St Michael church (St. Michaelskirche) is a beautiful Jesuit church in early baroque style located in the city center.
It was built by William V (Duke of Bavaria from 1579 to 1597) during the Catholic Reformation. Originally the construction begun in 1583 (after the lovely Duke pulled down 87 houses of the area) and finished in 1588. The church was built by the model church of Gesu in Rome but in 1590 the tower collapsed destroyed the quire too. Duke decided to build the church again, this time much bigger (the construction finished in 1597) and added the impressive facafe with numerous statues of Bavarian rulers (among them you can see Duke Willian V) and Archangel Michael killing the Evil.
At the crypt of the church are buried many dukes and kings of Bavaria, William V of course but also Josephine’s son Eugene de Beauharnais (Josephine became later Napoleon’s wife). You can walk along Furstengruft (vault of princes) and check the sarcophagus, it was weird to see fresh flowers on the one of King Kudwig II (the mad king), obviously some people still think about him.
As many other buildings in Munich the church was damaged during WWII but restored in 1948.
Built over 1583-97 by Duke William V, it is of Baroque style. The barrel vaulted ceiling was nearly as large as in St. Peters, Rome-but the ceiling collapsed and the rebuild made the church larger, but not the vaulted ceiling. It is near being the largest church in Germany. The barrel vault ceiling collapsed in 1590, but was rebuilt stronger completed in 1597 to counter a perceived threat as this was a bad omen from Higher Power. Fifty well known people rest on the church floor-in crypts of course.
Hello, I was a cople years ago in the Michaelskirche on München. It is fabulous! Well, the reason that I am here wrtting down this note is because I lost my pics about it! That is the minor importance. I would like if one of you can to tell one by one, the names of the bavarians people represented in the statues from the very high begening until the very down ending. From the rght to the left in every level to know exactly about the position of every one of them. Thanks a lot if you do it. My twitter account is @epistemia
St Michael's is a Jesuit church built between 1583 and 1597 in the Renaissance style and later partly baroqued. Inside the church are mighty pillars supporting the vault which is the second largest in Europe, only to be outdone by St Peter's in Rome. Beneath the choir in the Princes crypt you will find the graves of some 30 members of the Wittelbach dynasty
Inside the church of St.Michael you may walk down to the so-called " Fürstengruft " (vault of the princes) with the sarcophagues of Wilhelm V and many others, including Bavaria's "mad" king Ludwig II. - shown on my picture !
The sarcophague of King Ludwig II is certainly the most beautiful and gets the most attention and best flower-decorations.
There is obviously a union of people still taking care of "Their King" , more than 100 years after his sudden death...
When you talk to Bavarian people today , everybody still has a different opinion about his death in the nearby lake Starnberg.
The "Fürstengruft" may be visited against a small fee - but unfortunately I do not know the exact opening-times !
The church has an extremely wide barrel vault (the largest after St. Peter's in Rome). The supports are in the walls. It was not destroyed in WWII but much of the remains are restorations. The altar is three stories high and has a fine painting of Michael fighting evil by Schwarz (1587)at its middle (altar by him, Sustris and Dietrich). There are very shallow transepts occupied by chapels and only lighting at the vault. There is a prominent triumphal arch. In typical Jesuit fashion there are numerous (at least 10) altars along the nave. On the West end wall is a Christ Child image. The Royal crypt is beneath the choir. It contains over 40 Wittelsbachs. (We did not visit it).
There are added attractions inside the church besides the altar. The choir area has nice choir stalls. At the entry is a stoup held by a consecrating Angel (1600). The shallow transept on the North contains a memorial to Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson, by the Danish sculptor Thorwaldsen (1830), while on the opposite side (South), there is a bronze cross by Giambologna (1595). Also nearby is an ancient reliquary of 1400 from Bremen with contents relating to Sts. Cosmos and Damien.
This church was built (1583-97) just before the Baroque era. It was patterned after Il Gesu in Rome (1568-84) and has the trademark Jesuit facade with an upper triangular pediment with lateral scrolls and urns at the pediment base. Below are three stories separated by horizontal cornices. In the two upper levels are a dozen statues of Bavarian dukes and kings (note Wilhelm, the Pious, the sponsor of the church, in the second level, third in from the right, offering a model of the church). At the ground level between the entrance doors. St. Michael is slaying the dragon (evil) (H. Gerhard 1588). In the point of the pediment Jesus protects Otto I, below ( first Holy Roman Emperor).
