Munich's most famous church and landmark
Cathedral Church of Our Lady: All about the Frauenkirche Munich
The Cathedral Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is Munich's most famous church and its two towers are unmistakable landmarks of the city. We have summarized all you need to know about the Frauenkirche here.
A glance at things you need to know about the Church of Our Lady Munich
- The Munich Cathedral of Our Lady is a late Gothic church dating from the 15th century.
- Its two characteristic towers measure just under 100 meters.
- The south tower is open to visitors and offers a view of the entire city.
- The church is also open to the public from the inside (outside of church services).
- Highlights for visitors include the Wittelsbach Monument, the bishop's crypt, and the so-called "Devil's Footstep".
The towers of the Frauenkirche: the city's landmark
The towers of the Frauenkirche have been the landmark of the city of Munich for many centuries. However, their characteristic "catfish hoods" (Welschen Hauben) were not put on them until 36 years after the church was completed.
- The south tower is open to visitors
- It measures a massive 98.45 meters.
- There are seven huge bells ringing.
- Rising 98.57 meters, the north tower is minimally higher.
- A total of three bells hang in the tower.
- Here you can also find the medieval treadmill from when the tower was under construction.
Getting to the Frauenkirche isn't difficult from anywhere you are in Munich. You can take any S-bahn train (lines S1 to S8) from the Munich central station to Marienplatz or arrive with the U-Bahn (lines U3 and U6), and then it is just a short walk to this monumental edifice.
Tower ascent: Highest vantage point in the old town
The south tower was renovated for ten years, which is why it was not accessible as a vantage point. Since March 2022, visitors can once again access the tower via a spiral staircase and an elevator. At a height of almost 99 meters, they can enjoy a panoramic view of Munich and the Alps from 16 windows.
Opening hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sundays and holidays from 11:30 a.m.). Admission costs 7.50 euros for adults and 5.50 euros for children over 7. Children under 7 do not have to pay admission. Tickets are available in the cathedral store.
The Gothic architecture of the Frauenkirche
The Frauenkirche is a late Gothic, three-nave hall church. The nave is 109 meters long, 40 meters wide and 37 meters high and can accommodate 20,000 people.
A typical sign of the Gothic style are the upward striving pillars inside the church. The white pillars and the light vault ribs, alongside the stained glass windows, create a bright and open impression.
Interior decoration and art
The interior decoration of the church is simple compared to other Gothic buildings. The altar area is crowned by twelve reliefs from the life of the Mother of God and the exposed statue of Maria Immaculata. Paintings are limited to depictions of Mary with Child and Jesus as the Man of Sorrows with Wounds.
In addition, you can admire many differently decorated side chapels, altars, sculptures and epitaphs inside the cathedral, as well as an automaton clock from the 16th century.
Wittelsbach Monument and Bishop's Crypt
The extremely magnificent memorial to the great Wittelsbach is hard to miss and richly decorated with bronze figures and symbols. A large imperial crown at the top of the ostentation commemorates the imperial dignity of Ludwig the Bavarian.
Below the cathedral is the bishop's crypt. Some members of the noble house of Wittelsbach, but also the archbishops of Munich and Freising are buried there.
The legend of the devil's footprint
According to legend, the famous footprint in the entrance hall was made by the devil himself. He made a bet with the master builder for his soul, that there would be no windows in the church. Upon return to the aforementioned place, he could not see any windows at first, as they were covered by the columns. Out of joy at the supposed ignorance of the people, he stamped up and left his footprint in the ground.
But when the devil took another step forward, he discovered the windows and felt that he has been deceived. Angrily, he turned into wind in order to destroy the building. It's probably the devil is still trying, because near the cathedral or at the entrance, you tend to feel a slight breeze.
Organ concerts and cathedral music
The Frauenkirche regularly gives organ concerts, has several choirs and its own cathedral singing school. The large main organ is one of four organs in the cathedral, made by the workshop of Georg Jann (Alkhofen near Regensburg). Cathedral music can be heard on Sundays and holidays and on special occasions.
The building history of the Munich landmark
Already since 1240 there was a church on the outskirts of the former residence, built by the Wittelsbach dynasty. With the growth of the city and its population, it was decided in the 15th century to build a new, more representative church.
The contract for the brick building was awarded to the Munich master builder Jörg von Halspach (also known as Jörg Ganghofer). It took only 20 years from the laying of the foundation stone in 1468 to the completion of the church - a speedy construction progress at that time.
At a glance
Cathedral Church of Our Lady: All about the Frauenkirche MunichFrauenplatz 1
Barrier-free accessibility in the building
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