The Landmarkof the
Hanseatic City of Demmin
St Bartholomew's Church
It doesn't matter from which direction you come, approaching the town of Demmin you'll always see the 95.8-metre-high tower of St Bartholomew's Church. Perhaps you can feel it urging you to stop here and have a closer look.
St Bartholomew's Church is one of the larger municipal churches in this region. It got its name from Jesus Christ's disciple Bartholomew, who was revered by immigrating settlers as the patron saint of their guilds.
This sacred building is a three-nave, ribbed-vaulted, gothic, brick hall-church. The first church in Demmin was mentioned as early as 1260. The church was destroyed several times but rebuilt each time. In the Thirty Years' War the church was severely damaged. During the siege of Demmin by the Brandenburgian troops in the Brandenburgian-Swedish War, a fire broke out and destroyed large parts of the town, including this church with only the outer walls and the flying buttresses surviving the flames. It was during that disaster that the rich interior furnishing was lost. Reconstruction began in 1684 and lasted until 1734, when new ribbed vaulting was put in place. The tower, however, was much smaller than it is today and bore a baroque cap. Profound restoration work, according to Schinkel's plans, was carried out by fürederick August Stüler (Berlin) and Bartholomew Weber ( Stettin) in 1856 and 1857.
But the greatest and most important result of this renovation work is the tall tower, completely made of bricks. It rises 92.5 metres, with the cross on top adding 3.30 metres to its height.. Richly structured and with tall openings, it presents an unusual, unique sight in North-German art. This tower is one of the most interesting historical monuments of the 19th century, and Demmin is proud to have it. After some emergency repair work in 1937/38, a thorough restoration became more and more urgent. Plans had existed for a long time, but they were not realized until after the political changes of 1989/1990. In 1994 work on the tower was completed.
It is worth having a look at the altar windows, the sculptures in the chancel and the altarpiece. The Buchholz-Grüneberg-organ has a romatic sound. The instrument was built by J.S. Buchholz, Berlin, in 1818 and extended by B. Grüneberg, Stettin, in 1866. It is one of the outstanding masterpieces of Romanesque organ building in the North-German region.