The construction of the church for Saint Nicholas, the patron of sailors, fishermen and merchants, commenced around 1280, predating the first written sources that mention Anklam, which generally date to around 1300. The church's steeple was clearly visible from far away, and was once used for navigation of the lagoon near the town. During the Middle Ages, the church was regarded as a symbol of Anklam and as a monument to the freedom and wealth enjoyed by Hanseatic citizens. In 1336, one of Anklamer’s citizens, Thedericus Nordow, financed the construction of an altar. The construction of the church is believed to have been completed around 1500 with the installation of ornamented choir banks; architect Lorenz Bole completed further extensive work in 1568. A lightning strike damaged the tower in 1574; subsequent damage occurred during a storm in 1586 and as a consequence copper plates were installed on the roof to prevent a repeat of the strike.
In 1606, the decorated benches designed for the use of coopers and other guild members were installed. Between 1696 and 1700 all the construction and repair work was finished. In 1733, a further storm destroyed the church steeple, which observers in 1703 had described as already crooked. After further storm damage the church was equipped with a lightening conductor in 1802. In December 1806, the church was used by the French army as a saddle workshop during the Napoleonic Wars. On 10 January 1807, new Buchholtz/Berlin organs were consecrated. In 1816, the church was again set on fire after lightning strike and the steeple's peak was reconstructed in 1817. In 1850, Kaltschmidt, an organ builder from Stettin, constructed new organs in the newly installed organ choir in line with the drawings of the royal construction master, Märtens. Bishop D. Ritschl consecrated the organs in 1851. After one-storey chapels had been removed in 1868, the construction inspector, Butterkirch, renovated St. Nicholas' organ gallery. The church was then equipped with vault ribbing for the windows and cornice as well as ornamented benches. In 1906 the church received colourful stained-glass windows in the choir area, new organs and ornamented benches, and the walls were repainted. The renovated church was re-consecrated on 23 April 1909.
The church was severely damaged again during the Second World War and citizens feared the risk of total collapse. In 1994, the St. Nicholas' Church Association was established in order to support reconstruction of the church. In 1995, the church was crowned with a temporary roof, an important step which enabled the church to again be used on occassion.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.