Ludwigskirche (Church of St Ludwig)

LUDWIGSKIRCHE: This washed-white house of worship hides a great artistic treasure within its bowels. The Church of St Ludwig (built 1829 – 1844) is home to the world’s biggest altar fresco.

Ludwigs kirche outside
PROTOTYPE: The church's design became a model for several others around the world.

It’s Peter von Cornelius’ interpretation of the Last Judgement (1840), intended to be even more impressive than Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in Rome’s Sistine Chapel.

The church was designed by Friedrich von Gärtner in the neo-romanesque style. Its twin towers are a nice counterweight the yellow numbers at the Theatinerkirche further down Ludwig Strasse.

Above the front portal are statues of Jesus and the four Evangelists. Golgotha, an abstract white upside-down crucifix by Wilhelm Breitsameter takes over the transept to the left of the altar.

Ludwigs kirche frescoe
JUDGEMENT DAY: Peter von Cornelius’ interpretation of the Last Judgement.

The Ludwigskirche was undergoing major reconstruction work in 2009 including a retiling of the now almost psychedelically bright yellow, green, blue and red roof.

I love the quiet and tranquillity in inside this church just a stone’s throw away from the roaring traffic of Ludwigs Strasse.

The Last Judgement here sure is big and impressive but I don’t think it cuts the mustard with Michelangelo’s interpretation.

The details

Location: Ludwig Strasse 20
Take U-Bahn No. 3 or 6 to Universität and look for the twin towers.

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