Mayor Smidt Memorial Church „Große Kirche"

The highest building in the town center.

The inhabitants of Bremerhaven call their seafarer church of 1855 simply and plausibly „Big church” since the red, neo-gothic brick building is still one of the highest edifices in the town center.

In the site plan of the city at the time of its founding in 1827, a church was initially not planned. Construction was only decided in 1842. However, the first attempt to build the church failed in 1846 because of the soft marshland soil. Based on the plans of Simon Loschen, who had also designed the old lighthouse, 552 piles were rammed into the ground in 1853 in order to erect the church on this foundation with a nave and two aisles with an apse and west tower. The building was executed in red brick and decorated with coloured glazed clinker brick, the lateral facades received gothic pointed arches. The church displays many medieval details but is designed in accordance with classical principles. The ceremonial opening by mayor Smidt took place in 1855. The construction of the 86 m high tower with the concluding finial was only completed in 1970. The design of the apse displays the immense talent of the architect and master builder Loschen who made use of all available possibilities in the pediments and parapets of the choir. A very unusual feature of the „Big church” is the fact that it is the only church in Germany which is dedicated to a (secular) mayor.

The church was completely gutted in 1944. The old vicarage disappeared at the same time. The reconstruction was completed in 1960 and the church consecrated for a second time. On the western side are the sandstone figures of Christ, Luther and Zwingli which were put up in 1855 and have survived until the present day. The pleasant, light interior of the present church has nothing in common with the old church anymore. Both the construction of the original church and the rebuilding were funded to a significant extent by donations of the people of Bremerhaven.

Marker Icon SchattenMarker Icon
city plan cutout
city plan cutout

You can find us here

Große Kirche

Bürgermeister-Smidt-Straße 45
27568 Bremerhaven
Go to city map
Plan your route
Timetable information VBN

Church office

- Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday closed

Worship: every Sunday 10 a.m.
Organ concert: every Wednesday 6 p.m.
Public hours: Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the parish house


Please refer to our calendar of events for a current schedule of events.

Tips, Tickets, Dates:


Erlebnis Bremerhaven GmbH
Bremerhaven Touristik & Tourist-Infos
H.-H.-Meier-Straße 6
27568 Bremerhaven


 0049 471 - 41 41 41
 0049 471 - 80 93 61 90

Praise or criticism

Opening hours:

January - December
mondays - sundays 9:30 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.

The following keywords were given for this article