The post of St Michael’s tower warden is shared by two self-employed musicians.

Horst Huhn has been St Michael’s tower warden since 1992 and leads the St Michael’s brass ensemble.

Josef Thöne has been playing from the tower since 1995 and leads the St Michael’s horn ensemble.


In line with the old tradition, the St. Michael’s tower warden plays a chorale with his trumpet in each cardinal direction every morning and every evening.

This custom was introduced in Hamburg during the Reformation and has been going on at St. Michael’s for more than 300 years. Until the practice of locking the gates was abolished on 1 January 1861, the trumpet chorale was a sign for the opening and closing of the city gates.

The tradition lives on

Today, the St. Michael’s tower trumpeter makes his way to his chamber on the seventh floor of the tower, 279 steps above the ground, at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and just once at 12 p.m. on Sundays. He plays a verse out of the open window in each cardinal direction, beginning with the window facing east and then moving clockwise – “For the Glory of God and My Neighbour’s Good”, reads a plaque at the tower entrance. A different chorale is played each day, usually an Evangelical church song from the 16th and 17th centuries based on the ecclesiastical year.

If the wind is favourable, this St. Michael’s greeting invites you to pause for a moment of reflection amidst the bustling city. Those living around St. Michael’s are delighted that the Hamburg tradition still exists to this day.


Bank account for donations

Hauptkirche St. Michaelis
IBAN: DE49 20050550 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.