One of Munich´s churches that had a strong influence on the typical Bavarian Baroque architecture is the largest religious Renaissance construction north of the Alps: The Jesuit church of Saint Micheal.
It took 14 years to complete St. Micheal with the consecration taking place back in 1597. At that time, over 87 residential houses had been pulled down in order to make room for the building and an adjacent lecture. Duke William´s plans had met lots of protests by the local inhabitants, were carried out nevertheless though.
St. Michael was built in two phases. A first phase which was carried out between 1583 and 1588 included a construction with a barrel-vaulted roof. The vault was along with St. Peter in Rome the largest in the world at that time. While the people were sceptical about the stability of the vault, it was the tower that collapsed in 1590 onto it.
After the collapse, the original plans had been revised and a further enlargement had been advised. Between 1590 and 1597, the unscathed remains of the collapse were expanded by a new quire and a new transept. It was concluded by a new, more eloquent facade.
It is particularly the stucco decoration of the interior that leaves one speechless. Most of it as well as large parts of the nave had been destroyed during World War II and it was not before 1948 that the church had been completely rebuilt. The restoration of the stucco took until 1983.
It is one of my favorite places to sit down and relax for a moment when I really need to concentrate. If you are lucky, you will even enjoy a little organ concert during the day if the player practises.
There are lots of wonderful details to discover when walking through this architectural masterpiece. Impressive are its dimensions as well: 78 meters long, 20 meters wide and 28 meters high. It truly is a royal church.
St. Michael Church
Neuhauser Str. 6, 80333 München