Michaelskirche - Michaelskirche information and pictures

The Michaelskirche is a magnificent building found in Munich, Germany, considered the largest church in Renaissance style in the northern Alps. It is a glorious building located on Neuhauserstrasse in Munich - a pedestrian area filled with outdoor cafes and shops, that makes it convenient for a visitor to admire. The construction of the edifice took about 14 years and was ordered by the Bavarian Duke, Wilhelm V. This building project was carried out as a move toward the Counter Reformation or Catholic reformation rather than Protestant Reformation. Michaelskirche or Saint Michael’s Church in English was constructed in two different stages.

The first stage was completed between 1583 and 1588, and the building was to become one of the world’s finest and largest Jesuit churches. At this stage, a huge barrel vaulted roof was constructed. The roofing was second only to the one of the Saint Peter’s Basilica in the city of Vatican. Because of its sheer weight and size, local residents feared that the roof would collapse. Although the vaulting remained stable, the tower eventually collapsed in 1590, destroying the newly completed choir. Because of this event, the Duke made it a point to construct an even larger church. The second phase of construction began after the incident and ended in 1597. A new, much bigger choir was also built.

The church still attracts hundreds of tourists who are amazed by the size and ornamentation of the house of worship. There are numerous bronze statues on the church’s façade and a colossal statue of Archangel Michael just between the two main doors. The sculpture is a depiction of Michael defeating Satan. One of the church’s most distinctive features is the 20 meter wide barrel-vaulted ceiling. With no supporting pillars, the ceiling seemingly floats above the lavishly decorated white stucco interior. The main façade of Michaelskirche features rich sculptural iconography, reflecting the triumph of the Catholic faith over Protestantism. Above, Jesus Christ is holding the Earth, depicted as a golden globe. Outside the church is found the fountain Richard Strauss Brunnen, with its streams recalling the Dance of the Seven Veils. Close by, at Neuhauser Strasse, is the Burgersaalkirche, an 18th century church which contains the tomb of the Nazi opponent and Jesuit priest Rupert Mayer.

The church is also the resting place of at least four dozens of historic figures including Duke Wilhelm V and members of the Wittelsbach family, Emperor Maximilian I, King Ludwig II, and King Otto of Bavaria. Eugene de Beauharnais, her first husband, as well as the sculptor Giovanni da Bologna are also buried in the church.

Like most of the buildings in Munich Michaelskirche was almost destroyed by the bombings in World War II but was rebuilt afterwards.

Where is Michaelskirche: Neuhauserstrasse 6

How to get to Michaelskirche: U-bahn U4,U5 and S-bahn S1-8: Karlsplatz

Michaelskirche Munich
Michaelskirche, Munich

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