Asam Church: A masterpiece of architecture in Sendlinger Straße

Asam Church: Church in the middle of Munich's pedestrian zone

In Sendlinger Straße in the city center, stands the private church of the Asam brothers, dedicated to St. Nepomuk: absolutely worth a visit when in Munich.

Adresse und Öffnungszeiten

Sendlinger Str. 32 , 80331 München

Sankt Michaelsbund

Overview of the Asam Church (St. John Nepomuk Church)

  • What makes the church so significant? St. John Nepomuk Church was designed by the Asam brothers as a magnificent private church in the style of the Bavarian late Baroque and is one of their masterpieces
  • When was the church built? From 1733 to 1746 by the artists Cosmas Damian Asam and Egid Quirin Asam. It is dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk
  • Where is the church located? In the middle of Sendlinger Straße - in the pedestrian zone near Marienplatz
  • What else do you need to know? The Asam Church has a façade width of only 8 meters and a depth of 22 meters - church services are still held here today

A narrow church in the city center

Eingang der Asamkirche in der Sendlinger Straße
Sankt Michaelsbund

Between small stores and noisy cafés, the baroque world of the Asam Church rises on Sendlinger Straße.

Two massive rocks grow out of the column capital of the entrance. Above the portal gable, the statue of St. Nepomuk stands in front of the large east window. Angels stand at his side. In the pediment above you see the divine virtues: Faith, Love, Hope.

Magnificent furnishings

Asamkirche von Innen mit Wandmalereien
Michael Hofmann

Through a mighty door made of wood, decorated with four reliefs and two golden, star-shaped ornaments, one enters the small church. Within 22 metetrs by 8 meters, the Asam brothers succeeded in creating a masterpiece.

The interior of the Asam church

With its excessive amount of stucco and ornamentation in such a small area, the interior of the church is overwhelming. Particularly impressive is the chancel area, whose Trinity figures are indirectly illuminated through hidden windows.

Above the magnificent high altar, God the Father is enthroned on a three-dimensionally depicted mercy seat with the triple papal tiara (papal crown).
The sight gains even more intensity when you visit the church in the morning. Then rays of light fall in from the east window and conjure up a mystical atmosphere in the Asam church.

Asamhaus: The baroque residential palace next to the Asam church

Asamhaus in der Sendlinger Straße
Katy Spichal

The Asam brothers also immortalized their artistic skills right next to the church, in the Baroque residential palace, the Asamhaus, whose facade they redesigned in 1734: 

The four-story facade is decorated with elaborate stucco work. They wind elegantly between the windows, gleaming in glossy white on a yellow background. The filigree design makes it clear that both brothers were masters of their arts. They owe this to their apprenticeship at the Accademia di San Luca, where they were students of the Italian master Lorenzo Bernini.

The Asamhaus can only be visited from the outside.

Curious: Why was the church dedicated to St. John Nepomuk?

There are various opinions as to why the Asam brothers dedicated the church in Sendlinger Straße to St. Nepomuk:

  • On the one hand, Nepomuk was considered the patron saint of the Electorate of Bavaria, on the other hand, the laying of the foundation stone fell on the name day of John of Nepomuk.
  • A legend, in turn, tells of a trip on the Danube to the Weltenburg monastery, where the brothers wanted to transport valuable sculptures by ship. A storm, however, turned the trip into a hellish ride. After the two had begged Nepomuk in their distress for protection, their ship was spared an accident in the floods of the Danube.
  • Nepomuk had been canonized in 1729 and since that time was considered the patron saint of bridges, towns and other structures that were to be protected from damage by water.

At a glance

Asam Church: Church in the middle of Munich's pedestrian zone

Sendlinger Str. 32
80331 München