St. Lamberti (Munster)

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St. Lamberti Muenster from Prinzipalmarkt seen from
Interior of the church

St. Lamberti is a Roman Catholic church in the city ​​center of Münster ( Westphalia ). It was built as a market and community church from 1375, financed by local merchants, and forms the northern end of the Prinzipalmarkt . St. Lamberti is the most important sacred building of the Westphalian late Gothic . It is named after St. Lambert of Liège .

A special feature are three iron baskets attached to the tower. In 1536 the corpses of the three leaders of the Anabaptist Empire of Münster Jan van Leiden , Bernd Krechting and Bernd Knipperdolling were displayed after they had been publicly tortured and executed in the square in front of the church.

From 9 p.m. to midnight (except Tuesdays), a tower keeper - since 2014 Martje Saljé - blows a horn every half hour. The office has existed since 1379.


The Lambertikirche stands at the crossroads of old streets: It marks the northern end of the Prinzipalmarkt , and the Roggenmarkt continues seamlessly . In the immediate vicinity of the church, in the middle of the rye market, was the collection of houses in the Drubbel until the beginning of the 20th century . To the east are the Old Fish Market and the Salt Road .

Lambertikirchplatz with the Lambertibrunnen is located between the church and Salzstraße.


Previous buildings

Around 1000 there was a wooden church in the merchant settlement in front of the Domburg not far from the then (first) Münster Cathedral . Shortly before 1100 a stone church was built, which was probably destroyed in 1125, and around 1150 a single-nave, vaulted Romanesque church. Around 1170 Münster received city rights. In 1189 the parish was divided up from the existing town and market church, with St. Ludgeri, St. Aegidi and perhaps even St. Martini being separated from it. In 1270 a Gothic three-nave hall church was built. Of the two stone predecessor buildings from the Romanesque period, the west tower was preserved until the 19th century. Initially only 17 m high and equipped with simple sound arcades, it was raised in 1150 by two structured floors to 21 m. The new building of the hall church from 1270 was combined with a further elevation of the tower, now to 40 m, with architecturally clearly structured external areas. In this, the penultimate floor of the old tower, a Jewish gravestone from 1302 was found walled in, which had been cleared during the pogrom of 1350 .

Today's church

The construction of the present church building covered the period from 1375 to 1525. Building material was in the neighboring Baumbergen upcoming Baumberger sandstone . The current construction began after the laying of the foundation stone in 1375 with the construction of the choir, which was completed in 1422, followed by the southern choir chapel as an octagonal central building with its own portal by 1448. The hall longhouse was built in several stages from 1450. Of the three late Gothic portals, the high southwest portal with its relief depicting the Jesse root is the most elaborate (original in the Bode Museum Berlin). The spacious nave was not vaulted until 1525 together with the choir with late Gothic net and star vaults. Initially, it was planned to build a tower appropriate to the new church together with the new late Gothic church instead of the repeatedly raised west tower, but this was no longer possible for reasons of cost. Instead, around 1500 the tower received an additional bell storey, which now brought the tower to a height of 50 m as well as its characteristic pointed dome end, which was preserved until the 19th century.

Painting by Isaac van Ostade (around 1645)

After the Wiesenkirche in Soest, St. Lamberti is considered the high point in the development of the Westphalian hall church in the late Gothic period . A decisive influence came from the conservative construction works of the Cologne Cathedral under Michael von Savoyen , whereby the high Gothic forms in the tracery were combined with the modern late Gothic fish bubble figures from the construction works of Peter Parlers at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague .

