Originally the two pairs of towers of the Marktkirche – the Blaue Türme (west) and the Hausmannstürme (east) – belonged to two different Romanesque churches. But in 1529, in a move by Cardinal Albrecht to spearhead a Catholic counter-attack on Luther's Wittenberg-led Reformation, the churches were demolished and the towers joined by a single new Gothic church. A few years later Halle adopted the Reformation anyway, and the church converted to Protestant use.

The market was alive in the marketplace, with the inevitable white vans, so it was impossible to get photos of the church except looking up at the white sky – a pity, because the double twin towers, with their very different designs, and joined by the body of the newer church, are rather interesting. Access to the Hausmannstürme (watchman's tower) for a view over the city was not until 15:30 (daily), by which time I would be long gone, but as the weather was so bad I wasn't too upset to miss it.

The inevitable memorial to Luther at the eastern (market) end. Into the church through the west door at 10:50. A nice airy, decorated Gothic interior, with upholstered chairs rather than pews. Altar painting by an artist (unknown) from the Cranach school, featuring Cardinal Albrecht himself. There are 16 folded panels, originally intended to go round the inside of a dome (in an early design for this church, I wonder?) – the Cranach 'factory' was the only group that could handle such a large commission.

A helpful lady with good English – presumably connected to the running of the church – told me that Handel played the smaller of the two organs, a replacement in 1660 for an earlier model (and not replaced since!). The large organ has an 18th century decorated front, but the instrument itself has been progressively improved, most recently in 1983, and this upgrade itself recently refurbished. It is now the main organ for the organ school, and often used for practice.

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