In the Wies Church Steingaden the Bavarian Rococo style finds its perfection. Enjoy the congenial interplay of architecture, colors and light. Built from 1746-1757 the church is located about 100 km south-west of Munich in the Upper Bavarian Pfaffenwinkel in the district of Weilheim-Schongau.
When entering the building, the richly decorated stucco work with gold painting captivates the eye of the beholder.The imposing dome fresco by Johann Baptist Zimmermann is so detailed and full of colors that you risk a stiff neck when you look at it.The fresco tells the story of the salvation of Jesus Christ, who victoriously triumphs over death and goes to heaven.Especially for pilgrims in the old days, the ceiling picture was a reminder that it is never too late to change one’s life and to repent.Because a virtuous life was then considered a ticket to the heavenly paradise. But also the pulpit, the sanctuary and the image of grace are masterpieces of the splendid Rococo period.
Even today many pilgrims come to the church, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It attracts more than one million visitors every year.
The legend surrounding the Wies Church Steingaden
A legend tells why the church was built. Since 1730 it was custom to perform Good Friday processions in the village of Steingaden. During these processions, a figure of the holy Savior played an important role. But the builder had designed the figure too lifelike. This irritated and confused many, so that they could no longer concentrate on praying. Thus the wife of a local farmer named Maria Lory took the statue in her care. She prayed every day to the figure. One day she noticed that the eyes of the Savior were wet and believed them to be tears. The local clerics had their doubts about this phenomenon. Nevertheless, they allowed the construction of a church in honor of the Savior. Stories of spontaneous healing quickly made the rounds. Soon, seekers of salvation flocked in droves to Steingaden. .
Saved from destruction
At the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution in France, and subsequently Napoleon, demanded the abolition of churches and monasteries in much of Europe. The monastery in Steingaden 1803 was the victim of secularization and was largely demolished. A similar fate also threatened the Wieskirche. It is thanks to the tireless efforts of the faithful and especially of the surrounding farmers that the church wasn’t destroyed.
ATTENTION: Please note that there are regular church services and concerts taking place in the Wies Church Steingaden. During masses or concerts the church is closed. Sightseeing is not possible at these times.
Siyu has been a researcher for financial service providers in the UK, sold machinery and equipment in China, and helps European companies with finding the right blockchain-solutions. In her spare time she likes to explore forgotten castle ruins and share tips about free to visit sights and attractions.