Pastor Bell (Bell 5)

Its predecessor was melted down in 1917 for use in the war.
Weight: 1,350 kg
Year of manufacture: 1924
Inscription: ‘Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.’
(Luke 12:37)

Presbyter Bell (Bell 6)

Weight: 1,103 kg
Year of manufacture: 1910
Inscription: ‘To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.’
(Psalm 92:2)

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Scorch marks

As repair work was being carried out on the tower on 3 July 1906, a blowlamp started a fire, which quickly spread throughout the church. Although firefighters from across Hamburg attempted to extinguish the fire, the church burnt down to the ground.

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The Main Portal with Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael, after whom the church was named, watches over the main portal. His gaze rests on all those who enter and leave the church, as Satan lies defeated at his feet. His form towers proudly and victoriously as he holds a lance in the form of a cross in his right hand and a shield with a cross in the centre in his left. Michael is a warrior for God and His honour and fights with the weapons of Christ. Rather than death, they bring life to the people. His name means ‘Who is like God?’

Up until the fire of 3 July 1906, there was only a small service entrance through the plain brick wall on the western side of the church. In the ‘Monatsgruß’ bulletin from 26 September 1908, St Michael’s Pastor Schwieger wrote that the entrance led to the tower hall, which at that time was used as a junk room. Several homes stood just metres away, all of which were destroyed during the fire.

During reconstruction of the church, some expressed a desire for another impressive main portal to be built here, in addition to the existing main entrances on the southern and northern sides (now entrances 4 and 8), whilst still incorporating and expanding the tower hall behind it.

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Stained-Glass Window

When you enter the tower hall through the main portal and then, once inside, turn around to look at the portal, you will see an impressive art nouveau-style glass-stained window above the main entrance.

Two angels are praying, one on the left-hand side and one on the right, and above them at the highest point of the image there is a dove. Created by August Vogel, this art nouveau-style work of art is titled Gottes Segen über Hamburg (God’s blessing on Hamburg).

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Bank account for donations

Hauptkirche St. Michaelis
IBAN: DE49 2005 0550 1226 1252 25
Bank: Hamburger Sparkasse


Hauptkirche St. Michaelis zu Hamburg
Englische Planke 1
20459 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 (0)40 376 780
Fax: +49 (0)40 3767 8310
Email: infost-michaelisde

Opening Times

November to April
Daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

May to October
Daily from 9.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.