Essential Architecture-  Lüneburg

St. Nicholas’ Church




Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany.




Hanseatic Brick Gothic




  St. Johannis Kirche
  St. Nicolas (above, 1895) is the youngest of the Lüneburg churches.
  St. Nicolai today
Lüner Straße
21335 Lüneburg

Opening hours:
daily 9:00 am-17:00 pm
Tower mounting according to agreement
Tel: 04131/229021

the building:
St. Nicolas is the youngest of the Lüneburg churches. It was a place of worship for the common people, especially sailors and salt-barrel coopers. Building is recorded as having begun in 1407. The west tower was started in 1460 but not completed. It had to be demolished in 1830. Comprehensive repairs were needed to the badly dilapidated church between 1845 and 1869, when the open system of external buttresses was added. The neo-Gothic tower was completed in 1885.
The three-nave basilica has side chapels, which, with the galleries that surmount them, almost reach the height of the aisles. The nave is only four bays long. The choir has an ambulatory with radiating chapels. A hexagonal crypt with central support is located under the raised choir.
The nave consists of two storeys almost equal in height. The ground floor arcades are structured by octagonal piers. The sides of these piers are concave, creating an impression of slenderness. Above the arches runs a fine tracery frieze. Above this the outer walls retreat, creating a walkway open to the nave. Three-light clerestory windows illuminate the nave. The central nave is spanned by eight-pointed star vaulting.
The church is rich in Gothic works of art. The four-winged high altar, originally in St. Lambert’s Church, which was demolished in 1860/61, is ascribed to Hans Bornemann (before 1458). The shrine was made by the Lüneburg artist Hans Snitker the Elder in about 1440. The ambulatory contains the remains of a high alter from the former Heiligental abbey church. The panel paintings showing views of the city of Lüneburg are also ascribed to Hans Bornemann (about 1444). The choir stalls include older elements, such as an end depicting a bishop and ape from about 1420 and a high end with St. Nicolas and Virgin from the late 15th century. A once three-figure crucifixion group in the southern ambulatory is the work of the Lüneburg carver Volkmar Klovestan and dates from about 1450. A large crucifix by Cord Snitker from about 1470 is located at the west termination of the north aisle, and in the crypt there is a small crucifix from the first half of the 15th century. In the northern ambulatory there is a stucco pietà relief from about 1430. The font is the work of Ulricus from about 1325. The tomb of the Lüneburg mayor Hinrich Viskule from the late 14th century is located at the west wall of the southern aisle.


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