The liturgical furnishings of the Lamberti Church, which were destroyed during the Anabaptist Riots in the 1530s, were renewed after 1535. In 1550, the new construction of a (not preserved) sacrament house was commissioned to Johann Brabender , who had already carried out the crucifixion group on the north-west pillar of the tower. The actual refurbishment of the church in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation , however, only took place under the Münster Auxiliary Bishop and Pastor to St. Lamberti Nikolaus Arresdorf , who during his tenure as auxiliary bishop preferred to perform episcopal official acts in the Lamberti Church. Between 1602 and 1609 the Münster sculptor Johann Kroeß created the cycle of choir figures. As in the choir of Cologne Cathedral, a sequence of the twelve apostles was depicted, with the (destroyed) statues of Mary and Christ in the center. The octagon room of the southern choir chapel received the statues of the four Latin church fathers : Ambrosius , Augustine , Hieronymus and Pope Gregory the Great . In 1603 Arresdorf commissioned the central window of the choir with a depiction of the crucifixion. In 1613 Gerhard Gröninger built a new main altar. Nothing has been preserved from the statues on the buttresses on the outside of the church (including the two emperors Charlemagne and Henry II ).

Photograph from the 1870s, St. Lamberti still with the old tower. Ship without pinnacles and tracery balustrade.

By the end of the 19th century, the old tower had inclined to the west due to construction defects in the foundations and the meanwhile increase to three times the original height and threatened to collapse. Efforts to preserve monuments to save him failed as a result of the cultural war that began between the Catholic Church and the Prussian state. Bishop Johann Georg Müller commissioned Arnold Güldenpfennig to partially demolish and rebuild the tower in 1865 , but construction did not begin. In a competition in 1870, August Rincklake's project emerged as the winner. His project, as well as the projects of his competitors, had tried to maintain the usual historical view and had only deviated from each other in the question of the upper tower end. In 1871, with a view to building a new tower, a renovation of the church roof was tackled. In 1887 the old tower was completely dismantled and from 1888 the construction of a neo-Gothic tower based on a design by the diocesan master builder Hilger Hertel , which was to be deliberately different from the historic tower. Until Hertel's death in 1890 (a three-dimensional figure of Hertel stands as a console figure inside the tower, carrying the entire weight of the church tower) the tower reached church height. From 1895 to 1898 his son Bernhard Hertel completed the tower construction. The 90.5 meter high tower with its openwork tracery helmet is considered a scaled-down copy of the tower of the Freiburg Minster , but there are also links to the Cologne cathedral towers completed in 1880.

During air raids in World War II , one of the pillars of the tower octagon, the church roof and the vaults of the eastern sections were destroyed. The bells were hung in June 1942. After the church was secured with an emergency roof in 1946, the war damage was repaired by 1959. The reconstruction of the church by Hans Ostermann was carried out in a reconstructive manner, only the neo-Gothic sacristy was built in modern forms. Instead of the strongly articulated neo-Gothic church roof, the medieval high roof was reconstructed.

With the beginning of the church year (1st Advent) on December 2, 2007 the parishes of St. Lamberti, St. Ludgeri and Aegidii as well as St. Martini were merged to form the new parish of St. Lamberti and Dr. Ludger Winner, formerly responsible for St. Ludgeri, was appointed pastor. After his retirement in 2017, cathedral pastor Hans-Bernd Köppen and Dr. Detlef Ziegler, Hans-Bernd Köppen has been the sole pastor of the inner city parish of St. Lamberti since 2019.

Sermons from Galens

From 1929 to 1933, Clemens August Graf von Galen , who later became the bishop of Münster and a short-term cardinal , was pastor of the parish of St. Lamberti. As bishop he held in 1941 two of his three sermons against the T4 program of Nazi regime in the Lamberti Church.

Baptist baskets

Historical events

The original baskets on the tower of the church

After her conviction on January 16, 1536, the public torture and execution of the three remaining leaders of the Anabaptist Empire of Münster , Jan van Leiden , Bernd Krechting and Bernd Knipperdolling, took place at the foot of the Lamberti Church on January 22 of the same year . The corpses were hung on the tower of the church in three iron baskets, "that they served as a warning and a horror to all restless spirits, that they would not attempt or dare to do something similar in the future." The body of Jan van Leiden was in the upper baskets in the triangle, Knipperdolling in the left and Krechting in the right.

