The parish church St. Stephani, named after the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, is the church of the St. Stephani cantore in Bremen. It is the third oldest and third largest church in the city. The church stands at the western end of the old town on Stephansberg, the highest of the dunes on which Bremen was built.
Between Brill and Überseestadt, St. Stephani is the urban center of the Stephaniviertel. The quarter is one of Bremen’s four historic quarters. In earlier centuries, merchants, craftsmen, drivers and fishermen lived there predominantly. The district was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War and then rebuilt.
The roots of the St. Stephanikirche (originally St. Wilhadi and St. Stephani) lie in the middle of the eleventh century. The oldest parts of today’s Gothic church date from the 13th century. At the end of the 14th century it was converted into a hall church. The neo-Gothic south tower has shaped the cityscape since 1856.
St. Stephani was badly damaged in a bombing raid in August 1944. Impressive photographs in the church bear witness to the full extent. The southern aisle was completely destroyed and not rebuilt, the northern one was restored as a parish church. In 1959 the central aisle (57 meters long) and transept (36 meters wide) were restored.
Several 17th century brass chandeliers weighing up to 500 kilograms survived the war. In 1964/65 the church received the new Beckerath organ, which continues to set standards today in terms of craftsmanship and art through material, quality, architectural style, register disposition and tonal intonation.
St. Stephani has been a cultural church of the Bremen Evangelical Church since early 2007. It is a place of dialogue between church and culture, cultural experiment, spiritual play and the search for meaning. New forms of events shape the room. With over 125 years of tradition, the St. Stephani Kantorei in Bremen continues to play a leading role even after this realignment.
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