Nicolai church with pilgrim’s centre and deaconess house
The three-nave basilica of St. Nikolai used to be the parish church and tabernacle for the abbey of the Benedictine nuns (which existed until the Reformation). Built around 1180, the church is regarded as the last created Roman building of Thuringia. Artful masonry – a comparable form of which can only be found in Eisenach on the Wartburg - can be detected on the columns inside the church.
Right beside the Nikolaikirche the only one of the once five city gates has survived - the Nicolai gate from the 12th century. In 1498 Martin Luther set foot on the city in this place and asked relatives – the sexton-couple of the Nicolai church – for quarter. His relatives could not accommodate him, so he started earning his livelihood as a hymn-singing choirboy, and then found a home with the family Cotta.
Adjacent to the Nikolaikirche there is the deaconess mother house with the Nicolai centre. The Nicolai centre invites to pilgrimages and guided spiritual church tours (in the Nikolai church). As a pilgrimage station on the ecumenical pilgrim’s path to Santiago de Compostela, the Elisabeth Trail from Eisenach to Marburg and the Luther Trail, the deaconess mother house offers starting and closing prayers, blessings and overnight stays for pilgrims.
Prayers and spiritual reflection in the deaconess house:
Monday to Friday matins: 8 a.m.
Midday prayer: 12.15 p.m.
Praise hour: Fridays 6.30 p.m.
End-of-week prayer: Saturdays 6.30 p.m.
Opening hours of the Nikolaikirche:
Mai-Oct. 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Nov-April by appointment