In the middle of Hamburg’s city centre, St. Jacobi stands towering above the Mönckebergstrasse shopping street. The imposing gothic building dates back to as early as 1255. At the time, St. Jacobi was still a small chapel outside the city walls of Hamburg, lining the pilgrim’s route towards the grave of the martyr and church’s namesake St. James. Just a stone’s throw away, St. Petri is yet another representative of the city’s five major churches, dedicated to St. Peter.
Next to regular free guided tours through the interior of the church, several themed tours go in-depth on topics such as organ mechanics or the church’s art treasures. While few organs in the world can rival St. Jacobi’s in terms of size and state of conservation, the art treasures comprise a total of three medieval winged altars as well as a well-known painting by Joachim Luhns, depicting the city of Hamburg in 1681. The regular choir and organ recitals as well as changing special exhibitions in the southern nave offer all the more reasons to pay a visit to St. Jacobi.
Cafe in the belfry
After massive destruction in WWII, the tower was remodelled after its medieval original. Only the tower received a more modern look. With a total height of 124.5 metres, it is widely visible as part of the Hamburg skyline. Located beautifully in the steeple, a cafe serves hot beverages and cake on every first Saturday of the month between May and October.