The baskets were made by the blacksmith Bertolt von Lüdinghausen in Dortmund in 1535. Originally they were supposed to be used to transport prisoners. The Dominicans in Dortmund report on the basket that was made for Jan van Leiden that it weighed "4 Wag iron minus 13 talents", about 240 kg. The three baskets have different dimensions, for example 187 × 78 cm, 187 × 76 cm and 179 × 79 cm on the front.

19th and 20th centuries

After the old church tower had become dilapidated, the baskets were removed on December 3, 1881. During the construction phase of the new tower, they temporarily stood in the Dominican Church in Salzstrasse , where they were photographed and drawn by Otto Modersohn . After the completion of the new church tower, the baskets were put back on the south side on September 22nd, 1898; In 1927 they were restored.

The tower of the Lamberti church received on 18 November 1944 a bomb , pillars was destroyed in the one of the eight who wear the octagon. He tore two of the three baskets down with him, only the right basket got stuck. All three baskets were badly damaged. On July 20, 1945, the remaining basket was lowered, the other two were recovered and restoration began. Since then, the crab decorations have been missing from the hangers of the baskets and the hanging no longer corresponds to the original arrangement.


In 1888, replicas of the three baskets were made which the Münster zoology professor Hermann Landois acquired for his pseudo-historical collection in the Tuckesburg in the old zoo . In 1982, these copies were used in an exhibition Das Gottesreich flludes - the art association dances in the Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History , for which the artist Stephan Huber added white glider wings. Today they are in the Münster City Museum .

Art installation

In the evening hours, the three will-o'-the-wisps that Lothar Baumgarten installed as part of the sculpture projects 1987 glow in the baskets , as “the appearance of three souls or inner fires that cannot find peace” .


Christ on the cross

On the north pillar of the organ loft, the wooden sculpture is Christ on the cross, mourned by Mary and John , the Franz Brabender , a son of Heinrich Brabender , is attributed.


The St. Lamberti Church has two organs : the large main organ in the west and a small mobile choir organ.


The town and market church of St. Lamberti can look back on a lively organ history. The earliest instrument can be traced back to the year 1386. The construction of an organ in 1538 is documented in the 16th century. Another (new) building of an instrument was probably completed around 1580 or 1590. This instrument with 25 stops on three manuals and a pedal later came to the Catholic Church Alstätte in the Ahaus district.

In 1821 the parish took over the organ of the secularized Minoritenkirche, which had been built in 1784 by Melchior Vorenweg (1753-1844) from Menden. This instrument was first rebuilt in 1867 by the organ builder Bengesdorf (Albersloh).

After the new tower was built, the instrument was fundamentally redesigned by Friedrich Fleiter (Münster) by 1892, housed in a neo-Gothic housing and equipped with a pneumatic register control. In 1908 Fleiter expanded the disposition to 50 registers and equipped the instrument with electric action .

After this instrument was destroyed in 1944, Rudolf Reuter provided a layout plan for a new organ in the north side gallery of St. Lamberti. Franz Breil (Dorsten) only partially realized this design in 1949.

In view of the (post-war) poor material design and the fact that the location of the organ had proven to be unfavorable from an acoustic point of view, the completion of Reuter's design was abandoned and in 1987 the construction of a new organ at the Berlin organ building workshop Karl Schuke in Assignment. In 1987 Schuke first installed a small interim organ in St. Lamberti. The slider chest instrument had ten stops on two manuals and a pedal and was sold to the Nicolai community in Roxel when the new main organ was completed .

Main organ

Main organ in the tower room

The new main organ was built by the Karl Schuke Berlin organ building workshop based on a disposition draft by Ludwig Doerr (Freiburg) and completed in 1989.

The instrument “floats” in the tower area of ​​the church and is attached to a bridge structure: Between the pillars of the tower structure, two horizontal support beams were inserted at the sides (east-west connection), each of which has a steel bridge leading into the tower area, to which the organ case is attached is. The model for this construction was the supporting structure of the large organ in the Jakobikirche in Lübeck . This suspension in the tower room allows the sound to unfold freely in the side aisles of the church. The play area is located in the middle of the organ, directly below the trumpeteria protruding into the church . Below the play area is the Rückpositiv, above the Spanish trumpets the main movement and the swell movement, in the side towers there is the pedal movement.

