St. Michael's Church with its famous staircase towers majestically over Schwäbisch Hall's marketplace. It was consecrated on 10th February 1156 by the Bishop of Würzburg. From this period only the four bottom storeys of the Romanesque west tower have survived, along with the porch. From here the Archangel Michael – a stone sculpture from the late 13th century – watches over the trading on the marketplace and over the town as the guardian of justice. Outstanding works of Late Gothic art in the church interior include the large Netherlandish Passion Altar in the choir (c. 1460) and the Holy Sepulchre with its impressive mourners (1455/56).

From the marketplace the 53 steps of the vast staircase lead up to the Romanesque vestibule of the church, and another 160 steps take you up through the tower to the bell chambers and the former tower watchman's dwelling, which affords a magnificent view over the historic town centre. The staircase was constructed between 1507 and 1510/1511.

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Founded: 1156
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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