The five-nave hall church of St. Marien is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. After Erfurt Cathedral, it is the second largest church in Thuringia. At 86.7 metres, its central tower is even the highest in the federal state.
The south portal of the transept, which serves as the main entrance to the church, is particularly remarkable. This richly decorated portal is optically distinguished by two side pillars. The church gate is decorated with numerous sculptures, which were destroyed in the peasant war and only restored around 1900.
After the secularisation of the building in 1975, it is now used as a museum with 100 square metres of exhibition space and a memorial for Thomas Müntzer. Here you can learn a lot about the life of the preacher, his difficult relationship to Martin Luther and the culture of remembrance (especially in the GDR) that affected him. There is also a permanent exhibition on historical stonemasonry and the building history of the Gothic church.
Despite its use as a museum, concerts and Protestant church services also take place there on a regular basis.
The church is currently home to a remarkable exhibition of medieval art from Thuringia called "Von Einhörnern und Drachentötern" (Of unicorns and dragon slayers).
Since its construction in the 14th century, St. Mary's Church has played a central role in the history of Mühlhausen: in the Middle Ages, legal decisions of the emperor were announced there and respected personalities were buried. During the Peasant War (around 1525) the revolutionary leader Thomas Müntzer preached here, who went to war with a peasant army against the princes and was finally executed. In addition, a princely day was held in the church of St. Mary and the Council Election Cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach was played for the first time.
- The day pass at St Marys Church and Müntzer memorial Mühlhausen is €5 making it one of the 3 cheapest tourist Attractions in Thuringia.
How to get there
The nearest ICE stations are in Erfurt, Göttingen and Eisenach. From there you can easily reach Mühlhausen by regional train.
The Marienkirche is located at the Mühlhäuser Obermarkt directly in the city centre. It can be reached from the east via Steinweg (pedestrian zone) and from the west via Herrenstraße. You will find the entrance at the west portal.