Churches in Munich are a trademark from the city. The capital of Bavaria, Munich, is proud of its rich heritage and culture. Munich is one of the most prosperous and fastest-growing cities in Germany.
Its many architectural gems, sports events, museums and festivals (such as Oktoberfest) make it a hotspot for tourists. This city has over 70 million people visiting each year.
The region of Bavaria historically holds a strong Catholic majority and conservative tradition. As a result of this its capital Munich is not short of breath-taking churches. So, if you are planning your trip, and are wondering what to do in the city, these buildings are some of the best indoor things to do in your visit.
The Frauenkirche or the Church of our Lady is an iconic landmark. That building is unmissable in the Munich skyline. No building can be higher than the tower from that church.
Constructions began on the cathedral in 1468 by architect Jorg von Haslbach, which was later completed 20 years later.
The church, however, is clearly more unadorned in both it’s exterior and interior, lacking in the rich traditional Gothic ornaments. Despite the grandeur of the cathedral, it certainly lacks the elegance anticipated of a place of worship of the period. This is because the architect lacked the budget to complete his work. Until he made a deal with the Devil!
This was on the condition that the building contained no windows, to not allow light (Christianity) in, as a celebration of darkness. The architect instead attempted to trick the Devil, by obscuring the view of the windows by positioning columns.
Upon completion, the Devil came to inspect his funded work and despite the obvious abundance of light, the Devil was content with the lack of windows. But it suddenly became clear that the architect had attempted to deceive the Devil, by obscuring his view. In a furious rage, the Devil slammed his foot into the floor, leaving a footprint in the tile. Known as the Devil’s Footprint, which is still visible today when visiting the Frauenkirche.
Did I mention earlier that it’s the same place I visited most of the time in my life? Well, it’s true. Frauenkirche or the Cathedral Church of Our Lady is not less than an architectural trademark for the Bavarian capital.
Completed in 1488, Frauenkirche has two giant towers of 99 and 98.5 meters height. The brick walls can snatch your attention in no seconds. But the Gothic-style structure has a weird charm in it. Oh, I forgot to mention about the Renaissance domes that tower over the building. They are near about 109 meters high and 40 meters wide.
Inside the cathedral, there is the 17th-century tomb, the Tomb of the Emperor Ludwig IV of Bavaria. Its black marble and bronze figures can astonish anybody. And yes, no Churches in Munich tour to Frauenkirche would ever be completed without seeing the Devil’s Footprint. It is on the floor of the porch. Many folklores are associated with the print. According to legends, the devil came to inspect the church, and he left his footprint behind it.
Moreover, to cherish the stunning views of the city, everyone should climb up the building. It will give everlasting moments of joy, and that’s for sure.
If you would like to learn more about this church and the devil’s footprint, why not check out my other blog post: The Devil’s Footprint in the Frauenkirche
With its central location (based next to the Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt), even if you are not too interested in churches and their architecture, the Alter Peter is worth a visit.
St. Peterskirche (St. Peter’s Church)
After Frauenkirche, the most renowned landmark in Munich is St. Peterskirche, or you can say St. Peter’s Church. We also call it Alter Peter (Old Peter). It’s quite near to the central square Marienplatz. It’s the oldest church in the city, but it went through various reconstructions after World War II.
With a turbulent history, the cathedral was a Romanesque-style building in the past. Later, it expanded into a remarkable Gothic-style architecture, but it destroyed due to fire in 1327. Long story short, it had faced plenty of renovation processes.
From the outside, its Gothic-style façade astonish millions of hearts, while the interior with Baroque influences captures immense attention from visitors. It also has a bell tower from where you can enjoy the picturesque scenery of Munich. However, you have to climb up to 306 steps to reach the top point.
Other than the interior décor of the building, there is one thing that heightens the value of the place. Yes, I am talking about Saint Munditia. Go to the church, then enter and look at the left side of the church to see her. She is a Christian martyr, and her relics can be seen in a glass and silverwork casket in one of the church’s alcoves. Her skeleton is embellished with gold and different kind of jewels. Moreover, a Roman inscription is also there to tell visitors the historical background of Saint Munditia.
Visiting St. Peter
If you want to find out her history and more attractions in the building, make sure to visit St. Peter’s Church whenever you hit the land of Munich.
Situated on the hill of Petersberg, which is the only elevated place within Munich’s Old Town.
The Alter Peter offers the best views in Munich. You do have to climb the steep 306 steps. The panoramic view is certainly worth it. In some clear days, the view goes as far as the Alps.
Dating back to the 11th century the church has been reconstructed on several occasions in different periods. This is why the interior has a very intriguing style. The decoration joins Bavarian Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles.
Asam Brothers built it. This is one of the smallest Churches in Munich. The measure is 22 m by 8 meters. The construction happened from 1733 till 1746.
Asamkirche, also renowned as Asam Church. The brother’s names were Egid and Cosmas. Do you know Asam Church was the private property of the brothers, but they eventually decided to open it up for masses?
What would be the reason? No idea?
Well, the people of Munich forced them to make it public so that they can perform their religious activities with peace.
