Bomb destruction of Nürnberg churches
Frauenkirche in Nürnberg after bomb damage on January 2, 1945
The Gothic church in the background of the photo above is the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) which was damaged by British bombs on the night of January 2, 1945. The original church was completed in 1350. Built as a Catholic Church, it became Protestant after the Reformation, but reverted back to a Catholic Church in 1916.
Nürnberg is famous for its large market square, called the Hauptmarkt, located in the center of the old walled city. The photo above shows the Hauptmarkt in 1945 with a lone customer approaching the one peasant woman who has set up a vegetable stand; this picture was taken by the photographer who was covering the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, the war crimes trial of the Nazi elite. The Hauptmarkt is the site of the annual Christmas market, called Christkindlmarkt, where Christmas tree ornaments and holiday decorations are sold. At other times, the market square is filled with booths and stalls where vendors sell fresh vegetables, Bratwurst and other goods.
The photo of the Frauenkirche below was taken in 1946 by the same photographer, who was in Nürnberg covering the war crimes trial. The streets and market square had been cleared of rubble but restoration work had not yet begun on the damaged churches or the medieval castle. The reconstruction period lasted until 1966 and most of the historic churches still show empty pedestals where irreplaceable statues were destroyed in the bombing.
Hauptmarkt und Frauenkirche - 1946 Hauptmarkt and Frauenkirche - 1945 Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan
The photo above shows the damage to the Frauenkirche after the British bombing raid on the night of January 2, 1945.
St. Lorenz Kirche after bomb damage in 1945
The largest and most impressive Christian Church in Nürnberg is St. Lorenz Kirche, an example of pure Gothic architecture, inside and out. Construction on the church began in 1270 and took over 200 years to complete.
The photo above shows how it looked in 1945 when a photographer covering the war crimes trial in Nürnberg recorded the damage done by Allied bombing.
St. Lorenz Kirche (St. Lawrence Church) was originally built as a Catholic Church but became a Protestant Church after the Reformation started by Martin Luther in the early 16th century. The destroyed buildings to the left of the church were rebuilt as modern store buildings. The street in front of the old church is now a modern pedestrian shopping mall which extends from the church to Königstrasse, the main shopping street in Nürnberg.
View of St. Lorenz Church in January 1945 Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan
This page was last updated on May 9, 2009