The Peterskirche, being part to the monastery that gave the city its name, is the oldest church in Munich. Originally constructed in 1158 under Duke Otto I of Bavaria, between 1278 and 1294 it was replaced by a new church in the gothic style. During the following centuries, it was the object of romanesque, baroque and rococo alterations which have given the building its present appearance. The interior is richly decorated and comprises many works of art that deserve more than a passing glance. Johann Baptist Zimmermann’s stuccoes and frescoes, Erasmus Grasser’s red marble sepulchres and Jan Polack’s statues are only a few examples. Worth admiring are the magnificent High Altar, which is reminiscent of the Bernini one in the Vatican’s Basilica of Saint Peter, and the statue of Saint Peter, whose crown was removed on the death of the previous Pope and then restored, with a solemn ceremony, soon after the election of the present one. The relics of Saint Munditia, patron Saint of spinsters, are preserved in a side chapel. This is a skeleton, decorated with all sorts of gems, precious stones and gold, which receives the prayers of those women that hope to be blessed with the “grace” of finding a husband. The outer bell tower, called Alter Peter, dates from 1607. It is 92 metres tall and, with its eight clocks and seven bells, can provide the best panorama of Munich; this, however, must be earned step by step, 306 of them in total.
Further information: Peterskirche Rindermarkt 1, D-80331 Altstadt-Lehel, Munich. Tel: (+49) 89 2604-828 - www.alterpeter.de