St. Peter's Cathedral, Bremen – a place of hope beyond the grave

The history of St. Peter's Cathedral in Bremen is characterised by construction and destruction. It has borne witness to Christian life, as well as political misconduct – the cathedral's doors attest to this. It is a memorial, a place of hope beyond the grave and contemplation outside in the bible garden, the former cloister on the cathedral's south side.

It all started in 789 with a wooden cathedral. 16 years later, the original building was razed to the ground in a major fire, so a stone cathedral was built in its place. The next fire came in 1041, and the next church was inspired by Cologne Cathedral and built in a Romanesque style. Romanesque then became Gothic, and various styles have left their mark on the building's façade. The cathedral in Bremen was completely closed for 70 years while professed Lutherans renovated the decaying building for their services.

World War II only brought more destruction... But fundamental restoration works have now restored the cathedral church to its former glory: an opulent cathedral with two crypts modelled on designs from the Middle Ages, an ornate bronze 13th century baptismal font and the remains of the former choir stalls with a design inspired by the 14th century example in Magdeburg. The cathedral also boasts newly designed stained-glass windows, altars and five (!) organs dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, including one designed by Andreas Silbermann. Artists from the north have been buried here for centuries, including someone whose ideas are back in fashion today: Adolph Freiherr Knigge, an advocate of good manners who was once responsible for bringing order to the cathedral's church and school.

St. Peter's Cathedral, Bremen

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturday, 10am to 2pm; Sunday, 2pm to 5pm; June to September: Monday to Friday and Sunday: open until 6pm

Entry: free

Nearest train station: Bremen

Accessible entrance via the "Am Dom 1" address (bible garden); for guided tours of the cathedral and information on the lead basement, Cathedral Museum, access to the tower (for a fee) plus all opening hours, including special opening times (in German), visit:

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