Originally just a small chapel, today mighty St. Michael’s church stands in the west of the city centre, dominating the River Elbe and the harbour. The early Classical tower powerfully moulded to perfection has become Hamburg’s landmark thanks to its size and force. In 1750 the church was destroyed by fire after having been hit by lightning and it was rebuilt in Baroque style with a copper-clad wooden tower. In 1906 soldering work in the tower set off a devastating fire which totally destroyed the church. The five craftsmen were lucky to escape with their lives but the fire-guard, who had faithfully done his duty for the last 30 years and had reported the fire by telegraph, toppled down into the church along with the burning tower. In 1952 the church was consecrated with only the baptismal font and tabernacle remaining from 1763. Today the church holds 2,500 people. The tower is 132 m high and at 8 m in diameter the church clock is the largest in Germany, each of the hands weighing in at a hefty 130 kg.