St. Michael (Hildesheim)

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Michaeliskirche: View from the southeast
Michaeliskirche - photographed from the steeple of the Andreaskirche
Church of St. Michael, drawing from 1662

St. Michael in Hildesheim , also known as Michaeliskirche , is an Ottonian , pre-Romanesque church . Until the Reformation it was the abbey church of the Benedictine abbey of the same name . Today it is an Evangelical Lutheran parish church. The Bernward Crypt belongs to the Catholic inner city parish and is used for weekday masses. Since 1985, the church has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Hildesheim Cathedral under the name Dom and Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim . On January 2, 2010, an anniversary stamp (EUR 2.20) with the motif of St. Michael was published. A German 2 euro commemorative coin has been in circulation since February 7, 2014 , the reverse of which shows the church.


After taking office in 993, Bishop Bernward von Hildesheim had a chapel built on the hill north of the cathedral castle in Hildesheim . He consecrated this chapel on September 10, 996 to the Holy Cross , from which he received a particle from Otto III. received as a gift. In an undated will , he gave several goods for the living of the clergy settled there with their provost, including his own church in Burgstemmen . In the course of his episcopate, Bernward expanded his foundation into a large Benedictine monastery and bequeathed all of his possessions to this in a second will on November 1, 1019.

A stone block from the southwest stair tower with the year 1010 can be seen as one of twelve foundation stones for the abbey church. Bernward designated the west crypt of this church as his burial place and the place of constant prayer for him and gave the complex the name of the "funeral leader" Michael . The crypt was consecrated by him on Michaelmas day (September 29th) 1015. The church was partially consecrated on Michaelmas Day in 1022. Bernward died on November 20, 1022 in Michaeliskloster and was buried in the crypt. The entire church was consecrated on Michaelmas Day 1033 by Bernwards' successor Godehard .

Research discusses what contribution Bernward himself made as an architect. There is agreement that Bernward's performance in the construction of Michaeliskirche goes far beyond that of a client and builder. The building historian Hartwig Beseler referred to him as Architectus sapiens (according to 1 Cor 1:13), the “spiritual creator of the spatial concept”. He was therefore responsible for the conception ( dispositio ). The architect responsible for constructio is often named as the first abbot (1022 to 1030) of the Michaeliskloster Goderam . Both were based on the principles of Boethius and especially Vitruvius , which he laid down in his "Ten Books on Architecture".

Part of the research assumes that the bronze doors that can be traced back to Hildesheim Cathedral since 1035 were originally intended for St. Michael, as their inscription says that their donor Bernward attached them to the "angel temple" (templum angelicum) in 1015 . This assumption was nourished by cult historical observations, according to which templum angelicum as a liturgical turn a dedicated Michael patronage referred. In St. Michael, the bronze door was possibly located on the south aisle in the entrance next to the western stair tower, where - not far from the foundation stone - remains of the foundations of a vestibule were found. The western entrance to the crypt, where radar investigations carried out in April 2007 revealed a 250 cm wide massive structural disruption (the width of the bronze door is 227 cm): the western portal was originally much wider.

For the Bernwardin Christ column, which was brought into the cathedral in the early 19th century, there is clear evidence that it had previously stood in the east of the church of St. Michael behind the cross altar. Their location under the triumphal arch was confirmed during the excavation in 2006. The large bronze crucifix on this altar column was overthrown and melted down by iconoclasts in 1544 . For the time of the cathedral renovation, from September 30, 2009 to August 2014, the column was brought back to the Michaeliskirche; it was placed in the southeast transept.

The biblical pictorial programs of the reliefs on the Christ column and the Bernward doors are closely related.

Bernwards' large chandelier , which used to hang above the cross altar in front of the Christ column, broke during construction in 1662.

View into the Bernwardin east choir with the Christ column. Reconstruction A. Carpiceci / B. Gallistl

As early as 1034 there was a fire in the church. After repairs, it was re-consecrated in 1035, which happened again in 1186 after another fire and a renovation (including the renewal of almost all nave columns ) under Bishop Adelog . Between 1171 and 1190 the remarkable capitals were created. An important liturgical testimony of this time is the Ratmann sacramentary from 1159. With a miniature showing Bernward next to the Archangel Michael at the same level, it proves that the monks found the founder of their monastery as saints even before his canonization revered.

In 1192 Bernward was canonized . From 1194 to 1197 the stucco reliefs of the angel choir barriers at the entrance to the crypt were created. The painted wooden ceiling of St. Michaels in the nave was built around 1230. In 1250 the cloister was (new) built, which connected the church with the old monastery chapel of the abbey , which was used before the construction of the Michaeliskirche.

In the first third of the 16th century, Henning Rose belonged to the convent of St. Michael. He tried to serve his monastery with several forgeries , some of which still have an effect today.

On November 12, 1542, after the Reformation was introduced in Hildesheim , the Michaeliskirche became an Evangelical Lutheran parish church . The Benedictine convent remained in existence until the secularization in 1803 and was allowed to use the “small Michaeliskirche” in the cloister and the Bernward crypt for worship. The crypt is still Catholic today . The Michaeliskirche is one of the 65 simultaneous churches in Germany.

