Church of Our Lady

Nuremberg, Germany

The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) stands on the eastern side of the main market. An example of brick Gothic architecture, it was built on the initiative of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor between 1352 and 1362. The church contains many sculptures, some of them heavily restored. Numerous works of art from the Middle Ages are kept in the church, such as the so-called Tucher Altar (c. 1440, originally the high altar of the Augustinian church of St. Vitus), and two monuments by Adam Kraft (c. 1498).

The church was built in the grand market, in place of the former Jewish synagogue, which was destroyed during the pogrom of 1349 (which followed an outbreak of Black Death). The architect was probably Peter Parler. Charles IV wanted to use the Frauenkirche for imperial ceremonies, which is reflected in the porch with the balcony, and in the fact that the church is relatively unadorned except for the coats of arms of the Holy Roman Empire, the seven Electors, the town of Nuremberg, and the city of Rome, where the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned.

Charles IV's son Wenceslas was baptized in the church in 1361, on which occasion the Imperial Regalia, including the imperial reliquaries, were displayed to the people. Beginning in 1423, the Imperial Regalia was kept permanently in Nuremberg and displayed to the people once a year on a special wooden platform constructed for that purpose.

The Frauenkirche is a hall church with two aisles and a tribune for the emperor. The church contains nine bays supported by four columns. The triforium, named the Imperial Loft or St. Michael's Loft, opens on to the nave by means of an arcade, the arches of which are filled with floating tracery, consisting of three rosettes supported by a segmental arch. The narthex of the church contains tracery. All three sides of the narthex have portals, the jambs and archivolts of which are decorated with sculptures. The gable contains many niches, which used to house sculptures.

One of the most notable features of the church is the Männleinlaufen, a mechanical clock that commemorates the Golden Bull of 1356. The clock was installed in the church in 1506. The Holy Roman Emperor is shown seated with the prince-electors surrounding him.

The clock mechanism is activated at midday, a bell is rung to start the sequence followed by the trumpeters and drummer. Then there is a procession of the electors around the figure of the Holy Roman Emperor.

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Details

Founded: 1352-1362
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Catalin Razvan Birja (20 months ago)
Nice place to visit. sugested fee 2euros.
Kevin Castle (20 months ago)
Beautiful musst see history. If you're lucky, you'll get the same guide we had.
Mark Lynch (21 months ago)
Simply breathtaking! Tryptisches dating from the the 11th and 12th centuries abound. The stained glass windows are remarkable for their age, artistic detail and depth of color. The view from the Nave incorporates all these elements in a beautiful harmony. Don't miss it.
Caitriona McParland (2 years ago)
Listened to some organ music, lovely place to escape the bussle of the market outside.
Roland Schlott (2 years ago)
The Frauenkirche is located right downtown Nürnberg next to the main plaza where the famous Christmas market takes place. Lots of beautiful construction details from the 14th century and Glockenspiel with dancing figurines at 12:00 noon.
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