Hamburg isn’t a super inexpensive place to visit, so when my then-boyfriend and I went, we did a bunch of research on things we could see on the cheap. One of those things was St. Michaelis Kirche (St. Michael’s Church, or – as it’s known locally – The Michael). On our second day in Hamburg, we snagged some coffee to go and took a walk.
Neither of us have a religious background, but you really don’t need one to appreciate the magnitude and beauty of this place. It’s huge, lily-white arches, gold accents, and reverent atmosphere are entirely captivating. We arrived right around 12:30 in the afternoon, and there was an organist playing an informal recital. The music filled every corner of the place. It was magical. They also have a room where a short video rolls explaining the history of the building. There have been three versions of The Michael – the first, build in the 1600s, was ruined by lightning. It was rebuilt in the 1700s, only to be destroyed by a giant fire in the early 1900s. It was rebuilt at that time, and (so far) is still standing!
Due to a ton of encouragement from locals and tourists alike, we shelled out 5 euros to climb to the top of the church tower for a bird’s eye view of the city. Totally worth the money. It was cool to see how Hamburg is all at once antiquated, modern, and a seaside city. I kind of wished we had come to the church at night. I think the dark really would have punctuated the view. Maybe next time!