The Benedictine monks had farms in the places around Hildesheim. For example there was a tithe courtyard of the monastery in Gronau (Leine) ; from 1648 a priest was appointed as administrator of this court.

In 1650 the east apse was laid down because it was dilapidated, which led to the collapse of the eastern crossing tower and the partial destruction of the picture ceiling. Twelve years later the western crossing tower and the southwest transept had to be demolished as well; the southern angel choir barrier was destroyed. The east tower was rebuilt and received a baroque tower dome in 1672 .

In 1809 the church was closed and used by the hospital, which had been housed in the Michaeliskloster since secularization. The parish moved to the Martinikirche (today: part of the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum ). After a thorough renovation under Conrad Wilhelm Hase in the years 1855 to 1857, the congregation returned to the church. The congregation brought the bronze baptismal font from 1618 , the Johannes reredos from 1520 and Bothmer's epitaph from the 17th century from the Martini church, which are still in the church today.

Bishop Norbert Trelle with the Bernward Cross meets State Superintendent Eckhard Gorka in the new passage between the Bernward Crypt and the nave (June 26, 2006)

During the Second World War , the Michaeliskirche was initially damaged in the air raids on Hildesheim on February 22, March 3 and March 14, 1945 and destroyed by high explosive and incendiary bombs in the last air raid on the city on March 22, 1945. The wooden ceiling and the other art treasures were relocated on the initiative of the provincial curator Hermann Deckert and remained intact. The angel choir barrier was secured by a protective wall so that it was not damaged. After the end of the war, the church was rebuilt from 1947 on the pre-Romanesque remains according to the original plans. On August 20, 1950, the nave and the western transept were rededicated. The church was finally completed and re-consecrated in 1960. In 1985, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site , which also includes the Hildesheim Cathedral , the Cathedral Treasury and the Thousand-Year Rose Tree at the Cathedral.

In 1999 the church received a new organ. Organ builder Gerald Woehl placed the instrument, which he designed for both baroque and romantic organ works, rotated 45 degrees under the southern arch of the western crossing.

From 2005 to 2010 the interior of St. Michael was completely restored. In the course of this work, archaeological investigations were carried out in the church from February to June 2006. When the floor was renewed, it was lowered by around 15 to 18 centimeters. The church and crypt have now returned to their original level and are again connected by two passageways. The tombstone from the 14th century, which used to stand in the door frame, found a new place on the high choir above the crypt. The sacristy adjoining the crypt is shared by the Catholic Magdalene congregation and the Protestant Michaelis congregation within the framework of neighborly ecumenism. In December 2008, the principal pieces created by Thomas Duttenhoefer (crucifix, altar, pulpit and lectern) were set up in the chancel in the east, and in 2010 a baptismal tree from the same hand was added.


West choir with the Bernward crypt
View from a side aisle of the arcades in the typical Lower Saxony column change , renewed around 1186
View from the organ gallery into the central nave, the south aisle, the east transept and the east choir

St. Michael is one of the most important preserved churches in the Ottonian , i.e. pre-Romanesque , architectural style , which anticipates essential features of the emerging Romanesque with its choir square, separated crossing and spatial steepness (2: 1).

In the overall structure and in the individual forms, a new freedom and independence from the ancient, early Christian, Byzantine and also Carolingian is achieved. The overall view illustrates the strict cubic order that gives the impression of archaic power. The floor plan shows a complete balance of the east and west wings. The group of apse and transept in the east corresponds to a similar group in the west.

It is a double-choir basilica with two transepts and a square tower over each crossing . The transepts are flanked by two smaller stair towers, octagonal in the lower part and round in the upper part (from the beginning of the sloping roof). At first glance, the entire building seems to follow a geometric conception developed from squares of the same size , in which the crossing square was taken as the basic unit for the overall construction: the penetration space of the central nave and transept, the crossing, is perceived as the unit of measurement according to which entire structure is proportioned. This square appears once in each of the four transept arms, three times in the central nave, and finally again in the west choir between transept and apse. In fact, the building is - right down to the niches! - Dimensioned by a subtle grid of regular polygons as well as by Platonic solids, which is hidden from the naked eye, but accessible to the measuring and calculating mind; the mathematics required for this was not yet available in the Ottonian Empire, which is why one should think of a Byzantine mathematician at the court of the Byzantine empress Theophanu . Numbers can be read from the geometric execution of several structural elements, which reflect theological aspects according to the medieval number symbolism.

The exterior shows a perfect balance between vertical (tower groups) and horizontal components (central nave, transepts). The static cohesion of the facility is caused by the two equally weighted tower groups, cube-shaped central towers with pyramid roofs and stair towers in the east and west, which firmly limit the movement of the nave. The ogival windows in the south aisle were added in the Gothic style .

The interior is closed off by a wooden flat ceiling from the 13th century, on which the Jesse tree , the family tree of Christ, is depicted. The wall is preserved as a surface in which the arched windows are cut. A narrow cornice separates the arcades from the high wall. Without jumping out of the wall alignment, there are two columns and one pillar in the alternation of supports. The two separated crossings in the east and west are highlighted on all four sides by equally high, powerful round arches . On the one hand, they have the task of making the spatial structure manageable and, on the other hand, of supporting the heavy crossing towers as structural elements. The lack of decoration of the individual components corresponds to the clear, massive spatial structure.

