This old church offers a peaceful place for rest and contemplation, surrounded by some marvelous interior architecture. It is also the final resting place of many prominent Bavarians.
The Michaelskirche was commissioned by the Duke of Bavaria, William V, and built in the late 16th century. It was a Jesuit church designed in the Renaissance style, a bold emblem for the strength of Catholicism at a time of division within Christianity. Today, it remains one of the most significant Renaissance churches north of the Alps. An elegant triangular frontispiece crowns the front of the church. Keep an eye out for the figure of Saint Michael the Archangel in battle, which is situated in an alcove on the façade’s lower level.
Inside the Michaelskirche, look out for another image of Saint Michael on the High Altar. Different areas in the interior of the church were designed to represent the life of Jesus: one highlight is the depiction of Jesus as a child on the inner wall. Sit in the pews and enjoy a view of the vaulted ceiling, the second-largest free-standing one in the world. The church feels bright and airy because of this remarkable ceiling and the large windows at the entrance that allow light to stream in.
St. Michael’s Church also houses the royal crypt, which contains the tombs of numerous notable figures from the Wittelsbach family. “Mad” King Ludwig II and King Otto of Bavaria are among the forty members of the Wittelsbach dynasty resting here.
Music is a crucial part of the spiritual life of the Michaelskirche. Musicians such as Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger, Orlande de Lassus and Caspar Ett have graced the church with their music. The church hosts regular performances from its acclaimed choir and orchestra.
The Michaelskirche is open daily. It is easily accessible by public transportation via Karlsplatz, which is just a short walk down the road.