The St. Nicholas Church was built in the mid-13th century, coinciding with when Rostock joined the Hanseatic League in 1251. This was a powerful confederation of guilds that dominated trade in the Baltic region. The union collapsed in 1669. About three decades later, the 422 foot tower of Nikolaikirche Rostock also fell. The city and the oldest church in the Baltic were hit hard by incendiary bombs during WWII. Both struggled to recover. Today, the city is prospering. However, Nikolaikirche is no longer a church. Now it is used as an event hall and upstairs are apartments and offices. This mural of the crucifixion is one of the few paintings spared by the fire. It is unceremoniously covered by a sheet of Plexiglas near the former choir.