According to an idea by Bernwards, the arcades of the nave were built in the lower Saxony column alternation , with four corner pillars alternating with round columns coupled in pairs and bearing cube capitals . The nave has three aisles and three bays and is covered by a wooden ceiling in the central nave. The wall structure is two-zone. The wall with arched windows extends over the arcades through which the light falls into the central nave. Further light comes through the - Gothic - pointed arch windows in the south aisle. The windows in the north aisle were made in the Romanesque style when the outer wall was restored by Conrad Wilhelm Hase from 1855 to 1857.

Choir window

Ch.Crodel, Five manifestations of the Archangel Michael, west choir window of Michaeliskirche, 1965

The overall impression of the (today's) interior is shaped by the incidence of light from all sides. The windows in the east and west choir are of great importance.

The color of the five windows in the west choir with depictions of angels, created by Charles Crodel in 1965, is reminiscent of medieval book and glass painting. The overall architectural effect is achieved through the modern imagery developed from the pictorial tradition of ceiling painting. The colored structure of the stained glass also emphasizes the rounding of the apse and the high choir opposite the nave and at the same time evokes the patronage of the "protection of the Archangel Michael , who is depicted in the middle window with a broken lance as the vanquisher of Satan in the form of the dragon lying dead will, and the whole heavenly host ”subordinate Church. Below the window with Michael, on the outside of the west choir, at the apex of the ambulatory, is the niche in which the Michalis altar was set up. The four other windows of the west choir show further forms of appearance on the left (south), the angel with the sword and the guardian angel and on the right (north) the angel of the Annunciation with Mary and the angel of redemption ( Seraph , Isaiah 6) and thus indicate that St. Michael was built by Bernward as Castel Sant'Angelo.

The windows with stylized trees of life in the apse of the east choir, created in 1966 by the Hamburg artist Gerhard Hausmann , are characterized by their simplicity. They symbolize - like the whole church - the heavenly Jerusalem ( Rev 21  EU ). In 1971, Hausmann also created the glass windows of the eastern side apses. The windows in the lower apse of the northeast transept, which is used as a baptistery , are dedicated to the depictions of the Flood as water of judgment ( Gen 7–8  EU ), Christ as the morning star ( Rev 22 : 16–17 EU ) and water ( Des  Life) from the rock ( Ex 17.2-7  EU ) this theme, while the windows in the lower apse of the southeast transept with the sevenfold ear ( Gen 41.5-7  EU ), Christ as a chalice in the wine press ( Isa 63 , 3  EU ) and manna as bread from heaven ( Ex 16,2-5,13-18  EU ) have the Eucharist as a point of reference.

Christ column

The Christ column is a hollow bronze casting from the first third of the 11th century, on which the public life of Jesus Christ is shown in 28 pictures. It stood under the western triumphal arch of the eastern crossing until the 17th century. When the church was redesigned as a result of the Reformation, it lost its liturgical significance there and was moved to the redesigned south-east transept by the Protestant community. In the 19th century it came to the Hildesheim Cathedral . From September 2009 to August 2014 it was back in St. Michael, in the south-eastern transept, for almost five years while the cathedral was being renovated. The first scene - the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan ( Lk 3,21-22 EU ) - pointed  to the north and thus liturgically in the direction of the altar in the east crossing and the baptismal font in the north-eastern transept.

Painted wooden ceiling

Painted wooden ceiling of the Michaeliskirche
Detail: the fall of man in paradise

The painted wooden ceiling in the nave of the nave , which was built in the 13th century, is unique north of the Alps . In 1966, Johannes Sommer dated the ceiling painting at the same time as the west choir extensions to around 1200, mainly because after Abbot Theodoric II, who resigned in 1204, there was no longer any personality in the monastery who was capable of such achievements. However, the investigations as part of the interdisciplinary assessment of the ceiling in 1999 indicate that the oak trees used for the ceiling were felled between 1190 and 1220.

In addition to the ceiling paintings in St. Martin in Zillis (Switzerland) and in Dädesjö (Sweden), this ceiling painting is the only monumental panel painting from the high Middle Ages that has survived to our times. It measures 27.6 × 8.7 meters and consists of 1,300 oak planks that were split from the log; sawn boards could not yet be made. This results in a structured representation compared to the boards used later when replacing defective planks.

The picture shows the so-called Jesse tree , which represents the descent of Jesus . The painting consists of eight main fields.

