Old Nicholas Church (Alte Nikolaikirche), Frankfurt

Old Nicholas Church (Alte Nikolaikirche), Frankfurt

The Old St Nicholas Church (German: Alte Nikolaikirche) is a medieval Lutheran church located near the Römer city hall in Frankfurt's Altstadt (Old Town). It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen. The first chapel on this site was built in the mid-12th century, while the current in the mid-15th. The foundations of the previous Nikolaikirche found during excavations are now marked on the floor and give the impression of its dimensions.

The Reformation proved a turning point in the history of Nikolaikirche. In 1543 the church was closed and its altars demolished. The building was leased for over 150 years and used as an archive for the municipal jury and, at times, as a warehouse during trade fairs. A trumpeter watchman stationed in the steeple, announced the arrival of boats up and down the Main by blowing a horn. The bugle was also sounded, like the modern day alarm, when fires were sighted.

In the 15th century, a tower with leveled roof and a balcony were added to the existing structure. The balcony served as a viewing gallery for aristocrats when passion plays and other events took place in the plaza below. In 1838, the church was completely renovated. The previously closed northern portal, facing Saturday Mountain, was opened and the roof, gallery and corner turret were renewed. In 1903, the damaged cast-iron spire was torn down and replaced in 1904 by the pointed copper roof that still exists.

During World War II, the Alte Nikolaikirche was one of the very few historical buildings in downtown Frankfurt spared from destruction by aerial warfare. Only the 19th century organ, despite being walled in, had become unusable from the effects of the war for reasons not quite known. The reconstruction of the building, started in the summer of 1947, was completed relatively quickly by the end of December 1948.

The church has a double aisle hall with a high Gothic choir and 51 bells, four of which are used for peals and 47 for carillons. The church is also renowned for its acoustics. Organ concerts, hand bells, trumpets, choirs and brass bands are hosted here regularly during the year. Another attraction is the spiral stairway leading to the gallery which affords a spectacular view of Romerberg plaza.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Old Nicholas Church (Alte Nikolaikirche) on Map

Sight Name: Old Nicholas Church (Alte Nikolaikirche)
Sight Location: Frankfurt, Germany (See walking tours in Frankfurt)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Frankfurt, Germany

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Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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