In 2006 the instrument was completely overhauled and expanded by Schuke. The main work received a tremulant , the pedal was extended by a counter trombone 32 ′ (extension of trombone 16 ′); For reasons of space, the pedal register base 32 'was placed outside the organ case on the north gallery. In the Schwellwerk (III. Manual) two further registers (Bordun 8 'and Vox Humana 8' with their own tremulants) have been set up, which can be played from the IV. Manual (trumpeteria). In addition, sub- and super-octave couplings were set up. In 2008 a carillon with 30 tubular bells (d 0 - g 2 ) was installed in the staircase between the sacrament chapel and the high choir , which can be played from the main organ. The original radio connection was later replaced by fixed cabling, as cellular traffic impaired function.

The slider chest instrument today has 55 stops on four manuals and a pedal. The key action is mechanical, the key action and coupling are electric.

I Rückpositiv C – a 3
01. Principal 08th'
02. Dumped 08th'
03. Quintad 08th'
04th octave 04 ′
05. recorder 04 ′
06th Duplicate 02 ′
07th Sesquialtera II0
08th. Larigot 01 13
09. Scharff IV 01'
10. Dulcian 16 ′
11. Cromorne 08th'
II main work C – a 3
12. Principal 16 ′
13. octave 08th'
14th Reed flute 08th'
15th Viol 08th'
16. octave 04 ′
17th Coupling flute 04 ′
18th Fifth 02 23
19th octave 02 ′
20th Cornett V (from f 0 )
21st Mixture major IV-VII0 02 ′
22nd Mixture minor IV 023
23. Trumpet 08th'
24. Trumpet 04 ′
III Swell C – a 3
25th Drone 16 ′
26th Wooden principal 08th'
27. Flute harmonique 08th'
28. Salizional 08th'
29 Voix celeste (from c 0 )0 08th'
30th octave 04 ′
31. Flute octaviante 04 ′
32. Nazard 02 23
33. Octavine 02 ′
34. Tierce 01 35
35. mixture 02 23
36. Basson 16 ′
37. Trumpet harm. 08th'
38. Hautbois 08th'
39. Clairon 04 ′
IV. Manual C-a 3
40. Trompeta magna 16 ′
41. Trompeta real 08th'
Solo register (in SW)
42. Vox humana 08th'
43. Drone 08th'
Pedals C – f 1
44. Pedestal 32 ′
45. Principal bass 16 ′
46. Sub bass 16 ′
47. Octave bass 08th'
48. Dacked bass 08th'
49. Choral bass 04 ′
50. Night horn 02 ′
51. Back set IV 04 ′
52. Counter trombone (ext. No. 53)0 32 ′
53. trombone 16 ′
54. Trumpet 08th'
55. Trumpet 04 ′
  • Couple
    • Normal coupling: I / II, III / II, IV / II, III / I; I / P, II / P, III / P, IV / P
    • Sub-octave coupling: I / I, III / III (through coupling), III / II
    • Super octave coupling: III / III (through coupling), IV / IV, III / II; I / P, II / P, III / P, IV / P
    • Glockenspiel: bells / I, bells / II, bells / III, bells / IV, bells / P, bells super octave coupling (through-coupling)
  • Game aids
    • Zimbelstern
    • 4000 typesetting combinations

Choir organ

Choir organ

The choir organ was built in 2004 by Johannes Rohlf (Neubulach). She stands on a mobile platform. The instrument is arranged in the classic Italian style. The case is based on construction drawings of medieval organs. All registers are divided at c 1 / c sharp 1 . The organ has an attached pedal (Cd 1 ).

