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Church of St. Martin in Raven


St Martin in Raven

The spire of the Gothic brick Church of St. Martin in Raven is a landmark that is clearly visible from a great distance, even today, and well worth heading for. Visit the church to enjoy a well-earned rest - especially if you are a cyclist or a hiker. It is a place to regain your strength, either through a moment of quiet prayer in the peaceful church suffused with light, or while letting your gaze wander over the view from the church hill.

Historical milestones

The Church of St. Martin in Raven is mentioned for the first time in documents that have been dated to between 1250 and 1253. During renovation work between 1988 and 1990, the remains of foundation walls of an earlier, rectangular field stone church were discovered. This earlier church, which including choir and a spire, dated from around 1200. The Gothic brick church we see today was built sometime between 1400 and 1425. The massive, almost square west spire was added in around 1600.

A look into the church’s interior

Inside the church you can admire the late medieval altar (from around 1430), which was carved by Hans Snitker the Elder. On the altar, six oaken figures stand against a background of matt gold. In the middle, Mary and Jesus Christ are seated on the throne of eternity; to the left is John with the chalice and Peter with the key; to the right is Paul with the sword and James with pilgrim’s hat, bag and stave. 

The church bell

St. Martin’s oldest artwork is actually difficult to see. It is a bell, cast in 1309 by Master Ulricus. This ancient bell, and a second bell cast in 1697, accompany the living to Mass and the dead on the way to their last resting place in the Kirchhof (churchyard) below the church.

The community prayer

The inscription on the large bell is the community prayer, still used today: O REX GLORIAE, VENI CUM PACEI (‘O King of Glory, come in peace!’)


The Gothic brick route

‘For centuries, the Hanse shaped life along the coast of the Baltic Sea. In the Middle Ages, this was the epicentre of the European economy. Many testimonies to the riches and power of that time have been preserved to this day: monasteries and town halls, town gates and walls, hall churches and basilicas. They are the historical symbols of clerical and secular power. 

Medieval brick imparts a distinctive look to many towns along the coast and within its hinterland. Every single one of these characteristic red bricks was made by hand: each building is a masterpiece. Now, as ever, these buildings serve as iconic landmarks.

The European Route of Brick Gothic (EuRoB) connects these witnesses of the Hanseatic times. Today the route passes through Sweden and Denmark, the Baltic countries, Poland and Germany. Discover the traces of the past, charming and varied landscapes along the European Route of Gothic Brick.

The Church of St. Martin in Raven is one of many Gothic brick buildings in the Lüneburg area. If you want to visit and enjoy other Gothic brick buildings, you should plan your trip along the European Route of Gothic Brick.