St. Michael

Largest renaissance church of the north

Michaelskirche Jesuit church in Munich’s pedestrian zone is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps. Ludwig II, the Fairytale King, is buried in its royal crypt.

It can be found almost exactly halfway between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz, and is one of Munich’s most significant churches. Between 1583 and 1597, Duke Herzog Wilhelm V commissioned Bavaria’s most renowned architects with the building of Michaelskirche as a symbol of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, consecrating it to St. Michael the Archangel.

The building was modelled on “Il Gesù”, the Jesuits’ mother church in Rome, although Michaelskirche actually surpassed it in size when it was complete. Its highly unusual 20-metre wide barrel vault is the world’s second-largest cantilever barrel vault after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Michaelskirche also houses one of the most important tombs of the Wittelsbach family: the Fairytale King Ludwig II was laid to rest here on 19 June 1886, and is – in death – the most often visited member of the family. The palaces of this reclusive monarch – Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee – are world famous.

 

 

Photo: Werner Böhm

Also interesting: Michael Mayer, who heads up the Mayer'sche Hofkunstanstalt, a world-leading workshop for glass art, presents Munich's most spectacular church windows.

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