Lively Old Town churches

Culture in Lübeck's churches

When churches and culture blend into one another

The seven church spires of the Old Town’s five major churches have dominated the city's silhouette since the Middle Ages. The naves behind the historical façades of these unique Gothic brick buildings turn into inspiring meeting points – for people, cultures and art. Be part of it when religion and enlightenment meet on the subject of St. Peter’s visions in St. Peter's church, when the church becomes a laboratory for questions of meaning and life. Become part of something special when the “promenade concerts” make Lübeck’s churches ring to their strains. And allow yourself to be enthralled by multimedia performances in church naves during the Nordic Film Days.

Off to new horizons! Keep a look out for new ways of vibrant communication when church and culture go hand in hand in Lübeck!

The rich and varied culture in our churches is still underestimated. There are so many new styles of concerts staged in Lübeck’s churches, that is out of the ordinary.

Jörg-Philipp Thomsa, Manager of the Günter Grass House

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Christmas craft markets and one of them enlivens the nave of St. Peter’s church

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districts – one tradition: The 4Viertel Foundation brings Lübeck’s churches to life

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spires of the five major brick churches welcome you from afar

Events in Lübeck’s churches

Throughout the year, numerous wonderful events bring Lübeck’s Old Town churches to life. The church interiors reverberate to the music of organ concerts and live performances, or are filled with the muted sound of readings and panel discussions. We would like to make particular mention of some highlights from the events calendar here.

Lübeck’s organ summer

Tasten einer Kirchenorgel

Every year, international organ music fills the domes of Lübeck’s Old Town churches. High-quality organists and ensembles captivate their audiences. Numerous concerts await you in St. Mary’s church, Lübeck Cathedral, St Jacob's church and St. Giles’ church. Feel the music and the space in these exceptional musical experiences.

St. Peter’s visions in Lübeck

Performative Inszenierung in der St. Petri

The bright nave of St. Peter’s becomes a place of encounter. On the first Saturday of every month, ethical questions are addressed in Lübeck’s church of culture and science. An hour of intense discussion awaits you from 11.00 p.m. – be inspired! Stunning lighting, old and new music, lyricism, dance and theatrical games set the tone for the topics discussed. Three short contributions, religious discourses in the best sense combine old motifs and new questions. Voices from all areas of cultural and social life have an opportunity to be heard. Make use of the time afterwards and linger for a while! Animated discussions await you over bread and wine.

Buxtehude Days in St. Mary’s

The festival initiated by St. Mary’s current organist Johannes Unger is organised jointly every year by St. Mary’s Lübeck, St Jacob's Lübeck and the Lübeck Academy of Music. It is dedicated to one of Unger’s most famous predecessors: Dietrich Buxtehude who refined the concept of Lübeck’s evening concerts introduced by his father-in-law, helping them to achieve great prominence far beyond the boundaries of Lübeck itself. In those days, Buxtehude was “famous in Composing for Choirs, playing the Organ and the Piano” and he left an extensive body of work with 275 compositions known to this day.

Nordic Film Days in St. Peter’s

Kirchenschiff der St. Jakobi Kirche

Every year, the Nordic film world meets in Lübeck for the annual film festival with its many different facets. Even the Old Town church of St. Peter’s becomes a place of inspiring experience. Allow yourself to be enchanted by the changing experiences of the cinematic art and become part of a collective performance!

Lübeck’s Travejazz Festival in St. Peter’s

Konzert in der St. Petri

The jazz festival is known throughout the country, constantly taking new paths, providing inspiration with its impressive sounds and bringing Lübeck’s church of culture to life with music. Let the clear nave of St. Peter’s work its magic on you and listen to the jazz!

Low German nativity play in St. Giles’

Innere der St. Aegidien in Lübeck
© Charleen Bermann

Lübeck’s nativity play has been staged since 1921 and it has been performed in St. Giles’ Church since 1934. The story of Christ’s birth is traditionally performed every year in the period leading up to Christmas by the theatre troupe of Lübeck’s St. Catherine’s Academy under the magnificent choir of St. Giles’. Whole generations of pupils of St. Catherine’s have thus grown up with this Low German nativity play which has remained unchanged since its beginnings in terms of the script, musical accompaniment and stage scenery.

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