The first main field shows the fall of man in paradise . In this representation, which is unusual for the Jesse tree , Adam and Eve stand next to the tree of knowledge. The blessing Christ can be seen in the crown of the tree standing next to it. The second main picture shows Jesse , from whose loin a tree rises, which twines through the following main pictures ( Jesse tree). The other fields are, so to speak, the floors of this tree. They show the kings of Israel with David , Solomon , Hezekiah and Josiah ; they each surround four other unnamed kings. The seventh field shows Mary surrounded by the four cardinal virtues . She is holding a spindle with red thread in her hand. According to the Protegospel of James , she was one of the seven virgins who made the temple curtain. Her hand position is reminiscent of that of Eve in the first main picture; this underlines her position as the new Eve. The eighth main field was destroyed in 1650 when the eastern crossing tower collapsed. Since the re-installation of the wooden ceiling in 1960, it has been replaced by an image of Christ as the judge of the world on the throne, based on a template from the 19th century.

The image of paradise is surrounded by the four rivers of paradise and the evangelists Mark and Luke . The image of Christ is framed by the archangels Raphael , Uriel , Gabriel and Michael as well as the evangelists Matthew and John . Each of the other main images is flanked on each side by two rectangular representations (mainly prophets ); next to Mary are the Annunciation Angel and Isaiah on the right, and John the Baptist at the top left ; the fourth image cannot be clearly identified ( Aaron or Zacharias ). The symbols of the evangelists are shown in the four corner pictures.

There are also 42 medallions with the ancestors of Christ on the ceiling. According to the Gospel of Matthew , these are the generations from Abraham (who is in one of the medallions, but does not have a special position) to Jesus ( Mt 1.17  EU ). The portrayal of the ancestors is, however, taken from the Gospel of Luke , which mentions 78 ancestors and continues from David not about Solomon, but his brother Nathan ( 2 Sam 5.14  EU ) - not to be confused with the prophet ( Lk 2.23-38  EU ). Both the royal and the genealogical descent are documented.

Originally there was the cross altar with the Bernward cross under the top main picture , directly behind it was the Christ column .

The ceiling was removed in 1943 and stored in various locations. The boards that were replaced after the collapse of the eastern crossing tower remained in the church. The planks originally used thus outlived the Second World War. Before the reinstallation in 1960, all parts of the painting were carefully cleaned and restored.

Northern choir screen

Angel choir barrier

The northern choir screen (angel choir screen) in the crossing in front of the west choir proves the colourfulness of the high Middle Ages. It was installed here between 1194 and 1197 after Bernwards was canonized when the crypt was enlarged and the high choir was extended. The counterpart in the south was destroyed in 1662.

The forms of jewelry are stucco through and through . This technique of designing sculptures and reliefs was widespread in Lower Saxony and developed into a high level of artistry.

On the inside (to the south) there are 13 angel figures above the frieze with mythical creatures; some carried banners.

On the outside of the choir screen, the three round arches that were originally open to the crypt can still be seen. The seven arches above represent the heavenly Jerusalem. In them there are figures of saints, in the center as the main figure Mary with the child, to the right (east) Peter , James and Benedict , to the left (west) Paul , Johannes and Bernward (with the Michaeliskirche in the hand). The figures protrude strongly from the wall surface and become almost completely round in some places.


In the south aisle there are eight stucco female figures in the arcade spandrels facing the central nave. They are older than the choir screen. Up until the middle of the 19th century, the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount ( Mt 5 : 3–10  EU ) could still be read on the banners of women . Some of the sculptures were severely damaged when the church was destroyed at the end of the war. The original heads could only be put back on two figures during the reconstruction.

John's reredos

St. John's altar from 1520
Bronze baptismal font from 1618

The altar on the high choir in the west was built around 1520 and was originally installed in the church of the Johannis Abbey at Dammtor. From there, in the course of the Reformation, it came to the now Protestant Martini Church, the former church of the Franciscan monastery . In the middle of the 19th century the church was profaned and used as a museum, today the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum . In 1857 the congregation moved (again) to the Michaeliskirche and brought the altar with them - possibly as a replacement for the elf altar that was brought to the Magdalenenkirche during the secularization . The two outer wings, painted on both sides, were sold to the museum association and are now owned by the city museum.

The altar is almost always open, so that seven saints clad in golden robes can be seen inside the altar. At the center of Maria is holding the infant Jesus - hence the term Marienaltar used. At her side are the Evangelist John on the left (with the chalice) and on the right John the Baptist (with the lamb). On the inside of the left wing you can see Barbara and Jakobus , on the inside of the right wing Andreas and Elisabeth of Thuringia . On the two painted outer sides there are the Visitation ( Lk 1.39–45  EU ) (left) and the birth of Jesus ( Lk 2.1–7  EU ) (right).

The two outer wings in the city museum show images of the Annunciation ( Lk 1.26–38  EU ) (left inside), the Adoration of the Magi ( Mt 3,9–11  EU ) (right inside), the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist ( Lk 3,21–22  EU ) (left outside) and the Evangelist John on the island of Patmos (right outside).

Baptismal font

As early as the first third of the 13th century, a bronze baptismal font was cast for Hildesheim Cathedral , which rests on four men’s figures pouring water, they symbolize the four rivers of Paradise - just like on the base of the Christ column and on the painted wooden ceiling . This tradition was continued after the Reformation in Hildesheim with the brass baptismal font of 1547 for the St. Andrew's Church , but in a typically Protestant style. A total of six follow-up works were created in Hildesheim and the surrounding area, for example in 1592 for the Catholic Holy Cross Church .

