When I came to Munich to visit Richie & Doreen, Asam Church was high on my wish list. I realised that it is located almost in the city centre, not far away from underground station Sendlinger Tor. So it was an easy side trip on our way into the city centre.
But what a church this is! From the outside it is almost not visible as such with its only 4 m wide space. There is a plaque at the entrance though. And inside, the church left me speechless. Although it is one of these churches which are just too much for my personal liking. But then it is art, nevertheless, especially given the story of its construction. In mid 18th century it was built as a private church, by southern Bavarian master builders Asam (hence the name). They intended to build the church as a place not only for themselves but also where young kids could confess. Even though it is too much for me, it was fascinating to look at the interior which is overloaded with statues, confessionals, galleries, pillars, medallions and frescoes. I liked the cute little figures at the confessionals and the straightforward “handling” of death: in one setup, death is fighting with an angel, in others, skulls seem almost to smile.
The church, by the way, is dedicated to St. Nepomuk. Legend says that one of the Asam brothers was rescued when in distress at sea (well, river) and had promised to build the church afterwards.
A year later, when I travelled through southern Bavaria and visited Benediktbeuern, I realised that the same Georg Asam also built the interior of its basilica. And there I learned to appreciate his skills because here he had space to show his work.
Location of Asam Kirche (Asam Church) on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., September 2010, update August 2012 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
It was built between 1733 and 1746 by two brothers named -of course Asam. It was built in Rococo style and intended to be a show piece for the wealthy brothers to commemorate the monk, St Johan-Nepomuk. It did not take long for the local folk to demand the church be open for public use, and the brothers relented. The elaborate style is a wonder to behold and take a slow look at all the detail inside and outside. This church rivals and maybe surpasses the Weis church for detail and style elegance
The Asam brothers, Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin, built this Catholic church in the 1700s beside their home in honor of St. Johann-Nepomuk, a Bohemian monk turned saint whose statue is above the door on the façade of the church. It is a very small church, consisting simply of one small nave that is decorated in the rococo style. Clearly, the Asam brothers enjoyed their work and there is literally no empty spot in this church with every available space being filled with something – a statue, gilded garland, or other embellishments that can give you sensory overload quickly.
I had read that the church was a sort of showplace for the brothers’ works, a place to show prospective patrons what they could do. While it does appear extravagant, if you tap on the ‘marble’ columns at the back of the church, you’ll find that they are really just fake marble and have a bit of a hollow sound. And the brothers’ were rather famous and kept busy as sculptors, painters, architects and overall church decorators in Bavaria and the surrounding countries.
Egid Asam lived next door to the church (there is a plaque on the house) and from his bedroom window he could see the altar of the church.
The church is a little walk from the main pedestrian center, but it only took us about ten minutes, walking south from the New Rathaus on Sendlinger Strasse towards the Sendlinger Tor. The church will be on your right. It is open daily.
This church of Johann Nepomuk or the church of Asam is a real jewel of Rococo made at XVIIIth century. Made by the Asam brothers as a particular church it was later opened to the public. It is between the Asam's house and the Priest's house, at Sedlinger strasse, a central part in the city.
From the facade to the irreal inner all this astounding building seems like a fairy-tale one. You have to blink your eyes to realize it is authentic, it's not a dream!. Photos can't show the real thing for the optic effect is superb, never seen in other kind of architecture. Another jewel in this surprising city. In the upper facade the hanging stucco seems to be floating in the air and in the inner you see three different levels up, one over one towards the ceiling in a 3D effect increased by the extension of the peripheral elements: the high altar top raises upwards while the borders of the different levels fold in and upwards like leaves in the air.
Precious, marvellous, are small adjectives to define this. A true MUST-SEE!
We nearly missed this little church as it is really almost hidden away. This fantastic rococo building is named after its architects, who built it as a private chapel (1733 - 1746) but the residents of Munich loved it and requested that it be used as a parish church.
