Freising Cathedral

Freising, Germany

Freising Cathedral, also called Saint Mary and Corbinian Cathedral, is a romanesque basilica. An early church was present on the site by AD 715, consecrated as episcopal church by Boniface in 739. A triple nave was constructed in 860 and rebuilt after a fire in 903. The church was completely destroyed by fire on Palm Sunday, 5 April 1159. Construction of the current romanesque building started in 1159 and completed in 1205. The romanesque wooden ceiling was replaced by a gothic vault in 1481–3.

The tomb of St. Corbinian, the patron saint of the bishopric, is located in the four-nave crypt of the cathedral. In the centre of this crypt is the Bestiensäule ('pillar of beasts'), one of the most distinguished sculptures in Europe.

Substantial reconstruction was undertaken during the Baroque period, beginning in 1619. A complete renovation begun in 1621, and its nearly completed high altar was consecrated on 1 January 1624. In 1623, Prince-Bishop Veit Adam von Gebeck of Freising commissioned Hans Rottenhammer (1564-1625) to paint a vast altarpiece. Rottenhammer was near the end of his career (and life) and possibly an alcoholic, and his work was delayed. The commission was transferred to Rubens at an unknown time. Rubens completed the painting of the Woman of the Apocalypse, a subject that had been very popular in German iconography since the 15th century. The finished painting is first mentioned in 1632, when it was evacuated from the advancing Swedish troops. It is now kept in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

Another renovation was undertaken in 1724, in view of the church's thousand-year anniversary. The rococo decoration of the interior created is a work of Cosmas Damian Asam and Egid Quirin Asam. In the 1920s, some of the frescoes were painted over and severely damged. These were restored in 2006.

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Address

Domberg 36, Freising, Germany
See all sites in Freising

Details

Founded: 1159-1205
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Greg Bright (10 months ago)
A magnificent Cathedral set on the top of a high hill in the centre of Freising. The building is magnificent both internally and externally with views of the Alps. The walk from the town is long and steep but so worthwhile. Not to be missed.
Antonijo Runjak (11 months ago)
Ok
BradJill Travels (17 months ago)
Saint Mary and Corbinian Cathedral (Dom) is the feature attraction in Freising. Situated upon the hillside compound that overlooks the town, the church history dates all the way back to the 8th century and features Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo architectural aspects. This is a must-see place for those visiting this quaint little town outside of Munich. The church is unassuming from the outside, appearing to simply be a building entrance in the back corner of the small open courtyard. However, upon entry you are quickly treated to a remarkable interior. Starting with the nave, you will see heavy use of stucco work and frescos adorning the ceiling, wall and nave columns. This is the work of the locally famous Asam Brothers, Bavarian Baroque masters from the early 18th century. Simply put, the church is beautiful and worth taking a seat to enjoy for a few minutes. The pulpit is very attractive. As is the main altar and painting, aisle altars and side chapels. There is also a basement crypt with the tomb of St. Corbinian for which the cathedral is known. Keep you eyes open as well for the pillar of Beasts (Bestiensäule), a column carved in the Middle Ages that is considered one of the most distinguished sculptures in Europe. Overall, we were very impressed with the Saint Mary and Corbinian Cathedral (Dom). This is a Barque and Rococo gem in Feisling, as beautiful as any of the major churches that we visited in Munich.
TH3 TR/\V1R (23 months ago)
Well located place. The inside of the cathedral is overwhelming and reflects the prosperity of Cardinal seats of the Catholic church quite well. Good for people who are interested in religion and history. Easy to reach via public transport from the surrounding area. Recommended.
Rachael Redjou (2 years ago)
Beautiful church but very unassuming from the outside. Problem is, unless you knew it was there, it is hard to find. They are almost no signs outside the city center and within the church complex itself, there are no signs for the entrance, exit, etc. Inside, the art is amazing with incredible statuary and catacombs. The town is also very nice, with a nature walk and interesting art throughout the streets.
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Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter’s daughter Wanda, who drowned herself in the Vistula rather than marry a German knight. Towards the end of the first millennium A.D Wawel began to play the role of the centre of political power.In the 9th century it became the principal fortified castrum of the Vislane tribe. The first historical ruler of Poland, Miesco I (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty as well as his successors: Boleslas the Brave (992-1025) and Miesco II (1025-1034) chose Wawel Hill as one of their residences.