The last of these baptismal fonts is the bronze baptismal font that Dietrich Mente cast for the Martini Church in 1618 and has been in the Michaeliskirche since 1857. It stands in the north-western transept used as a baptistery.

The basin and the lid each show six biblical scenes. The 12 apostles are depicted in two rows on the shaft . The base plate is supported by four putti , which are only vaguely reminiscent of the water shocks at the baptism in the cathedral. Inscriptions indicate the founder and the founder, the cartouche on the lid with St. Martin refers to the original location. The lid is crowned by a holder with a representation of the Trinity .

Woehl organ

View of the organ
View of the organ

The organ in the Michaeliskirche was built in 1999 by the organ builder Gerald Woehl (Marburg). The instrument stands free in the arch of the south transept towards the west crossing, opposite the north choir screen. The housing takes up the basic shape of the building in that it is designed as a corner placed square, which is moved out of the central axis. It has a four-page brochure .

The organ work itself is designed for the performance of a wide range of organ literature; H. from the music of J. S. Bach and the music of the German Romantic period, as well as for the performance of French symphonic organ music up to contemporary music. The instrument has 68 registers and an effect register on three manual works and a pedal . The key action (Hängetraktur) and the coupling are mechanically, the Registertrakturen are electric. The pipes of the pedal register Großbordun 32 'are housed outside the organ; they are located on the 1st gallery of the Engels Choirs in the south-western transept. The carillon hangs on the gallery above, the gallery of the angel choirs.

I main work C – a 3
Principal 16 ′
Drone 16 ′
Principal 8th'
Reed flute 8th'
Flûte harmonique 8th'
Viol 8th'
octave 4 ′
Pointed flute 4 ′
Fifth 2 23
Octave 2 ′
Sesquialter II
Cornet V
Large mix V – VII
Mixture V
bassoon 16 ′
Trumpet 8th'
tuba 8th'
Clarine 4 ′
II Oberwerk C – a 3
Viol 16 ′
Principal 8th'
Saliconal 8th'
Hollow flute 8th'
Unda maris 8th'
Dumped 8th'
Prestant 4 ′
Lull douce 4 ′
Nasard 2 23
Octave 2 ′
flute 2 ′
third 1 35
Flageolet 1'
Cornet V
Carillon III
Mixture V
Trumpet 8th'
Krummhorn 8th'
Tremulant (weak)
III Swell C – a 3
Quintatön 16 ′
diapason 8th'
Cor de Nuit 8th'
Flûte traversière 8th'
Viole de Gamba 8th'
Flûte octaviante 4 ′
Dulciana 4 ′
Fifth 2 23
Octavine 2 ′
Grand cornet V – VII
Bombard 16 ′
Trompette harmonique 8th'
Basson Hautbois 8th'
clarinet 8th'
Voix humaine 8th'
Clairon harmonique 4 ′
Tremulant (strong)
Pedal C – f 1
Pedestal 32 ′
Greater Bordeaux 32 ′
Principal 16 ′
Sub bass 16 ′
Violon 16 ′
Drone 16 ′
Octave bass 8th'
violoncello 8th'
Drone 8th'
Octave 4 ′
Mixture V
Grand trombone 32 ′
trombone 16 ′
Trumpet 8th'
tuba 8th'
Clarine 4 ′
  • Couple
    • Normal coupling: II / I, III / I, III / II, I / P, II / P, III / P
    • Bass octave coupling: I / I, III / I, III / II


With a total of ten bells , St. Michael has the highest number of bells in Hildesheim after the cathedral . These bells hang in five bell houses (the four stair towers and the eastern crossing tower). The oldest bell (115 cm in diameter) dates back to the High Gothic period, while the remaining nine bells were cast over time (the four stair towers were built one after the other) between 1950 and 1971 by the bell caster Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling . The big bell was probably his last cast bell before he died at the age of 56.

Bell jar 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 10
tower NW Public transport NO SO NO SO SW SO SW
Diameter (mm) 1240 1150 1020 870 800 740 660 590 560 500
Weight (kg) 1250 1000 728 411 352 265 158 133 120 85
Caster FW Schilling unmarked FW Schilling
Casting location Heidelberg Heidelberg
Casting year 1971 1270 1965 1952 1965 1952 1950 1952 1950
volume e′-3 f sharp 2 g′-1 a′-1 h′-1 c ″ -1 d ″ -1 e ″ -1 f ″ -1 g ″ ?? ± 0

Legend : NW = north-west tower, SW = south-west tower, NE = north-east tower, SO = south-east tower, public transport = east crossing tower


St. Michael is often referred to as the castle of God . In fact, the building makes a castle-like impression due to its location, the massive walls and defensive towers. However, the main idea is more aptly represented with God's city . Although the medieval fortified city ​​was always at the same time a castle , the focus here is not on the defensive aspect of warfare, but rather on the aspect of housing and community. This is an image of the perfect, eschatological "city on a hill" that no stamps needed more because they stamp a whole - house of God with men - is. The geometric construction is reminiscent of the dimensions of the temple in Ez 40  EU f as well as the square floor plan of the city of God according to Rev 21,16  EU . It is secured against the dark and evil (Michael, the dragon slayer), but has wide open gates for the people of God from all corners of the earth ( Isa  2).

