Munich | Church Chic – Peterskirche

Having paused my ecclesiastical interiors series “Church chic” for quite some time, I thought it was just the right moment to pick up with one of Munich´s most prominent and dignified place of worship: Church of Peter, or “Old Peter” as we call it.

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Being the oldest Parish church in the city, “Alter Peter” stands on the only noteworthy elevation within the historic Old Town called Petersbergl, just a quick hop away from the busy Marienplatz.

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Though it is the impressive and elaborate interior decorations of the nave that make me halt there once in a while when in town, most people come here to climb the 306 steps up the clock tower to enjoy extraordinary panoramic views of Munich just until the mountains on very clear days.

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A church has been standing on the Petersbergl since the 11th century; over the course of time it has been rebuilt and expanded several times. This explains the various styles in the works of art that can be found inside the church. These include a magnificent gilded high altar from the 18th century and large ceiling frescoes that extend along the entire nave.

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The interior is dominated by the high altar to which Erasmus Grasser contributed the figure of Saint Peter. Among other masterpieces of all periods are five Gothic paintings by Jan Polack and several altars by Ignaz Günther. The ceiling fresco by Johann Baptist Zimmermann (1753–56) was restored in 1999-2000.

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The basilica is built in the architectural style of the Gothic. As part of a reorganization of the Baroque, a high altar was added in 1734. The group of figures shows Peter in the interpretation of Scripture.

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The Old Peter has eight church bells of which seven are in operation today. The oldest bell is dated with 1327, the most recent bells, however, are from the fifties.

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