Jacob's Cathedral (Stettin)

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Jakobikirche with a new spire and roof turret
Jakobikirche with an old spire that was destroyed during the siege of Stettin in 1677

The St. James Cathedral or St. James Church (Polish : Katedra Świętego Jakuba , Bazylika archikatedralna św. Jakuba ) in Stettin ( Szczecin ) is a brick Gothic church building. It is one of the largest churches in Pomerania and, along with the Cammin Cathedral, one of the two cathedral churches of the Archdiocese of Stettin-Cammin .

Building history

The church building was built in stages from the 13th to the 15th century. a. by the builder Heinrich Brunsberg . Around 1237 Duke Barnim I designated the Jakobikirche as the church for the Germans living in Stettin, while the Petrikirche was assigned to the Slavic residents. Since the Reformation the Jakobikirche served as the Lutheran parish church of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church and was the main church of the city after the demolition of St. Mary's Church in 1831.


The late Gothic hall building has a choir that is almost as large as the nave. The originally two-tower building was given a central tower from 1456 to 1503. This tower was originally a Gothic spire , which was destroyed in the siege of Stettin in the 1677th It was not until the restoration in 1894 that a spire was built according to plans by the architect Oskar Hossfeld ; Like other parts of the church, this fell victim to the severe destruction in the Second World War .

The medieval establishment with 52 altars had already perished in the early 17th century. In 1709 the altar was created by Erhard Löffler as a two-story wooden structure. Today's high altar comes from the Kolbatz monastery .

In 1699 Arp Schnitger completed the new organ by Matthias Schurig from Dresden, who died in 1697. The composer Carl Loewe worked there as organist and cantor for 46 years. After his death, his heart was walled into the first southern pillar of the organ.

The memorial stone for Duke Barnim III came from the former Charterhouse of Divine Grace in Grabow in 1904 . here. The glass painters Alexander Linnemann and his sons Rudolf and Otto Linnemann from Frankfurt created a total of 13 glass windows for the church in 1903. Shown were u. a. The prodigal son, Christ on the Mount of Olives, Last Supper, Christ and the Samaritans (donated by the Emperor), Christ with Maria and Martha, a window with the building history of the church, a window "the first Christians of Stettin" and 5 windows with ornamental decorations. In 1933, the glass painter Erhardt Klonk, who worked in Marburg, created two, as he himself wrote, “memory windows for the fallen of the First World War”. A dead man could be seen on one window, around whom his comrades have gathered for a funeral; A man returned on the other window, mourners on his left, above him and his family on his right.

On August 17 or 30, 1944, a bomb hit destroyed large parts of the church, including the organ. The choir and tower - the latter without a helmet - have been preserved.

From 1535 to 1945 the Jakobikirche was a Protestant church. The Jakobi parish last had three pastors and in 1940 had a total of 22,900 parish members. It belonged to the church district Stettin-Stadt in the church province of Pomerania of the church of the Old Prussian Union .

After 1945 the Polish Catholic Church took over the ruins of the cathedral and repaired them again until 1971. The Catholic Church has since used the building as the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Stettin-Cammin . Pope John Paul II elevated the church to the rank of minor basilica in 1983 .

The public premiere of the overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy took place in the Jakobikirche .


The main room of the hall church is supported by three pairs of octagonal pillars, the side aisles are built at the same ceiling height. Earlier chapels inside have been structurally adapted.

Jakobikirche still without a spire (before 2007)

From 2007 renovation work was carried out in which the church tower was put on a spire again. The new tower helmet has a different appearance than the one destroyed in 1944. It is based on the original spire that was destroyed in 1677, as shown in a cityscape by Paul Friedeborn from 1624. The tower has a height of 110.18 m. A viewing platform was set up on the church tower, which has been accessible via two lifts since May 2009.

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Gothic altar

The church equipment includes a high altar , a shrine altar , which was put together from different Pomeranian churches, crowned with a medieval crucifix . There are also numerous side altars, an organ with 4743 pipes (named after John Paul II), a sculpture of the church patron James the Elder (which comes from an earlier baroque pulpit that has not survived), a baptism . Many of the sculptures or figures shown also show St. Catherine, who is very venerated in Poland.

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  • Theophil Andreas Volckmar (~ 1684–1768), worked from 1746 to 1767 as organist at the Jakobikirche
  • Carl Loewe (1796–1869), worked from 1820 to 1866 as cantor and organist at the Jakobikirche
  • Jan Szyrocki ; Musician and conductor (1931–2003); In the anteroom of the cathedral he is honored with a bronze plaque on which a saying in Polish is written (translated roughly): “He inspired the hearts of those who could hear him”.


  • Oskar Hossfeld : The St. Jakobi Church in Stettin and its restoration. In: Die Denkmalpflege , 4th year, No. 2 (February 5, 1902), pp. 11–16.
  • Paweł Knap, Andrzej Kraśnicki, Artur Rasmus: Katedra. Historia kościoła św. Jakuba w Szczecinie. Walkowska Wydawnictwo - JEŻ, Szczecin 2008, ISBN 978-83-924983-5-3 .

Web links

Commons : St. James' Cathedral (Stettin)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Pommersches Urkundenbuch I, 2nd edition, No. 348
  2. a b c The Pommersche Zeitung. No. 50/2007, p. 1.
  3. Małgorzata Gwiazdowska: Concepts for the reconstruction of the Szczecin monuments after 1945 and possibilities of their implementation. In: Bulletin of the Polish Historical Mission , No. 7/2012, p. 170 ( online publication , accessed October 23, 2016).
  4. Ioannes Paulus II: Litt. Apost. Quam iucunda , AAS 75 (1983).
  5. ^ The Pomeranian Newspaper. No. 21/2009, pp. 1 and 16.
  6. Paweł Knap, Andrzej Kraśnicki, Artur Rasmus: Katedra: historia kościoła św. Jakuba w Szczecinie , Szczecin 2008, ISBN 978-83-924983-5-3 .
  7. ^ The Pomeranian Newspaper. No. 22/2009, p. 4.
  8. Jacob's Cathedral, brief description. bricks.eurob.org, accessed October 16, 2019 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 25 ′ 29 ″  N , 14 ° 33 ′ 19 ″  E