Michaeliskirche as an architectural model

The Michaeliskirche continued to function as an architectural model up to the end of the Romanesque period, for example a decade later in the Basilica of Aquileia .

For the romantic historicism of the 19th century, St. Michael was one of the main symbols of the religious idea of ​​empire and influenced numerous church buildings of this time. An idealized copy, supplemented by the tower of the Soest Patroclus Cathedral , is the Antoniusbasilika in Rheine .

At the time, individual architectural elements also served as a design model, so the three-part hierarchical structure of the transverse wing galleries in the monastery church of Fredelsloh was modeled.


overall length 74.75 m
Total length of the transepts 40.01 m
Total width of the transepts 11.38 m
Length of the crypt 18.36 m
Width of the nave 22.75 m
Length of the nave between the transepts 27.34 m
Width of the central nave between the arcades 8.60 m
Height of the central nave 16.70 m
Thickness of the masonry 1.63 m
Number of bells 10

Location and surroundings

St. Michael is located on the north-western edge of the city center of Hildesheim on the Michaelis hill. The nave is entered from the south side through the main portal. Behind the church is a garden, the monastery garden . Via the old cloister , which can also be reached via this garden, you get to the modern buildings in the area with the center for worship and church music and the state superintendent. The city ​​center can be reached via side streets to the east and south . Not far to the west of Michaeliskirche is the baroque Magdalenengarten , and to the north is the Andreanum high school .

Evangelical center for worship and church music

Evangelical Center for Worship and Church Music, Michaeliskloster Hildesheim

The Evangelical Center for Worship and Church Music at Michaeliskirche was inaugurated in August 2004; it is a legally dependent institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Hanover in cooperation with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The center consists of the work area worship and church music , the trombone work and a conference center. The workspace worship and church music , together with the Posaunenwerk from the church house services was issued Hannover to the Michaeliskloster, the area is Sunday school and, since 2009, together with the EKD established Center for quality development in the service of the EKD assigned. The center also houses the teaching staff and other institutions and associations such as the Lower Saxony Church Choir Association or the Association of Protestant Church Musicians in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover. The House of Church Services takes on administrative tasks for the center. The center has around 40 employees.

Jochen Arnold has been director of the facility since August 2004, and an advisory board accompanies the work. Supervision is carried out by a board of trustees formed by the Hanover regional church office under the direction of the officer responsible for worship and church music.

Church as a kestrel hatchery

At the church breeding kestrels .