At that time Wawel became one of the main Polish centres of Christianity. The first early Romanesque and Romanesque sacral buildings were raised here, including a stone cathedral that was erected after the bishopric of Kraków was established in the year 1000.

During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became a significant political and administrative centre for the Polish State. Casimir’s son, Boleslas the Bold (1058-1079) began the construction of a second Romanesque cathedral, which was finished by Boleslas the Wrymouth (1102-1138). In his last will of 1138, this prince divided Poland into districts, and provided that Kraków was to be the residence of the senior prince. In 1291 the city of Kraków along with Wawel Hill temporarily fell under the Czech rule, and Wenceslas II from the Premysl dynasty was crowned King of Poland in Wawel cathedral.

In 1306 the Duke of Kuyavia Ladislas the Short (1306-1333) entered Wawel and was crowned King of Poland in the Cathedral in 1320. It was the first historically recorded coronation of a Polish ruler on Wawel Hill. Around that time, at the initiative of Ladislas the Short, the construction of the third Gothic cathedral began, the castle was expanded and the old wooden and earthen fortifications were replaced by brick ones. The tomb of Ladislas the Short in the cathedral started a royal necropolis of Polish kings in Krakow.The last descendant of the Piast dynasty, Casimir the Great (1333-1370) brought Wawel to a state of unprecedented splendour. In 1364 the expanded gothic castle witnessed the marriage of Casimir’s granddaughter Elizabeth to Charles IV accompanied by a famous convention of kings and princes, subsequently entertained by a rich burgher Wierzynek. The accession to the throne in 1385 of Jadwiga from the Hungarian dynasty of Andegavens, and her marriage to a Lithuanian prince Ladislas Jagiello (1386-1434) started another era of prosperity for Wawel. The royal court employed local and western European artists and also Rus painters. During the reign of Casimir Jagiellon (1447-1492) the silhouette of the hill was enriched by three high brick towers: the Thieves’ Tower, the Sandomierz Tower and the Senatorial Tower. The first humanists in Poland and tutors to the king’s sons: historian Jan Długosz and an Italian by the name Filippo Buonacorsi (also known as Callimachus) worked there at that time.

The Italian Renaissance arrived at Wawel in the early 16th century. King Alexander (1501-1506) and his brother Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) commissioned the construction of a new palace in place of the Gothic residence, with an impressive large courtyard with arcaded galleries which was completed about 1540. Sigismund’s patronage also left an indelible impression in the cathedral, where a family chapel was erected, known today as Sigismund’s Chapel - the work of Bartolomeo of Berrecci Florence, and through various foundations, one of which was that of a large bell, called the Sigismund to commemorate the king. Close artistic and cultural relations with Italy were strengthened in 1518 by the king’s marriage to Bona Sforza. Alongside Italian artists, German architects, wood workers, painters and metal smiths worked for the king. The last descendant of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), enriched the castle’s interiors with a magnificent collection of tapestries woven in Brussels. In the “Golden Age” of Polish culture Wawel became one of the main centres of humanism in Europe.

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After Poland had lost its independence in 1795, the troops of partitioning nations, Russia, Prussia and Austria, subsequently occupied Wawel which finally passed into the hands of the Austrians. The new owners converted the castle and some of the secular buildings into a military hospital, and demolished some others, including churches. After the period of the Free City of Kraków (1815-1846) Wawel was once more annexed by Austria and turned into a citadel dominating the city. By the resolution passed by the Seym of Galicia in 1880, the castle was presented as a residence to the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I. The Austrian troops left the hill between 1905-1911. At the turn of the 20th century a thorough restoration of the cathedral was conducted, and shortly afterwards a process of restoration of the royal castle began which lasted several decades.

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