At Marienplatz is St. Michael’s church – a Renaissance building with a Baroque interior. It was a pretty church. Say a prayer and light a candle.
In the basement of the church is a crypt. All of the churches we’ve visited had crypts but this was the first one we entered. This one contained 40 royal tombs including that of King Ludwig II.
Worth a stop.
7a-4.30p M-F, 8a-4p Su
From my email:
"In Munich itself I finally found Ludwig. Talk about a chance encounter!
I had absolutely no idea when I walked out of the rain and in to the Jesuit church of St. Michael that I would come across him.
This church and its school once took up a massive block in the middle of town and it has a remarkable history (including being bombed heavily in 1944) that parallels the monarchy, far too much to elaborate on here but, in a crypt to the right of the altar, and for a small fee, you can walk beneath and view the 41 metal coffins of the house of Wittelsbach, the former Bavarian rulers that reside within.
One of them is Ludwig’s; noticeably adorned with flowers still. Like most crypts, it’s very atmospheric also.
I felt strangely fulfilled having seen where he was born, resided and was buried."
Even now I feel that fate must have had a hand in the whole thing, linking all the sites purely by chance. I hadn't really been that interested in the man but, the more I learned about Bavarian royalty, the more interesting the stories became.
Ludwig succeeded his father in 1864. He is well known for his fairytale castles and his love for Richard Wagner and his operas. In 1886, the Bavarian state was nearly bankrupt because of his huge expenditures, and several members of the royal family had Ludwig declared insane (8 June 1886). His uncle, prince Luitpold, was appointed regent. On 13 June 1886, Ludwig escaped (or went for a walk with his shrink, depending on which version you believe) from his prison, Castle Berg, but drowned under mysterious circumstances in Lake Starnberg. His psychiatrist, Dr. Gudden, was also found in the lake. The official version is that the doctor drowned while trying to prevent Ludwig's suicide.
Since the restauration of the stucco decoration in the 1980s, the Michaelskirche has its original look back and the interior of the church is richly decorated and ornamented.
The crypt is the second largest barrel crypt in Christendom, the only one larger is the one at St. Peters in the Vatican.
This church is easy to overlook it when strolling along the pedestrianised shopping street but it's definitely worth a look inside.
Inside it's massive with baroque and renaissance parts, many decorations, an impressive ceiling, strange artificial candles and a great "foggy" light atmosphere.
I was here during easter mass so it even had this certain wonderful "church smell".
In this church you also find the graves of King Ludwig II. and of his father, Maximilian I.
St. Michaelkirche is another of most beautiful churches that you can see in the city of Munich.It was built in Reinassance Style in 1,583-97. The building facade is impressive and you'll see many small statues.Take a look also to the inside of the church.
The way this church was built was a sensation at its time (1583-1597).
When the church-tower broke down during the construction, duke Wilhelm V decided to take this as a "hint" to build the church even bigger.
It became one of the first Baroque churches and has the 2nd biggest vault, spanning freely more than 20 meters.
The biggest is St.Peters in Rome.
Sustris was the main architect of the church , the big painting on the altar was made by Schwarz from Munich(1587)
St.Michael church is another big church in Neuhauserstrasse (the pedestrian zone in the centre ).
It dates back to 1583 and was ments as a demonstration of the power of Wilhelm V.
In the facade you see sculptures of ancestors of Wilhelm, such as Karl der Große / Charles magne and the Habsburg kings.
The sculpture in the centre is St.Michael fighting with Satan.
The church is open all day and may be visited freely - only for the " Fürstengruft " / Krypta, with the sarcophag of various kings, including "mad" King Ludwig II, you have to pay a small fee.
On the right of my picture you may see a part of the former Augustinian church that was transfered into the Museum for hunting and fishing, and in the background the 2 towers of Frauenkirche
The stucco interior of Michaelskirche is vast, only St Peter's in Vaticane is bigger. There's a crypt beneath Michaelskirche and it has the tombs of several Wittelsbachs so this church is worth visiting.