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The base of the spire of the mighty St. Katharinen (Catherine's) Church is the oldest 'preserved' building in Hamburg. Originally built near the harbour in the 13th century, it served the shipbuilders and brewers living in the district. The 15th-century nave was complemented by a spectacular 115m-high Baroque spire in the 17th century. During World War II, bombing destroyed everything but the walls and afformentioned tower; the church was consequently rebuilt and reopened in 1955.
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