The choir organ has the following disposition:

Manuals C – c 1 / cis 1 -d 3
Principals I 8th'
Flauto I 8th'
Ottava VIII (prospectus) 4 ′
Flauto in VIII 4 ′
Flauto in XII 2 23
Quinta Decima XV0 2 ′
Tromboncini (prospectus) 8th'
  • Remarks:
  1. Chestnut wood.
  2. a b mountain spruce, pear tree.
  3. reed flute.


Four new bells, cast on September 5th, 2008.
Bell casting at Petit & Gebr. Edelbrock on September 5, 2008.

The bells in the bell house are eight voices. Four bells from the 15th and 17th centuries make up the historical collection: two bells by Gerhardus de Wou , one by his pupil Wolter Westerhues and the large Katharinenglocke by Henricus Caesem.

Due to the heavy load on the four-part old stock and to replace the lost bells, the ringing was extended by four bells. Petit & Gebr. Edelbrock in Gescher cast it on September 5th, 2008. On December 5th, bell 4 was re-cast because it came out of the casting half a tone too deep (e 1 ). Bell 4 filled the gap between bells 3 and 5; with bells 6 to 8 a new sound crown was created. The four deep bells form a tetrachord in the Phrygian mode due to the semitone between the two lowest pitch bells , a rather rare sound combination. The old steel belfry was removed and replaced with a wooden structure. On March 1st, 2009 the new bells were consecrated by the auxiliary bishop and diocesan administrator Franz-Josef Overbeck . On March 29, 2009 - to mark the introduction of the new Bishop Felix Genn  - all eight bells could be heard together for the first time.

Above the bell chamber, in the tower spire, hangs the urban fire bell (Herman von Essen). It's a cauldron-shaped alarm bell. Your strike tone is unclear. It does not belong to the bell and cannot be rung, only struck.


Casting year
(kg, approx.)
( HT - 1 / 16 )
1 Lambertus 1493 Gerhardus de Wou 2400 1520 c 1 +700
2 Great Catherine 1617 Henricus Caesem 1750 1420 of the 1 +100
3 Maria 1493 Gerhardus de Wou 1000 1195 it 1 +700
4th Maria Droste to Vischering 2008 Petit & Gebr. Edelbrock 1000 1180 f 1 +700
5 Little Katharina 1497 Wolter Westerhues 0450 0905 as 1 +700
6th Nils Stensen and Edith Stein 2008 Petit & Gebr. Edelbrock 0450 0890 b 1 +700
7th Clemens August Graf von Galen 0350 0820 c 2 +700
8th Sister Maria Euthymia 0230 0710 it 2 +700
I Fire bell 1594 Herman of Essen 1500 1355 ~ d 1+0 00

Ringing order

A provisional chime consists of the full chime on high feasts, a six-bell chime for Sunday masses and the ringing of the three smallest bells for working days. The large Lambertus bell also serves as a death knell, which is why it can also be heard during services at All Souls' Day . For the Angelus the new Marie bell is Mary of the Divine Heart used. The clock is struck by bells 3 (quarter hours) and 2 (full hours).

occasion Start of ringing Number of
High strength 15 minutes before the start of the measurement 8th c 1 of the 1st it 1 f 1 as 1 b 1 c 2 it 2
Sundays 15 minutes before the start of the measurement 6th of the 1st it 1 f 1 as 1 b 1 c 2
Working days 15 minutes before the start of the measurement 3 b 1 c 2 it 2
Requiem, All Souls' Day 15 minutes before the start of the measurement 1 c 1
Angelus chimes 12 o'clock 1 f 1


The Lambertikirche in Münster is one of the few churches in Germany with a tower keeper . The office of a tower keeper in St. Lamberti is first mentioned in 1383. Its job was to warn city residents of dangers such as fire. Today it is an official office set up by the city of Münster. Since January 1, 2014, Martje Saljé has been the first woman to work as a tower keeper. She blows the full and half hours on a copper horn in the evenings (except Tuesdays) from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. The whistle sounds after the bells strike, first on the south, then the west and finally the north side of the tower. Your workplace, the Türmerstube , is located above the bell level.


