Hamburg, St. Michaelis 2009
The Hauptkirche or Main Church of St Michael is Hamburg's most distinctive landmark. Known affectionately among Hamburg and non-Hamburg folk as the "Michel",
the church with its 132-metre high tower ranks as one of the most important Protestant buildings of the barock era. Built between 1751 and 1762, it was badly
damaged by fire in 1906 and then rebuilt in historical form between 1907 and 1912.
The church suffered further damage during the Second World War and was restored in the years immediately thereafter.
St Michael's today possess three organs in the main body of the church: the main organ by Steinmeyer (1962) standing on the west
gallery behind the largely surviving case of the Walcker organ of 1906, the Marcussen concert organ (1909) on the north gallery
and the small Grollmann organ in the choir.
The church is currently undergoing a complete restoration. Once the external renovation is complete, work will start on the roof and
the interior with completion scheduled for autumn 2009.
Following on from and in conjuction with the work on the interior the organs of St Michael's are to undergo careful restoration.
The execution of this work has been entrusted jointly to Freiburger Orgelbau Hartwig Späth and Klais of Bonn, the two firms
working closely together with shared responsibilty for this large project.
The overall concept of the restoration has been drawn up by the Organ Commission of St Michael's and forms the basis of a restoration procedures 'catalogue'.
Having defined the basic concept, the Commission will monitor the project up to completion and beyond.
It can be summarised as follows:
Advisers - KMD Manuel Gera and KMD Christoph Schoener, both professional church musicians at St Michael's, LKMD Hans-Jürgen Wulf,
Organ Adviser to the North Elbian Evangelical-Lutheran Church, together with Manfred Schwartz, Organ Adviser to the Evangelical
Church of Westphalia, as external adviser to the project.
The contract was awarded by the Church Council of St Michael's jointly to the two organbuilding firms.
The financing of the project relies neither on church taxes nor on the church assets of St Michael's, but is due entirely to the
generosity of GŁnter and Liselotte Powalla, together with the G & L Powalla Bunny's Foundation.
Mr & Mrs Powalla remember the pre-war instrument at St Michael's, with its fascinating Fernwerk or Echo Organ.
As a way of rounding off the whole organ concept they are keen to see the Fernwerk reinstated in its original 1910 position, for which the church is particularly grateful.
The overall restoration concept comprises the following:
Once this whole concept has been realised St Michael's will find itself in the unique position of having four organ 'personalities'
of differing periods and styles at its disposal. Hamburg's Michel will then have a complement of instruments capable of rendering
music from C P E Bach's time to the visions of today and of the future, all to the glory of God and for the joy of mankind.
footprint of the church