Watchers overlook Port of Hamburg at St. Michael's Church

Publish Time:2018-06-22 10:45:15Source:Hamburg Tourism Bureau

【Introduction】:The sound of trumpet blends into the crowds when travelers or Hamburg citizens stroll in the downtown Hamburg or explore Speicherstadt and Hafencity listed in the UNESCO World Heritage or ramble to Port of Hamburg. The watchers at St. Michael s Church have been fulfilling their duties for centuries.

The sound of trumpet blends into the crowds when travelers or Hamburg citizens stroll in the downtown Hamburg or explore Speicherstadt and Hafencity listed in the UNESCO World Heritage or ramble to Port of Hamburg. The watchers at St. Michael's Church have been fulfilling their duties for centuries.

People here gave these watchers the name of “tower performers” based on their historic role for over 300 years: they play anthems to all directions at the tower of St. Michael's Church – or just “Michael”, a nickname given by people of Hamburg – in the morning and evening every day. Such custom dates back to the Reformation, and anthems played by trumpet were originally the signal to open or close the city gate. And now, they still play at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on workdays, and 12 a.m. on Sunday. They play to all directions from the so-called watcher’s windows on the 279thstair of the seventh floor. They start from the east and play four times through four watcher’s windows in the clockwise order. Therefore, people in Hamburg could enjoy a different anthem every day and such blessing from Michael shall even be bestowed upon the downtown Hamburg by the pleasing wind. Anthems are the hymns of Protestantism created in the 16thand 17thcenturies according to the years of the church.

However, who are exactly the tower performers? To be specific, two musicians take turns to shoulder the responsibility: Horst Huhn has been a watcher since 1992 and also in charge of the orchestra of St. Michael's Church; Josef Thöne is the conductor of trombone chorus of Michael. On August 1 of last year, they celebrated their 25thanniversary of cooperation. What’s special is, in the history of Hamburg, there have never been two watchers on duty together.

Click www.st-michaelis.defor more details about St. Michael's Church.

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