See also


  • Cord Alphei: The Hildesheim Michaeliskirche under reconstruction 1945-1960. Georg Olms Verlag , Hildesheim 1993, ISBN 3-487-09812-1 .
  • Hartwig Beseler, Hans Roggenkamp: The Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim. Berlin 1954.
  • Manfred Lausmann, Peter Königfeld : The Romanesque ceiling picture of the Ev. Parish Church of St. Michael in Hildesheim. In: Hans-Herbert Möller (Ed.): Restoration of cultural monuments. Examples from the preservation of monuments in Lower Saxony (= reports on preservation of monuments , supplement 2). Lower Saxony State Administration Office - Institute for Monument Preservation , Niemeyer, Hameln 1989, ISBN 3-87585-152-8 , pp. 197-201.
  • Michael Brandt (Ed.): The buried angel. The choir barriers of Hildesheim's Michaeliskirche. Finds and Findings. Exhibition cat., Hildesheim 1995, ISBN 3-8053-1826-X .
  • Michael Brandt: Bernwards column - treasures from the Hildesheim cathedral. Verlag Schnell & Steiner GmbH, Regensburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-7954-2046-8 .
  • Patricia Engel : Strategia podejmowania decyzji konserwatorskich w procesie identyfikacji i konserwacji historycznych śladów uauwania pisma (tekstu) w rękopisach (I – XV wiek) - Na przykładzie konserwacji - restauracji "Ratmann Sakramentary Skarb" z kolekc. Hildesheim. Diss. Warsaw 2007.
  • Kurd Fleige: Church art, capital symbolism and profane buildings: Selected essays on the architectural and art history of Hildesheim and its surroundings. Bernward-Verlag GmbH, Hildesheim 1993, ISBN 3-87065-793-6 .
  • Bernhard Gallistl: The Bernwards Column and the Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim. Georg-Olms-Verlag, Hildesheim 1993, ISBN 3-487-09755-9 .
  • Bernhard Gallistl: Unknown documents on the east choir of the Michaeliskirche from the cathedral library. In: The Diocese of Hildesheim in the past and present 72, 2004, pp. 259–289.
  • Bernhard Gallistl: Angelici Templi. Cult-historical context and location of the Hildesheim bronze door. In: concilium medii aevi 18, 2015, pp. 81–97 ( available online , PDF).
  • Bernhard Gallistl: Bishop Bernwards Foundation St. Michael in Hildesheim: liturgy and legend. In: concilium medii aevi 14, 2011, pp. 239-287 ( online ).
  • Bernhard Gallistl: Narrated World Heritage. 12 centuries of Hildesheim. Olms Verlag, Hildesheim 2015, ISBN 978-3-487-15230-1 .
  • Rolf-Jürgen Grote, Vera Kellner: The picture ceiling of Hildesheim's Michaeliskirche, exploring a world cultural heritage. Current findings on the preservation of monuments in the context of the interdisciplinary preservation and maintenance planning of the ceiling painting (=  writings of the Wenger Foundation for the preservation of monuments, vol. 1 = workbooks on the preservation of monuments in Lower Saxony, issue 28 = publications from the German Mining Museum Bochum , no. 105). Published by the Wenger Foundation for the Preservation of Monuments and the Lower Saxony State Office for the Preservation of Monuments in cooperation with the German Mining Museum. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-422-06401-X (181 pages with numerous illustrations and graphics, table of contents ).
  • Alfhart Günther: Churches of the Middle Ages through the eyes of a physicist - architecture between theology, technology and geometry. Garamond, Gera 2017, ISBN 978-3-946964-07-0 .
  • Sibylle Harbott: Hildesheim: St. Michael. In: Ursula Schädler-Saub (Hrsg.): Medieval churches in Lower Saxony - ways of preservation and restoration (= writings of the Hornemann Institute, vol. 4). Petersberg 2000, ISBN 3-932526-85-6 , pp. 16-41.
  • Hans-Dieter Heckes: The Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim - its post-medieval building history from 1542 to 1910. Diss. Phil., TU Berlin, 1985.
  • Marko Jelusić: "A lion in his field" - How Joseph Bohland saved the ceiling painting of St. Michaelis from certain destruction. In: H. Kemmerer (Ed.): St. Michaelis zu Hildesheim. History and stories from 1000 years. Publications of the Hildesheim adult education center on the city history of Hildesheim 15th Hildesheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-8067-8736-8 , pp. 108-113 ( online at
  • Adolf Kottmeier: The St. Michaeliskirche from its abolition (1809) to its rededication (1857). In: Alt-Hildesheim, Heft 1, 1919, pp. 19-25.
  • Gerhard Lutz: The Michaeliskirche Hildesheim. Verlag Schnell & Steiner GmbH, Regensburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-7954-2248-6 .
  • Manfred Overesch : St. Michaelis - The world cultural heritage in Hildesheim, a Christian-Jewish partnership after the Second World War. Verlag Schnell & Steiner GmbH, Regensburg 2002, ISBN 3-7954-1509-8 .
  • Manfred Overesch: From Hildesheim to the USA, Christ and Jude in dialogue about the reconstruction of the St. Michaelis World Heritage Site 1946–1949. Georg-Olms-Verlag AG, Hildesheim 2004, ISBN 3-487-12656-7 .
  • Manfred Overesch: St. Michael - God's city and Bernwards castle in Hildesheim. Georg-Olms-Verlag AG, Hildesheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-487-14472-6 .
  • Manfred Overesch, Alfhart Günther: Heavenly Jerusalem in Hildesheim - St. Michael and the secret of sacred mathematics 1000 years ago. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-525-55004-5 .
  • Christoph Schulz-Mons: The choir screen reliefs of the Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim and their relation to the Bambergisch-Magdeburgische Bauhütte. Bernward, Hildesheim 1979.
  • Christoph Schulz-Mons: The Michaeliskloster in Hildesheim. Investigations into the foundation by Bishop Bernward 993-1022. 2 vols. (Sources and documentation on the city history of Hildesheim; 20.1 and 20.2). Hildesheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-8067-8738-2 .
  • Christiane Segers-Glocke, Angela Weyer (ed.): The cloister of St. Michael in Hildesheim: 1000 years of cultural history in stone (= writings of the Hornemann Institute, 2 and workbooks on the preservation of monuments in Lower Saxony 20). 1st edition. Niemeyer, Hameln 2000, ISBN 3-8271-8020-1 .
  • Christiane Segers-Glocke (Ed.): St. Michael in Hildesheim: Research results on the architectural archaeological investigation in 2006 (= workbooks on the preservation of monuments in Lower Saxony 34). CW Niemeyer Buchverlage GmbH, Hameln 2008, ISBN 978-3-8271-8034-6 .
  • Johannes Sommer: St. Michael in Hildesheim (= The Blue Books). 3rd, through Edition. Koenigstein i. Ts. 1993, ISBN 3-7845-4662-5 .
  • Johannes Sommer: The ceiling picture of the Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim . Supplementary reprint of the first edition Hildesheim 1966 together with a critical overview of the research since 1999. Königstein i. Ts. 2000, ISBN 3-7845-7410-6 .
  • Elizabeth C. Teviotdale: The Stammheim Missal . J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 2001, ISBN 978-0-89236-615-6 .
  • Francis J. Tschan: Saint Bernward of Hildesheim. 1. His Life and Times . Publications in Mediaeval Studies, 6. Notre Dame, Ind .: University of Notre Dame, 1942.
  • Francis J. Tschan: Saint Bernward of Hildesheim. 2. His Works of Art . Publications in Mediaeval Studies, 12.Notre Dame, Ind .: University of Notre Dame, 1951.
  • Francis J. Tschan: Saint Bernward of Hildesheim. 3rd album . Publications in Mediaeval Studies, 13. Notre Dame, Ind .: University of Notre Dame, 1952.
  • Peter Turek, Carola Schüritz: The "Beatitudes in the south aisle of St. Michael in Hildesheim". In: Matthias Exner , Ursula Schädler-Saub (ed.): The restoration of the restoration? - For dealing with wall paintings and architectural versions of the Middle Ages in the 19th and 20th centuries (= Writings of the Hornemann Institute, Vol. 5 = ICOMOS - Hefte des Deutschen Nationalkomitees, Vol. XXXVII). Munich 2002, ISBN 3-87490-681-7 , pp. 191-196.
  • Angela Weyer, Gerhard Lutz (ed.): 1000 years of St. Michael in Hildesheim. Church-monastery donors (= writings of the Hornemann Institute, Volume 14). Petersberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86568-767-8 .
  • The inscriptions of the city of Hildesheim, collected and edited by Christine Wulf using the preparatory work by Hans Jürgen Rieckenberg (Die Deutsche Insschriften 58). Wiesbaden 2003.

