Discovering archaeology in the center of Hamburg: One of the most important architectural monuments of Hamburg is the Bischofsturm at the Domplatz, located on the lower floor of the St. Petri-Hof.
The ring-shaped tower foundation from the 11th century is 19 meters in diameter and the oldest preserved stone building in the old town of Hamburg. Opposite the St. Petri Church, situated below the present street level, the historic tower foundation is restored with a modern exhibition as an integral part of the Dat Backhus-branch in the center of Hamburg.
1,000 years ago the first “Hamburger” settled in this area
The first settlers arrived here over 1,000 years ago. Archbishop Ansgar built the first wooden church as a mission base. In 1962, during the course of reconstruction work after the Second World War, the corner plot Kreuslerstraße/Speersort was cleared of debris. During the excavation work for a new building, an astonishing archaeological find was made and is today known beyond the borders of Hamburg as “Bishop’s Tower”.
The Exhibition of the Archaeological Museum Hamburg in the Bishop’s Tower provides information on the beginning of the city of Hamburg. The exhibition, which opened in 1969, was redesigned after the completion of the St. Petri-Hof in 2011 and the tower’s imposing foundation built of boulders was restored. The opening of a café allows visitors of the Bishop’s Tower to enjoy an extensive culinary experience. In addition to the foundations of the tower, the exhibition includes another attraction: an authentic replica of the 1,000-year-old Hamburg cathedral bells. In 1986 in immediate proximity to the tower, an archaeological excavation discovered a pit for the bell founding which was used to cast the early Hamburg cathedral bells. These precious pieces are on display in the exhibition.