The highest spire in Hildesheim belongs to the Gothic Andreaskirche (St. Andrew's Church), begun in 1389 and rebuilt in 1956 after war damage. The interior contains some interesting modern art and the tower can be climbed for fine city views.
History of Andreaskirche
A three-aisled Romanesque basilica stood on this site in the 12th century, but this was replaced with the present Andreaskirche beginning in 1389, when this area was at the crossroads of medieval trade. The architect was probably Peter Parler or one of his students, who may have based his design on St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague as well as the cathedrals of France.
The Reformation came to Hildesheim just 25 years after Martin Luther posted his theses in Wittenberg. On September 1, 1542, Dr. Johannes Bugenhagen, a friend and colleague of Martin Luther, gave the first Protestant sermon in Hildesheim in St. Andrew's Church. The subject was Mark 1:15: "Repent and believe the gospel." Bugenhagen is commemorated with a modern fountain outside the church.
St. Andrew's Church took about a century to complete, with regular interruptions caused by feuds, wars, material shortages, and plagues. The tower remained incomplete for almost 500 years until the foundation for it was finally laid on November 10, 1883, the 400th birthday of Martin Luther.
A devastating bomb attack on March 22, 1945 caused a fire that collapsed the roof and destroyed the interior of the church. It was rebuilt from 1956 to 1965 and rededicated on August 5, 1965. The Andreaskirche was the last of the Hildesheim churches to be rebuilt after the war.
What to See at Andreaskirche
The exterior of the Andreaskirche is graceful and harmonious despite the devastating damage it suffered during the war. It stands on a quiet square in the heart of Hildesheim, accompanied by the modern Bugenhagen Fountain (1995). The bronze, candlestick-shaped fountain was designed by Ulrich Henn.
The interior of the church is Gothic in style but bright and modern in its details, with notable modern bronzeworks in the apse by Ulrich Henn. The high star vault has been fully restored to its pre-war appearance and a large Beckerath organ (1966) dominates the west wall.
The tower of St. Andrew's Church, the tallest in Hildesheim at 114.5m, was opened to the public in March 1995. It takes 364 steps to get to the top, but the effort is rewarded with views of four bells (cast in 1963, 1632, 1738 and 1725) and of the city landscape.
Quick Facts on Andreaskirche
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||52.151634° N, 9.949998° E|
|Hours:||Apr-Sep: Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat & hols. 9-4, Sun 11:30-4|
Oct-Mar: Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun 11:30-4
|Lodging:||View hotels near Andreaskirche|
- Personal visit (March 2, 2008).
- Geschichte - St. Andreas Gemeinde (official website)
- Photos of Andreaskirche - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Andreaskirche, Hildesheim
Below is a location map and aerial view of Andreaskirche. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.