St. Mary's Church, Rostock
St. Mary's Church is Rostock's largest and most important church, first mentioned in 1232. The transept and nave of the cruciform basilica are equally long and emphasize the massive and closed impression. The church has precious furnishings, such as the oldest astronomical clock in Northern Germany still working with original parts (from 1472) and a bronze baptismal font from 1290.
The origins of St. Mary's Church lie in the dark. For the first time a preacher is mentioned in 1232. The first St. Mary's Church was an early Gothic hall church with a vault height of approx. 15 metres and a simple saddle roof, whose wall connection can still be seen on the east side of the church tower.
After 1265 St. Mary's was appointed the main church of the city of Rostock, this building did not meet the demands of the citizens in the long run.Therefor in 1290 the church was converted into a basilica based on the model of St. Mary's Church in Lübeck. The construction work took over one hundred years. The church has had its present appearance since 1440 and the tower since 1796.
Until the turn of the 19th and 20th century St. Mary's was a university church. Signs in the professors' chairs still indicate this. For some years now, the inauguration of the university has been accompanied by the ceremonial enrolment of the new students in St. Mary's church.
The extensive church library of St. Marien was then added to the university library.
A special attraction is the astronomical clock. It was created by the watchmaker Hans Düringer in 1472 and the main movement still contains the original parts from that time. The main clockwork as well as the calendars and chimes, the apostle and the hour bell are wound up daily by hand. In 1642, the clock was extended to include the chimes, the apostle gallery and the artistic Renaissance housing. On a protruding platform, six figures (evangelists and apostles) move past Christ standing in the middle and blessing them in solemn procession on top of the platform every day at 12 noon and at midnight. In addition, the chimes are played at every full hour.