The huge red-brick, red-roofed Frauenkirche, built by Jörg von Halsbach as a parish church on the site of an earlier chapel, was completed in 1488; its two distinctive copper domes were added to the towers in 1525. It is now a cathedral and the seat of the Archbishop of München-Freising. The attractive, smooth white interior comes as a surprise after the brickwork of the outside – it's very light, an interesting plain design with simple octagonal pillars. I didn't appreciate the sheer bulk of the building until I got a view of it later from the tower of the Peterskirche.

The church is noted for the legend of the devil's footprint, the best description of which comes from the Rough Guide: "The architect... made a pact with the Devil. In order to get enough money to complete the church, he had to construct it without a single visible window. When the Devil came to inspect the completed church, he... was led to a certain point from which not one window was visible, since all were hidden by pillars. Stamping his foot in rage the Devil stormed off, leaving his black-hoofed footprint in the pavement by the entrance hall. Rebuilding following war damage has meant the trick no longer quite works, but the footprint is still there."

Certainly there are places where very few windows are visible, although there are plenty of them, which probably accounts for the pleasantly bright but soft lighting. The entrance porch is now built over the footprint, with tiles carefully laid around it. While I was inside the Frauenkirche the sun came out, weak at first but eventually very hot in an almost clear blue sky; the first time I'd had real sun since I left home.

You are here: Home > Grand Tour > Destinations > Munich > Frauenkirche