St. James' Church is one of the five principal churches of Hamburg. The history of the church goes back to 1255 when St. James' was a small chapel located outside the Hamburg city walls. After these were extended in 1260, it became part of the Hamburg city territory.
Between 1350 and 1400, the chapel was replaced by a hall church with three naves, similar to St. Peter's. Around one hundred years later, a fourth nave was added to the south side of the structure. The sacristy in the northeast also comes from this time (1438) and is today Hamburg's only example of secular gothic architecture.
From 1806 to 1813, when Hamburg was occupied by Napoleonic troops, the church was used mainly as stables.
The second tower, erected in 1826-1827 after the previous one had become dilapidated, was destroyed in 1944, along with the rest of the church building, by bombing during World War II. Only the historic interior furnishings were saved. It was not until 1963 that St. James' re-emerged, built to the medieval design, albeit with a modern spire.
The famous Arp Schnitger organ of 1693 in the west gallery is, with its 60 registers and around 4,000 pipes, is the largest baroque organ in Northern Europe. From 1989 to 1993, the organ was completely restored, and since its rededication at Easter 1993 it can be heard every Sunday during services.
The 34 pictures in the organ gallery are the works of Otto Wagenfeldt and Joachim Lundt. They were created to portray the Bible in illustrations which everyone could appreciate and understand.
St. James' has three medieval altars: the Holy Trinity Altar in the Main Choir (c. 1518, the St. Peter Altar in the first south nave (1508), and the St. Luke Altar in the second south nave (1500) that originally comes from the Hamburg Cathedral.
Also worthy of notice is the Ministers' Room, which originally served as a library. Since 1543, it has been the collection room of the Cathedral ministers, and was remodelled in 1710. The ceiling murals, with their civic virtues, show the importance of maintaining parish to the city regiment. They were painted, like the landscape paintings on the wall, by Johann Moritz Riesenberger. Coats of arms on the walls name the pastors, vicars, and jurors who have served the parish since the sixteenth century.References:
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.