The church is a confession church for the youth. The church has seven confessional stands. They cover a big area for a church of this size.
The internal design is measured by 3 sections, each increasing in brightness from ground level up. The lower section, containing pews reserved for the church’s visitors is dark, symbolizing the suffering in the world. Located above is the middle section, which is mostly blue and white, for the Emperor.
Finally, the upper section, the illuminated ceiling with the fresco “Life of Saint Nepomuk” is for God and eternity. The altar has four columns referencing those over St Peters grave in. As a result of residence opposition to the privacy of the Church, it was later opened to the public.
Asamkirche (Asam Church)
I can assure you once you explore this unique Baroque-style church, you will fall in love with it. You will also understand why the Asam brothers never wanted to open it for the public. It is nestled on the Sendlinger Strasse area, and the exterior of the building can be seen from a distance. The ceiling fresco depicts the life of Saint Nepomuk, which was among the great masterpieces of Cosmas.
If I have to suggest something to explore, I would like to ask everyone to thoroughly view the stucco statues, figures, frescoes, and distinct varieties of paintings, including oil ones. And how can the large doorway flanked by giant pillars and crowned by a sculpture of St. John Kneeling in prayer don’t melt the hearts of visitors?
There is also the 17th-century wrought-iron grille that separates the statues of the saints from the long nave with its art galleries. Furthermore, the high altar is among the top-rated highlights of Asam Church. It encompassed by four twisted pillars. The overall interior of the place is eye-catchy and appealing. You can’t stop yourself from viewing it.
If you would like to learn more about this church, why not check out my other blog post: The Asam Brothers.
Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan
The Theatinerkirche was built from 1663 to 1690 in Italian high-Baroque style.
The church is very unmissable, with it being a dashingly yellow color from the outside. It has a good contrast to the perfectly white interior.
When inside heading towards the altar, you are immediately drawn upward, towards the Dome.
Something not visible from the outside, it can take visitors by surprise with its grandeur.
The church is a place where you can spend so much time looking around your neck could start to hurt.
Also, within the church is a small chapel containing the tombs of King Maximilian II and Queen Marie from Prussia.
The crypt also contains the Prince’s Tomb, where other members of the Bavarian Royal Family are buried.
The Theatine Church of St. Cajetan
A different architecture in shape, Theatinerkirche, also renowned as the Theatine Church of St. Cajetan, is a pastel-yellow cathedral. It dates back to the 16th century. The building looks like a bright white adorned wedding cake because of its prominent Italian High Baroque-style façade. I like the structure of the building, and its dome looks elegant to me.
Located on the central square, Odeonsplatz, next to the Residenz Palace, Theatine Church can be seen from a distance. From the outside, the church has a gorgeous façade with twin towers and a giant 71-meter-high dome. There are many marble statues of saints that enhance the exterior of the place.
From the inside, the church has a beautiful interior décor. It highlights not only the high altar with a picture of the Virgin Enthroned with Angels but the Altar of the Virgin with the painting of the Holy Kinship. Moreover, a vault is also there where you can see the graves of the members of the Bavarian family, the House of Wittelsbach, who were long-time emperors of the Bavarian region.
Built-in 1844, King Ludwig I had the church named after himself. In my tour Churches in Munich we visit this one.
It can be seen from quite afar with its towering steeples. This university church is located at the northern end of Ludwigstraße.
The nave of the church is shaped like a cross. But more impressively this church has the second-largest fresco in the world!
The fresco, 62ft (18.8m) high and 38 ft (11.5 m) wide, is situated at the back of the church behind the altar, and immediately draws your attention.
The fresco by Peter von Cornelius depicts the last supper.
The Neo-Romanesque St. Ludwig
Beautifully structured in a Neo-Romanesque style, Ludwigskirche, also known as St. Ludwig, is a Catholic Church. You can call it the Catholic Parish and University Church St. Louis. It is a monumental cathedral, and it has the second-largest altar fresco of the universe. This landmark is among the largest churches in Munich.
Settled on the northern side of the Ludwigstrasse, St. Ludwig is the masterpiece of Friedrich von Gartner. He took the responsibility of this church from 1829 (it was completed in 1844). And do you know the façade of the building with its two towers was erected due to the Theatinerkirche? It was because the church stands diagonally opposite.
As per my knowledge, the church is about 20-meter wide and 60-meter long. When it comes to the towers, they are 71-meter long. The engaging fact is each of them equipped with six bells. Moreover, from 2007 to 2009, the roof of the building was renovated in the mosaic decoration. It looks more elegant and eye-catchy.
Peter von Cornelius designed the frescoes of the St. Ludwig that are among the best mural works in the world. Highly massive, the fresco of the Last Judgment located over the high altar is remarkable. It is 62-feet long and 38-feet wide. This church was the model for plenty of other churches in the universe. One must visit the site to learn more about it.
Visiting Munich’s Churches
The churches of Munich are great places to visit on rainy days in Munich.
I feel you learn more about the wonders of Munich if you hire a professional tour guide.
So make sure to check out city tour guides, if you are planning a visit.
Read more in the first part.