Introduction to Frauenkirche in Nürnberg

The city of Nürnberg, located in the German state of Bavaria, is renowned for its rich history and architectural grandeur. One such testament to this historical legacy is Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), a gothic church that stands tall as an emblem of faith and resilience amidst the bustling Hauptmarkt (main market) square.

A Brief History

Frauenkirche was built on the site where once stood a Jewish synagogue until it was destroyed during a pogrom in 1349. The construction began under Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, who intended it to serve as a royal chapel for his castle. Completed in 1361, this magnificent structure quickly became an integral part of Nürnberg’s skyline.

Architectural Splendor

The architecture of Frauenkirche is predominantly Gothic with some elements inspired by Bohemian churches. This can be seen especially at the main portal which depicts biblical scenes sculpted intricately into stone. The most striking feature however remains its gable facade adorned with seven arches and flanked by two robust towers.

Männleinlaufen – A Mechanical Marvel

No account of Frauenkirche would be complete without mentioning Männleinlaufen or “The Little Men Dance”. Installed above the clock face on the west facade in 1506, it’s one of Germany’s oldest mechanical clocks still functioning today.

This elaborate mechanism springs into action every day at noon when seven prince-electors parade around Emperor Charles IV seated on his throne – alluding to Golden Bull decree issued by him back in 1356 defining how future kings should be elected.

World War II Damage & Restoration

Like many other historic structures in Nürnberg, Frauenkirche also bore the brunt of World War II bombings. The church was heavily damaged and its roof collapsed. However, it wasn’t left to crumble into oblivion. Post-war restoration efforts were undertaken with fervor and by 1953 the church had been successfully restored to its former glory.

Visiting Frauenkirche

Frauenkirche is open for visitors throughout the year except during religious services. As you step inside, you are greeted by a serene atmosphere that contrasts starkly with the hustle and bustle outside on Hauptmarkt square.

The interior is as impressive as the exterior – high vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, an ornate altar and numerous sculptures create an aura of tranquility and reverence.

Don’t forget to time your visit around noon if you wish to witness Männleinlaufen in action – it’s truly a spectacle not be missed!


Frauenkirche stands today not just as a place of worship but also as a symbol of Nürnberg’s resilience through tumultuous times. It’s more than just bricks and mortar – it’s history etched in stone; it’s faith personified; it’s art immortalized! A trip to Nürnberg would indeed be incomplete without paying homage to this architectural masterpiece.

Frequently asked questions

What are the opening hours of Frauenkirche in Nürnberg?

The Frauenkirche in Nürnberg is generally open from Monday to Saturday between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM, and on Sundays from 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM. However, it’s important to note that these hours may vary during religious holidays or special events. It is recommended to check the official website for any changes before planning your visit.

What is the history behind Frauenkirche in Nürnberg?

Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) was built on the initiative of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor between 1352 and 1362. Its architecture represents a significant example of brick Gothic style prevalent during that period. The church stands at the site where once stood a Jewish synagogue, which was destroyed during pogroms in mid-14th century. One unique feature of this church is its mechanical clock installed in 1506 – every day at noon, it re-enacts the historical “Presentation of Shields” ceremony associated with imperial coronations held at Nuremberg Castle.

How can I reach Frauenkirche in Nürnberg by public transportation?

Frauenkirche is conveniently located within walking distance from many hotels situated around central Nuremberg but if you’re travelling via public transport then there are several options available too. If you’re using tram services, lines T1/T11 stop nearby at Hauptmarkt station which is just two minutes away by foot. Alternatively, bus line number 36 also stops near Hauptmarkt station.

Is there an entrance fee for visiting Frauenkirche?

No! Visiting Frauenkirch doesn’t require an admission fee – everyone can enter free-of-charge regardless whether they’re there for a service or simply to admire the architecture and artwork. However, donations are always welcome as they help maintain this historical monument.

What are some notable features of Frauenkirche in Nürnberg?

The most prominent feature of Frauenkirche is undoubtedly its Männleinlaufen mechanical clock. Every day at noon, visitors gather around to watch seven electors pay homage to Emperor Charles IV set to bell music. Inside, you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows dating back from 14th century along with stone sculptures depicting biblical scenes and figures such as Adam and Eve or Moses receiving Ten Commandments. The church also offers stunning panoramic views of Hauptmarkt square where famous Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas market) takes place every year.

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