The Market Church

The young Handel
played the historic Reichel organ above the altar, dating from 1664, during his lessons with Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow.

An der Marienkirche 2
06108 Halle (Saale)

The Market Church of „Our beloved Womenfolk“

Five Towers enthrone over the market square – four of them belong to the Market Church. The silhouette is completed by the red tower, from which the hourly “Westminster-Gong” resounds.

Up to the 16th century there were two churches on our market square, which were torn down except for the four towers. In 1529, these towers were connected by the late gothic nave. From the first reception on Good Friday in 1541 the church was being used as a protestant church. Martin Luther sermonized here three times.

In 1883, on occasion of the great reformer’s 400th birthday, a memorial was erected in front of the church in direction of the market square. In 1685 George Frederic Handel was baptised in the church. Handel learned how to play the organ on the preserved Reichel-Organ above the altar. Friedemann Bach acted here as another famous organist from 1746–1764. In the “Marienkirche” (“ Church of our Maria”) there are two organs. The front of the great organ on the western gallery is from the year of 1716. The current organ work was installed in 1984. It is composed of 4,170 vocal pipes, the largest of whose stately measures five meters and the smallest pipe only tiny 6 millimeters. The 56 vocal pitches are allocated on three manual works and one pedal. In 1664 the organ builder Georg Reichel created the older instrument on the eastern gallery, for 200 thalers. This small organ only has a keyboard of six registers and is tuned on the cornet tone, thus the works which are played on this organ sound a third higher than the note script states. One decided to tune the organ mediant and not tempered as today’s instruments. These tone pitches were customary at the time the organ was built. The works of the old masters resound much more colored and vivid than today’s tempered tone pitches.