Location: Würzburg, Germany
Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:
I mistakenly thought that this was Würzburg Cathedral, and toured around with that in mind. It wasn't until I was back and checked the photos online that I realized my humbling error. Yet to me it wasn't surprising, even in hindsight, to have made such a mistake. Its façade looked authentically medieval compared to the recently renovated cathedral next door. Even more convincing was the trove of frescoes and artwork adorning the halls of the church, cementing my faith that I was in the cathedral when I was in reality standing within the halls of Neumünster Church.
Like the rest of the medieval churches in Würzburg, Neumünster Church too had witnessed the ravages of war and the unforgiving flow of history. The Second World War had damaged Würzburg Cathedral more than the church, but even so, its northern choir stall, facilities in the dome region and numerous paintings were irreparably damaged.
Compared to the cathedral next door, the church exuded more of an aura of history, its curved Baroque sandstone façade with intricate carvings and statuettes lent a complexity to the overall Romanesque architecture. Although the building was constructed in 1060, numerous additions and renovations on the church had further lent it a complex mixture of architectures. The extravagant Baroque façade, added in 1710 - 1716, was a good example of this.
I ascended the steps and entered another world within the church. The pristine white interior of the church was adorned with beautifully painted frescoes and paintings, all of which were very recent additions. Various depictions of holy themes stared down from the heavens, which in this church, were vaulted ceilings. The marvellous artworks culminated at the altar where gilded pieces threatened to glare me in the eyes.
This breathtaking view awed me into stupor when I entered the church and stared at the arts looking down from the literal heavens.
The organ is situated above the entrance to the church.
|Candles in the Wind|
The most extensive frescoes are those situated under the domed ceiling.
|Ray of sunshine, glimmer of hope|
After spending a significant amount of time checking the various artworks in the church, I spied some visitors emerging from a staircase leading down. Out of curiosity, my adventurous side decided to wander down to have a look. It seemed that the church had a crypt below, albeit a clean and modern one, unlike those scary ones from horror movies.
The patron saint of the church, St Killian, had his remains kept in this crypt in a bronze box altar. I found that the artworks did not end with the church above as a few intriguing artworks existed below here as well. One of them was a modern contemporary art, featuring a fellow hovering against an illusionary background. Seemed rather out of place with the rest of the arts featuring Renaissance themes.
|Into the unknown|
This underground chamber is St Killian's Crypt, and despite the well lit space, it could still be a little creepy to be alone down here for long.
This is the box altar where the patron saints remains were kept. The carvings of its sides showed the life of Jesus.
Makes you wonder what crawled out... The stone sarcophagus and its cover with a cross carved into it were artefacts from the 9th century and were recovered from Kiliansplatz. The painting behind them featured 'The Lamentation of Christ'.
|A final look above as I climbed out of the crypt.|
Environment: A beautiful church
Suitable for: Religious and art appreciators
Visit worthiness: 9/10 (the frescoes are most worthy of your time)
Entrance Fee: free
Historical value: 5.0/5.0
Architectural value: 5.0/5.0
Photographic value: 4.0/5.0
Landmark value: 4.5/5.0
Landmark value: 4.5/5.0
Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: (Sun & Pub Holidays) 7.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.
(weekdays & Sat) 6.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.
Best Moment to Visit: Early in the day when there are less people, beware of mass when you could not visit freely
Length of Visit: 1 hour
Contact: +49 (0) 931 - 386 -628 - 00
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