Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) overlooks the Old Town’s central market square. Look up at the breathtaking symmetrical design of its façade, which tapers to a central tower. Stand back to watch the procession of figures on the church’s mechanical clock and step inside to see cherished medieval treasures.
The church was built in the 14th century under the orders of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Constructed on top of a Jewish synagogue, it was intended for use as an imperial ceremony church. Check out the intricate brickwork of the façade as you admire the church from the market square. You can see the porch and balcony where the emperor would have sat during ceremonies.
Notice the gilded clock face on the central tower. The männleinlaufen, or running men, adorn a mechanical clock that is commemorative of the Golden Bull of 1356. Spot the figure of the emperor, who is surrounded by seven prince-electors. Stand beneath the mechanical clock at midday to hear the bells chiming and see the procession of prince-electors moving around the emperor.
Walk inside the church to appreciate its grand interior. Stroll up one of the two aisles and see the emperor’s tribune. From the nave, an arcade decorated with intricate stonework leads to the triforium, known as the Imperial Loft. Examine the notable Tucheraltar, which decorated the Augustinerkirche until 1487 and is the most significant work of panel art from the period. Plan your visit to coincide with a recital played on the church’s beautiful modern organ.
Frauenkirche is located north of Nuremberg’s Old Town on the eastern edge of the historic market square, Hauptmarkt. The church is easy to reach on foot from various bus and rail stations around the area. It is near the Gänsemännchenbrunnen goose farmer statue, the sturdy span of the Fleischbrücke and the pretty banks of the Pegnitz River. Make Frauenkirche an excellent addition to a walking tour of the Old Town. The church is free to visit, but be respectful of worshippers and regular service times.