St. Nicholas Church

Our tour begins with a quick question: How many churches are there in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania alone that are named after St. Nicholas?

There are actually 16 St. Nicholas Churches in our state. They were named after Saint Nicholas of Myrna. Yes, exactly – the very same St. Nicholas who brings presents to all well-behaved boys and girls on the 6th of December.

St. Nicholas isn’t just about bringing presents however, he is also the patron saint of sailors, fishermen and merchants. So it’s no wonder that this saint was so venerated in German Hanseatic cities. This is particularly evident in the imposing brick churches.

Visitors to one of these late-medieval churches in Wismar, Greifswald, Rostock or Stralsund, for example, will find Gothic arches, floors paved with gravestones and a mix of styles from different eras, reflected most notably in the pulpits, altars and memorial plaques. The late-gothic carved altars, which recount the saint’s life story, are also very striking.

Sadly, however, the St. Nicholas Church in Anklam no longer has any of these splendid furnishings. This is because the proud landmark of the Hanseatic town was almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War. Only ruins remain of the three-nave church that was built over the course of three centuries.
Which makes it all the more wonderful that, the citizens of Anklam have been committed to the church's reconstruction and its future use as a museum since 1994.