Depiction of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on the west facade

The holy figures of the four evangelists (1911) in the garments of the seldom opened west portal show John in the form of Friedrich Schiller (left) and the evangelist Lukas in the appearance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (right). The Secret Council visited Münster in 1792.

The west or main portal is usually closed and was last open from October 31 to November 1, 2017 for a light installation.

The television thriller Wilsberg: The Anabaptists (2007) plays u. a. on the Lambertikirche.


  • Max Geisberg : Sources on the art history of the Lambertikirche in Münster . Aschendorff, Münster 1942.
  • Gabriele Isenberg: On the building history of the St. Lamberti Church in Münster . In: Westfalen 55, 1977, pp. 450-480.
  • Hans J. Böker : The parish church of St. Lamberti in Münster. The building and restoration history of a late Gothic town church . In: Preservation of monuments and research in Westphalia . Vol. 18, Bonn 1989.
  • Klaus Gruna: St. Lamberti. Muenster. 12th edition. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner 2016.

Web links

Commons : Lambertikirche (Münster)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Jonas Leppin: Bizarre jobs. In: Der Spiegel. January 8, 2014, accessed September 29, 2029 .
  2. ^ Gabriele Isenberg: On the building history of the St. Lamberti Church in Münster . In: Westfalen 55, 1977, pp. 450-480. Lamberti Church - The Story
  3. Diethard Aschoff : The plague year 1350 and the Jews in Westphalia . In: Westfälische Zeitschrift 129, 1979, pp. 57-67.
  4. ^ Max Geisberg: Sources on the art history of the Lambertikirche in Münster . Munster 1942.
  5. ^ Hans J. Böker : The parish church of St. Lamberti in Münster. The building and restoration history of a late Gothic town church . Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-7749-2382-5 , p. 33-65 .
  6. ^ Elisabeth Fink. The Gothic hall churches in Westphalia . Emsdetten 1934.
  7. ^ Hans J. Böker: Prague or Cologne? The architectural relationship between the parish churches in southern Lower Saxony at the beginning of the late Gothic period. In: Low German Contributions to Art History , 23, 1984, pp. 9–27
  8. ^ Hans J. Böker: The parish church of St. Lamberti in Münster. The building and restoration history of a late Gothic town church . Bonn 1989, pp. 107-114.
  9. ^ Hans J. Böker: The parish church of St. Lamberti in Münster. The building and restoration history of a late Gothic town church . Bonn 1989, pp. 138-148.
  10. ^ Thomas Seifert: The Anabaptists at Münster . Agenda Verlag, Münster 1993, ISBN 3-929440-18-0 , p. 42.
  11. recognizable by the stamped Roman number ( MCCCCCXXXV) in one of the baskets
  12. St. Lamberti Munster . Regensburg. 11th edition, 2012. (Kunstführer, 1801), p. 19.
  13. a b Lampeler organ. In: March 4, 2014, accessed September 29, 2019 .
  14. ^ Report of the WDR on bell casting from September 5, 2008 ( depublished ).
  15. ^ Maria Meik: New bells for Lamberti. In: Westfälische Nachrichten . September 4, 2008, accessed July 28, 2019 .
  16. a b The bells of the St. Lamberti town and market church. In: Retrieved July 28, 2019 .
  17. Full bells (November 1, 2009, 11:00 a.m.) on YouTube .
  18. Partial ringing of bells 2–7: des 1 –es 1 –f 1 –as 1 –b 1 –c 2 (August 22, 2010) on YouTube .
  19. Partial ringing of bells 6–8: b 1 –c 2 –es 2 (December 15, 2009, 5:50 pm) on YouTube .
  20. Martje Saljé: keeper of St. Lamberti. Münster Marketing, accessed on July 28, 2019 .
  21. a b Martin Kalitschke: The main portal is opened. Spectacular installation in St. Lamberti. In: Westfälische Nachrichten. October 28, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2019 .
  22. ^ Gerd Eversberg: Goethe in Munster. Retrieved September 29, 2019 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 57 ′ 46.5 "  N , 7 ° 37 ′ 43"  E