St. Peter's Church, in German Petrikirche, is the oldest of three town churches found in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, in northern Germany. The other two are St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche) and St. Nicholas (Nikolaikirche). A fourth, St. Jakobi, was heavily damaged during the Second World War and subsequently demolished.BuildingSt. Peter's Church was built in the middle of the 14th century. The first reference to a church on this site is in 1252, which is thought to be the predecessor of the current building. The triple-nave basilica is in Brick Gothic, a building style typical of the Hanseatic port cities of northern Germany.DamageThe pre-existing church had a tower 127m high which was destroyed by a thunderbolt in 1543. In 1578 the tower was rebuilt as a polygonal spire after it had been, once again, damaged by storm. With a height of 117m the tower served as a familiar landmark in the local area. In the following centuries the church decayed and in 1902 the Basilica was renovated. Forty years later, however, heavy bombing during World War II again damaged the church and led to the collapse of the polygonal spire.Re-buildingFollowing the war, the building was gradually rebuilt. Today the church, roofed by a flat timber ceiling, reaches a height of 24m (78 feet) and in 1994 a glass window in the choir was built to a height of 17m (55 feet). Public donations funded the building of a copper polygonal spire and this allowed St. Peter's to once again become a visible landmark in the surrounding area. Additionally, a 45m (146 feet) observation platform (accessed via steps and an elevator) provides fine views of the city of Rostock and the Baltic Sea.
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