There are many churches in the historic city of Nuremberg, particularly within the city walls or fortifications. The city is fantastic for those that enjoy religious architecture or history of religion.
The churches all have their own unique appearance as well as fascinating backstories including involvement of Roman Emperors and even Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Church of Our Lady AKA Frauenkirche is a stunning Gothic building and makes a great backdrop for Christkindlesmarkt and other events in the city square.
The Frauenkirche is a great example of brick Gothic architecture, it was built on the instruction of Charles IV. Charles IV was Holy Roman Emperor between 1352 and 1362, he was the first king of Bohemia to hold the position of Emperor. The church was consecrated in 1358, the building completed in 1361 and is still active as a parish church today. The church was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War in the bombing of Nuremberg with only the nave walls and facade still standing. A fantastic restoration job of Frauenkirche was completed by 1953, although later restorations have taken place in 1989-1991.
The Frauenkirche is described as a hall church with two aisles and a tribune for the emperor. Inside there are nine bays that are supported by four columns. The church is home to many sculptures, some of them heavily restored over the years. Artwork from the Middle Ages is kept in the church, including the Tucher Altar which was originally the high altar of the Augustinian church of St. Vitus and two monuments by Adam Kraft.
The west facade of the Frauenkirche is richly decorated and most recognisable from photographs. The facade was constructed with a central porch creating a narthex and an elaborate projection above flanked by two engaged stair towers. The portals on the porch are decorated on the west with sculptures of Adam, Eve, the Virgin, and prophets.
St. Sebaldus Church also known as St. Sebald or Sebalduskirche is a medieval church, it is one of the oldest and important churches in the city. St. Sebaldus’ is located at the Albrecht-Dürer-Platz, in front of the old city hall, to the north of the river and south of the Imperial Castle. The facade is similar to St. Lorenz in the way it has 2 prominent towers on either side of the main door. It takes its name from Sebaldus, an 8th-century hermit and missionary who is the patron saint of Nuremberg. Sebalduskirche has been a Lutheran parish church since the Reformation.
The building of St. Sebald began in 1225, the construction was completed by 1273-75. It was originally built as a Romanesque basilica with two choirs.
During the 14th century between 1309 and 1345, several major changes to the construction were made. The side aisles were widened and the steeples made higher. Between 1358 and 1379 the gothic hall chancel was built. The two distinctive towers were added in the 15th century. In the middle, 17th-century galleries were added and the interior was remodelled in the Baroque fashion.
The church suffered serious damage during World War II and was subsequently restored. Some of the old interior undamaged include the Shrine of St. Sebaldus, works by Veit Stoss and the stained glass windows. In the church, the famous epitaph of the Tucher family can be found.
The church has 2 organs one from the 14th century, and another by the 15th. The main organ was built in 1440–41 by Heinrich Traxdorf, this organ was rebuilt in 1691. Until its destruction in World War Two during a bombing raid, it was one of the oldest playable organs in the world.
St. Jakob is also known as St James the Greater is a medieval church of the former free imperial city of Nuremberg. The church is dedicated to Saint James the Greater. St. Jakob’s is located at Jakobsplatz in the South West of the city, in a nice square. The Square has an area to exercise dogs with benches to watch on as the dog burns some energy.
The church has a rich history starting in 1209 when it was founded by Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV. Otto IV was one of two rival kings of Germany until 1209 when he became sole king. The original structure was a small Romanesque chapel, this subsequently was demolished about 80 years later and the church rebuilt. The church next came into the possession of the Knights of St John, an early modern Catholic military order.
During the Reformation, the Church of St. James was a Protestant Church, but in 1531 a preacher was intended, but the church remained in possession of the Catholic Teutonic Order. Then in 1632 during the Thirty Years’ War King Gustav Adolf expropriated the Teutonic Order. He handed the church to the city of Nuremberg and which carried out an extensive renovation.
By the provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia returned to the Catholic Teutonic Order in 1648. The Teutonic Order kept its hold until 1809 when Napoleon ordered its dissolution. In 1810 St. Jakob became the third Protestant parish church of Nuremberg.
In the 20th Century, St.Jakobs was badly damaged during World War Two but has been very well restored since.
St. Elisabethkirche or St. Elisabeth Church is located in the south-west of the city near to St. Jakob’s, it is easily recognisable by its prominent dome. This is a large, domed Catholic church with columns at its entrance, an interesting a pipe organ & a luxurious altar inside. Elizabethkirche has a long history dating back to 1235 where a chapel on the site was dedicated to Elizabeth of Hungary. Building work for the current structure was started in 1785 but took ages to complete. The final act of construction was in 1803 the dome was crowned with a golden cross.
St. Lorenz is a medieval church that is dedicated to Saint Lawrence a 3rd-century Christian martyr. It is one of the most recognisable and prominent churches of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria. The facade of the church is stunning and faces to the west, the church is Gothic in design with two spires that are a dominant part of the cities skyline. Work started on St. Lorenz in 1250, the nave was completed in 1430, and was finally completed in 1477 with the completion of the choir. This church was also badly damaged during World War Two but has since been restored, a common theme throughout the cities of Germany including Dresden.
The west facade is richly articulated, reflecting the then wealth of the Nuremberg citizens. The facade is dominated by the two towers, which is similar to the nearby St. Sebald and indirectly Bamberg Cathedral with a sharp towering West portal doorway, and an indented rose window 9 metres in diameter. The church has three organs including the main organ which dates back to 1937, Stephans Organ from 1862 and Laurentius Organ.