Baroque architecture got a late start in Munich but it was totally Bavarian when seen through the eyes of the Asam brothers even though they were trained in Italy. This is a hall church with its focus completely upon the altar framed by two pairs of twisted columns. The vaulting is a gently curved-edge rectangle and a balcony -like gallery surrounds the church below this. The purposely subdued light enters at this upper level A painting by brother Cosmos on the vault depicts the life of Saint Johann Nepomuuk. This is a stage-setting (even. Bernini would applaud) ; God , wearing a Papal Tiara, (not just a symbolic hand) offers a crucified Christ (a small Dove completes the Trinity). That is it!The lavishness of the Baroque is mostly carved structural forms and colored marble-like surfaces with limited stucco-work. All of the figures direct one to the central Vision. Genug.
The Asamkirche is recognizable in a street-long residential block only because of its florid projecting canopy bearing the statue of its dedicatee St. John of Nepomuk kneeling in prayer surrounded by angels. Only then does one realize that this is the facade of a church and that a 16C building to its left has complementary decoration. (This is the house purchased in 1733 by Egid Quirin Asam, the sculptor of the two architect Asam brothers that built the church (1733-48). Not only did they design it, they directed and participated in its building and interior design and paid for the whole thing. It was to them a work of religious devotion. Egid was a bachelor and lived in the house next door his entire life; brother Cosmos Damian was also a painter. Incidentally the decorations on the house depict Heaven looking down approvingly on the Arts. The brothers received their training in Italy, but their execution is quite independent. This church is well into the Baroque era and is classified as "Bavarian Rococo". On entering one is struck by the subdued lighting, which is intentional; after the vestibule is an elaborate grille. Only then does the interior reveal itself. (See Tip 2)
St.-Johann-Nepomuk-Kirche (aka Asamkirche) is the most ornamented church in Munich. Begun in 1733 and completed in 1746, it was constructed by the Asam brothers who are famous for many other Baroque/Rococo works. The exterior of this church belies its' interior which causes gasps upon entering. It was built as a personal chapel for the Asam family and later bequeathed to the city of Munich. It truly does the Bavarian sense of Bavarian decoration proud. I promise that my photographs do not do justice to this wonderful church.
One of the richest with decorations church I have every seen. It is baroque church situated a few minutes far from the Marienplatz. It is called "the pearl of Bavarian Baroque" and was builded by Egid Quirin and Cosmas Damian in years 1733-1746. Although the official name of this church is Church of St Johann Nepomuk all people know it as Asamkirche.
A small but truly stunning baroque church near Sendlinger Tor, built by the Asam brothers in the early 18th century. Munich`s most beautiful church. Note at the right-hand-side of the entrance the scary sculpture of a skeleton cutting a life thread!
Stop by Asamkirche to check out the interesting/ wacky interior of this Rococo Church. It is a totally unique place to see.
You don't need more than 10 minutes to check it out but it is worth the stop.
We visited several churches in and around Marienplatz, but the one I really wanted to see was the Asamkirche. It was a private church, built by the Asam brothers from 1733 to 1746, and later opened up to the public. The real name of the Church is St. Johann Nepomuk - named after a monk who drown in the Danube. But everyone calls it the Asamkirche.
Drippy, Roccoco style. Truly a site to see.
The church is really St.-Johann-Nepomuk-Kirche but is called Asamkirche after its builders, the Asam brothers. Above the entrance stands a statue of the church's patron, St. Nepomuk, a 14th-century monk more famous in Prague where he was fished out of the Danube with his tounge intact. It's plain on the outside but very beautiful inside.
There are some major churches in Munich that must be visited if you are in town. One of these is Asam Kirche. It is one of the best examples of Rococo architecture. You would literally have to travel the Bavarian countryside rather out of the way to see another of this level. (Weis Kirche comes to mind).
I gotta be honest, I was taken there by a great VTer Hanna (Tabatha) so I didnt know how to get there. But it's not far from Marienplatz. You HAVE to see it! I couldn't take picture as there was a mass going on there. But the whole church inside was gold! Lots and lots of ornaments and it's very very different from all the other churches I have visited. I am not religious at all but this is such an eye opener!