St. Mary's Church

Stralsund, Germany

St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche) is a large Lutheran church built some time before 1298. It is architecturally Gothic, an example of the brick gothic style prevalent in northern Germany. Between 1625 and 1647, it was the tallest building in the world at 151 metres tall.

The bell tower collapsed in 1382, and was rebuilt by 1478. In 1495, the steeple tower blew down during a severe storm, and was then rebuilt taller. This was subsequently struck by lightning in 1647, and burned down, and was rebuilt as a baroque dome, which, completed in 1708, can be seen today. The tower is currently 104 metres tall.

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

More Information

www.stralsundtourismus.de

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Heiko Sommer (4 months ago)
Nice view at the historic center of the city.
Rory Macrae (7 months ago)
Climb the tower. It’s worth it. After a winding climb up one of the brick towers you ascend through progressively narrower wooden supports carrying the bells and the roof to emerge on a circular platform with breathtaking views. The inside of the church is less interesting than the Nikolai church
Aria Liebedich (8 months ago)
Got the chance to climb the tower.The view is Fantastic you can see the whole city of Stralsund.I love the St .Marys Church
Karina Giel (8 months ago)
You MUST climb the bell tower - it's simply amazing! And I'm not talking only about the view, but also about climbing itself. You can see the bells up very close :)
Peter de Zoeten (9 months ago)
Very nice church. If you are not afraid of heights, climb the 166 steps to the top. And enjoy the view at 92m.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.