The three Gothic Protestant churches, the Marienkirche, the Nikolaikirche and the Jakobikirche, and the town-hall (Rathaus) are the principal edifices, and these with their lofty spires are very picturesque.
Other public buildings of interest are the town-hall, built in 1479 and restored in 1875; the fine town church, called the Frauenkirche or Marienkirche; the Nikolaikirche and the Airakirche.
The largest of the public squares in Hamburg is the Hopfenmarkt, which contains the church of St Nicholas (Nikolaikirche) and is the principal market for vegetables and fruit.
Of the thirty-five churches existing in Hamburg (the old cathedral had to be taken down in 1805), the St Petrikirche, Nikolaikirche, St Katharinenkirche, St Jakobikirche and St Michaeliskirche are those that give their names to the five old city parishes.
The Nikolaikirche is especially remarkable for its spire, which is 473 ft.
Of the Protestant churches the oldest is the Nikolaikirche, which dates from the 13th century; the fine cast-iron spire erected in 1843 had to be taken down in 1901.