Construction on the Frauenkirche began in the late 15th Century and was built in the Gothic style of architecture. However, construction of the Frauenkirche was delayed several times due to lack of money and had to wait until Renaissance times to get the onion domes put on the roof of the Cathedral. Legend has it that the construction of the twin onion domes were inspired by the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem or in honor of the many onion-domed churches that have been built throughout Bavaria in the past 600 years. In order to save money, the Frauenkirche was built of brick since it was cheaper than stone and faster to construct. Construction of the Frauenkirche only took 20 years, and it is built on top of the first King of Bavaria Ludwig IV's grave (he died in 1347). When Helga and I entered the Frauenkirche, we were greeted by his beautiful and huge black tombstone. It was originally located at the altar at the front of the cathedral but in later years, Ludwig's final resting place was moved to the back of the cathedral where is stands today. Since 1821, the Frauenkirche has been the main church of the city of Munich.
The altar in front of the church was built by the Wittelsbach family and it is said that they had a bit of a God complex wanting to be associated with God all of the time. The altar is represented by Christ and the Wittelsbach family, and for a long time during the Wittelsbach's reign in Bavaria, residents of the Land (German name for provinces) were forced to recite this prayer: "Virgin Mary, Mother of our Duke, please protect us."
During World War II, the Frauenkirche sustained a lot of damage due to Allied bombings of Munich, but the twin domes miraculously survived serious damage. The Cathedral underwent a major reconstruction after the war, and from 1977-1982, Joseph Ratzinger, was archbishop of Munich and used the Frauenkirche as his homebase. From there, he became a Cardinal and went to The Vatican to be in Pope John Paul's inner circle before succeeding him as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Helga and I walked around the beautiful Lady for several minutes admiring the altar, stained glass, and gothic architecture. Upon seeing the area where one can light candles and pray for family and friends, I made sure I lit a candle and said a little prayer for my family, my safe voyage in Europe, and the Red Sox to start winning! I did this at every church I visited in Europe, and although I am not overly religious, I felt very spiritual lighting candles and praying for good things to happen in our lives.
Admission into the Frauenkirche is free of charge and it is open Saturdays-Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays from 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information on the Frauenkirche, go to www.muenchener-dom.de. I highly recommend you see the Frauenkirche if you are interested in Gothic architecture and the history of this "Beautiful Lady of Munich."
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
by Wildcat Dianne
May 16, 2011
From journal Bavarian Blast
June 30, 2002
From journal Munich, Bavaria
Mexico City, Mexico
March 15, 2002
Frauenkirche (Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau or Church
of Our Lady) is Munich’s trademark and located close to the Marienplatz in the
pedestrian zone. The two imposing oxidized copper onion-shaped domes atop the two
98-meter-high spires can be seen from many parts of the city, and its eight bells
have a wonderful ring.
The church was constructed from 1468 to 1488 of simple
fairly monotonous red brick in a late Gothic style. It was extensively damaged
during the Second World War, but the two towers are original. The building is 109m long, 41m wide, and the roof 55m high.
On the whole, this church doesn’t rank with the famous
Cologne Cathedral, Notre Dame in Paris, St Paul’s in London, or St Peter’s in
Rome, but it has an attractiveness of its own. Its interior is surprisingly
simple and very light - it completely lacks the darkness and gloom that seem to
come standard with other 15th-century churches. Most of the interior walls
and columns are white, and large windows let in ample light.
Its artistic highlights are elegant, if simple. For most
foreign visitors, the people and celebrated artists may be totally unknown. Many
foreigners seem more interested in finding the mark left by the devil’s right
foot! This mark, resembling a footprint with a small hooked tail at the heel,
is in the floor close to the main rear entrance (more or less in line with the
gift shop). If you stand at this spot, it is impossible to see any of the side
windows, which let in the ample amount of light. Prior to the construction of
the current high altar in the late 19th century, it was even impossible to
see the windows at the front end of the church from this spot, making it seem as
if the church was windowless. According to tradition, the church builder, Joerg
von Halspach, bet the devil that he would build a windowless church, and when the
devil stood at this spot and realized he was duped, he stamped his foot in anger!
An alternative version has the devil visiting in the dark and stomping his foot
in delight at the obvious stupidity of hidden windows.
I guess it doesn’t say much for the artwork in the
church, as this spot seems to be the most favorite of foreign visitors! Parts of
the rose window in the choir, the Annunciation to Maria, date from 1392 and were
used in the church predating the current one. Other works are fine too, but the
artists relatively or thoroughly unknown. However, the light interior of this
large church is most uplifting and well worth visiting. Entrance is free except
for frequent concerts at night.
It is possible to climb the south tower (April to
October). However, the view from the nearby Alte Peter is better and the charge
From journal Munich - a south German gem