St. Lukas, or Saint Luke´s church, is the largest Protestant church in whole Munich. I used to pass it many times when driving to the airport and standing in traffic jams along the Isar River. It is also one of the very few, almost completely preserved spiritual buildings of the historical Munich around. It is nicknamed “The Cathedral of the Munich Protestants”, yet the impressive construction is not a seat of a bishop.
Compared to other churches in the city, Saint Luke´s was built in only three years! Considering that the center dome has a complete height of 64 meters, I would say that this is quite an accomplishment. The Construction began in 1893 and was completed in 1896.
Being a Protestant in a Catholic dominated hierarchy at the time that the church was built was rather difficult. This is one of the reasons why, at the time of the construction, Saint Luke´s had to be built outside the Munich city walls.
Since the dimensions of the building were for these times quite large, Albert Schmidt, the architect, decided for pre-reformation styles to dominate in the design in order to please the Roman Catholic city rulers. He intended to merge the silhouette with the strict architectural guidelines of those times, trying to prevent the building to evoke any rebellious Lutheran ideas.
While the exteriors are reminiscent of Romanesque forms, the interiors are held in an early Gothic style. The layout of Saint Luke´s resembles the geometrical shapes of a Greek cross.
The church had some of the most outstanding stained glass windows at that time which had been drafted by Charles Dixon, one of the best and most renown glass painters of his time.
Most of them had been destroyed during the air raids in the night of September 6th, 1943, but three of them are still maintained above the high altar. They form an excellent colorful contrast to the rather darkish and murky interiors.
The first organ that was implemented lasted only for 30 years. Due to the immense expanse, the sound was not enough for the church. But it took until 1932 before a larger variant was installed.
Today, it is still that original second organ playing. It survived World War II without any considerable damage.
Saint Luke´s is an amazing piece of architecture. Once you step in, you will be amazed by the sheer wideness of the main nave, particularly once you step underneath the dome in the center.
Take a look at the hand carved wooden benches that line up towards the altar. This is one of these churches were you could well imagine a Royal wedding or something similar.