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by Wildcat Dianne
May 16, 2011
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."
From journal Bavarian Blast
June 30, 2002
From journal Munich, Bavaria