Web links

Commons : St. Michael (Hildesheim)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Burgstemmen, historical / geographical: Burgstemmen - a village in the Leinetal ..., accessed on May 15, 2019.
  2. cf. Memorial stone of Bishop Bernward
  3. Hans Roggenkamp: Measure and number. In: Hartwig Beseler, Hans Roggenkamp: The Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim. Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin 1954, p. 148.
  4. Hans Roggenkamp: Measure and number. In: Hartwig Beseler, Hans Roggenkamp: The Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim. Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin 1954, pp. 147-150.
  5. Gallistl 2007/2008, pp. 65f; Tschan, Vol. 2, pp. 415-419; Vol. 3, Figs. 252–255
  6. Overesch / Günther, pp. 201-204 and Fig. 33
  7. Alfhart Günther: Churches of the Middle Ages through the eyes of a physicist. Pp. 43-54
  8. Lit. Gallistl, 1993, p. 32
  9. Harenberg, in: Lit. Christiane Segers-Glocke, p. 153
  10. Martina Giese : Fabulous Vita Bennonis from St. Michael in Hildesheim . In: Claudia Kunde and André Thieme (eds.): A treasure not from gold. Benno von Meissen. Saxony's first saint (exhibition catalog). Petersberg (Hessen) 2017, p. 317
  11. ^ Margret Zimmermann, Hans Kensche: Castles and palaces in Hildesheimer Land. Verlag Lax Hildesheim, p. 56.
  12. see: Christiane Segers-Glocke (Hrsg.): St. Michael in Hildesheim: Research results on the building archaeological investigation in 2006.
  13. Overesch / Günther, Chapter 7.
  14. Alfhart Günther: Churches of the Middle Ages through the eyes of a physicist , pp. 22–43.
  15. Manfred Overesch, Alfhart Günther: Heavenly Jerusalem in Hildesheim - St. Michael and the secret of sacred mathematics 1000 years ago. 2009, p. 99.
  16. Handwritten black solder painting and black solder glaze with finger wiping, dripping and scratching of the highest luminosity, signed and dated "CH. CRODEL 1965".
  17. Christ column returns to the cathedral. (No longer available online.) Church district association Hildesheim - Sarstedt - Hildesheimer Land - Alfeld, archived from the original on December 28, 2015 ; accessed on November 28, 2015 .
  18. Johannes Sommer: The ceiling picture of the Michaeliskirche in Hildesheim. 1999, p. 34. An overview of the other dates of the ceiling painting can be found on p. 20 of the final chapter.
  19. cf. Ulfrid Müller: A difficult and long way from the tree in the forest to the finished painted ceiling. In: The picture ceiling of Hildesheim's Michaeliskirche. P. 78 f.
  20. Peter Klein: Dendrochronological investigations on planks of the wooden ceiling in St. Michael. In: The picture ceiling of Hildesheim's Michaeliskirche. P. 80.
  21. Peter Turek, Carola Schüritz: The Beatitudes in the south aisle of St. Michael in Hildesheim. In Matthias Exner / Ursula Schädler-Saub (ed.): The restoration of the restoration? P. 194.
  22. The Michaels organ in St. Michaelis in Hildesheim. Woehl Organ Projects , accessed on May 15, 2019.
  23. Events. House of Church Services, archived from the original on November 12, 2013 ; accessed on August 22, 2017 .
  24. cf.
  25. Evangelical Center for Worship and Church Music on the website of the Regional Church of Hanover , accessed on January 3, 2015.
  26. ^ Regulations for the Michaeliskloster Hildesheim - Evangelical Center for Worship and Church Music from June 4, 2018 (PDF).
  27. ^ Wilhelm Breuer: Stately falcons . Birds 3/2019, 18–23

Coordinates: 52 ° 9 ′ 10 ″  N , 9 ° 56 ′ 37 ″  E