Originally erected in 1195 and destroyed by fire in 1842, the church was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style, before it burned down again during the air raids of World War II. Today, the remains of the church serve as a memorial for the victims of war and persecution from 1933 to 1945. The memorial features an exhibition on the air raids and the destruction of Hamburg and other European cities. A glass elevator on the outside of the building takes visitors 250 feet up to the steeple,
which offers magnificent views of the surrounding historic streets. Lectures, film screenings, panel discussions, and concerts also take place at the memorial.