In 2010, St. Michael’s Church celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. In the period between 2005 and 2012, St. Michael’s Church was extensively renovated and the outdoor area was redesigned. St. Michael’s hill and church are special gems in the center of what is now a largely redesigned Weststadt district of Hildesheim.
In 1985, St. Michael’s, together with St. Mary’s Cathedral, was included in the list of UNESCO-World-Heritage-Sites as a testimony to unique pre-Romanesque architecture and art.
By order of Bishop Bernward (993 to 1022), construction of the church got under way in 1010. He had a Benedictine monastery built on a hill outside of the city wall of that time. The crypt and later burial site of Bernward was consecrated by him in 1015, and shortly before his death (1022) also the church which was still under construction.
His successor Bishop Godehard finalized the building and gave his blessing to the completed church in 1033. After a fire that required structural changes, St. Michael’s Church was consecrated again in 1186 by Bishop Adelog.
Over the centuries, St. Michael’s was changed several times in terms of structure and furnishings. Some works of art fell victim to the Reformation and the associated iconoclasm.
The church became Protestant in 1542. However, the monastery’s monks were allowed to keep on using the crypt and part of the northwest transept adjoining the monastery.
The secularization movement led to the dissolution of the monastery and it was closed down in 1809, only the crypt remained Catholic. The place of worship temporarily served as a place to store straw and hay.
In 1827, a bowling alley was installed when a health institution for mentally handicapped people moved into the former monastery. The church was given back to the Michaelis parish in 1844. The rare type of use by both denominations is called Simultaneum (a shared church).
When large parts of Hildesheim were destroyed by bombs on March 22, 1945, St. Michael’s was also reduced to ash and rubble. But already on October 4, 1945, Michaelis Pastor Kurt Degener called for reconstruction. The nave was consecrated again in 1950. Reconstruction of the entire church according to the Ottonian model was completed with the consecration of the place of worship in 1960.
The church is always open from April to October every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., from November to March daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. On Tuesdays, the church does not open until 10 a.m. Please understand that the option to take tours during church services, concerts and possibly concert rehearsals is limited.
Our on-site team looks forward to welcoming you in the church, is there to give you information and has a comprehensive range of church guides, postcards and specialist literature about the church ready for you.
In the southeastern transept, a prayer corner invites you to pause for silent reflection.
As owner and host of the church, we retain the right to make the production of photographs and films subject to our express written approval. You’re free to take photographs and shoot films for private purposes without special permission provided that you limit yourself to only using the built-in flash in your camera and you do not use a tripod.
Posting of photos and videos on the Internet is only allowed for private purposes (like your own homepage). In principle, posting your photos and videos in image databases and with stock photo agencies is not permitted. The transfer of author and usage rights to third parties, particularly also the issuance of so-called Creative Commons licenses and posting in wikis, is prohibited.
If you’d like to make recordings for commercial, cultural or scientific purposes, please contact the church council in writing with a brief description of your project. We’ll then quickly check your application and proceed as generously as possible.
After prior registration, we’re happy to offer you a guided (group) tour through St. Michael’s Church accompanied by our church guides. The price is EUR 3 per person, minimum price of EUR 40.
Our religious education service offers special tours for children. The price here is one Euro per child. Please direct requests for tours to the church office.
In principle, external guided tours through the church for groups with more than five persons must be agreed on in advance with the church council. For this purpose, please contact our church office, which will be glad to help you with further information.