Germany: Bremen – Bremen Cathedral

The UNESCO-listed Bremen Cathedral of St Peter aka St. Petri Dom is a spectacular sight in the heart of the historic old town. It dominates the cityscape and is probably the first building you look at upon entering the Market Square. The cathedral has a very long and convoluted history over the years. An early wooden church was erected here in 789, but was burned by invading Saxons just three years later. A sandstone church was built in 809. Two hundred years later it was again destroyed with most of the rest of Bremen in a massive fire. Most of the current structure was built between 1053-72, the church was Romanesque in style with two flat-topped towers. In 1219-58, a major reconstruction ensued with the building become gothic in look with vaulted ceilings, rose windows, a lot of brick work, and taller (but still flat-topped towers). The next round happened in 1497-1511 with the style becoming High Gothic and tower getting spiky. In 1638, one of the towers collapsed killing 8 people, but was swiftly rebuilt. The towers took their final shape in 1898 – reaching 98m high – during a major reconstruction and restoration. The interior is quite ornate with richly decorated Baroque pulpit from 1638, beautifully hand-carved choir stalls from 1365, stone baptismal font from 1229, and two crypts.