The Catholic Parish and University Church St. Louis, called Ludwigskirche, is a monumental church in neo-romanesque style with the second-largest altar fresco of the world. The building, with its round arches called the Rundbogenstil, strongly influenced other church architecture, train stations and synagogues in both Germany and the United States.

The Ludwigskirche was built by the architect Friedrich von Gärtner from 1829 onwards. The patron was King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The facade with two steeples was constructed as balance to the Theatinerkirche, which stands diagonally opposite. The floor plan shows the church as a model to a three-aisled Byzantine basilica with the basic geometric figure of the cross of tau. The church is 60 m long and 20 m wide. The towers are 71 meters high and each equipped with six bells, which are named after patron saints of the family of King Ludwig. In the years 2007-2009 the church roof was re-covered in the originally planned mosaic decoration.

The frescoes of the church were created by Peter von Cornelius. They are perhaps one of the most important mural works of modern times. The large fresco of the Last Judgment (1836-1840), situated over the high altar, measures 62 ft in height by 38 ft in width. The frescoes of the Creator, the Nativity, and the Crucifixion are also on a large scale. But the work was rejected by the King, and Cornelius left Munich shortly afterward. The sculpture Four Evangelists with Jesus Christ was designed by Ludwig von Schwanthaler.

The church was the model for many other churches, such as the Altlerchenfelder Pfarrkirche in Vienna, and Richard Upjohn's Congregational Church of the Pilgrims (1844-1846), in Brooklyn, New York, the first of the Rundbogenstil in North America. This was followed by St. George's Episcopal Church in New York City by Charles Bresch, and the Bowdoin College Chapel in Brunswick, Maine. In Minnesota the church was the blueprint for the Church of the Assumption (1874) in Saint Paul and the original abbey church of Saint John's Abbey (1868) in Collegeville.

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Details

Founded: 1829
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: German Confederation (Germany)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Joeri (13 months ago)
Big church that looks nice and is located at a great place.
BradJill Travels (17 months ago)
The Catholic Parish and University Church St. Louis also referred to as Ludwigskirche is located along Ludwigstrasse in Munich. This is a a large Neo-Romanesque style church built by German architect Friedrich von Gärtner between 1829-44. The church features an attractive facade with two towers and a nice portico with ceiling frescos. The interior features a deep barrel vault nave and impressive frescos. The nave is nicely lined with modestly decorated columns. The two side aisles are nice to see as well. The most memorable part of our visit was the very large Peter von Cornelius 'Last Judgment' fresco behind the altar. This is a huge and attractive artwork, one that really sticks out from a visit to Ludwigskirche. In fact, viewing the Cornelius fresco alone is worth the quick visit to the church. In the end, we liked our visit to Ludwigkirche, it is worth a 15-20 minute visit and can be conveniently included in your sightseeing plans if you plan to visit the Odenplatz, Museum District or western side of the English Gardens during your time in Munich.
Graham Lewis (2 years ago)
The fresco paintings inside are incredible.
Angus Hamilton (2 years ago)
Magnificent church. I've added s several photos which speak better of the church's beauty than my words. The church is slightly off the beaten track - away from the centre of Munich but well worth the walk
X X (3 years ago)
This is a magnificent building in itself, but the amazing painted decoration is stunning inside. It is situated on a very busy road but once inside it is serene and lovely.It looked well used; I believe it is used by the University as well as the Parish. Ideal for a half hour visit.
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