Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
16Trip End Jul 03, 2011
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The Frauenkirche was built in a mere 20 years. There are 3 reasons that this structure was able to be built so fast. Firstly it's made of brick which was of local supply and didn't have to be imported and secondly because the Catholic church sold over 110,000 indulgences to help fund it in a short period of time to the city's mere 13000 inhabitants. The last reason is more of a folk story. According to my tour guide the devil came to town and entered the church while it was being built. He noticed there were no windows and that it would a dark dank place more suitable to worshiping someone like him. So he made a deal with the architect that if he did not build any more windows that he would send his minions to help it be completed in 20 years and make him famous and wealthy.
They agreed and the church was built. But when the devil returned at it's completion he noticed the windows. He was angry and went to take the architect's soul as punishment. But the devil had been tricked. The way the columns are lined up down the center aisle of the church they hide all the windows which the devil had failed to notice on his first visit. In anger he stomped his foot on the ground leaving an impression. So there is a footprint in the main entrance to this day (probably the architect's) and that's the third and final explanation as to why the church was built so quickly.
The Frauenkirche was mostly destroyed during bombings in WWII save for it's two twin towers so much of it is a replica of it's original self. However all of the art work and sculptures are original because of a policy Hitler had of replicating valuable artwork and hiding away the originals in bunkers. He did this to prevent their loss in the anticipated retaliatory attacks and bombings from the Allied forces during the war.
Another interesting fact is that this church was once the stomping ground of the current Pope Benedict (?). In addition on the ceiling of the church where some of the supports come together there is a crest of a Jewish Menorah. The story behind this was when the Jews were being persecuted, this church went to them and offered to store their religious texts and artifacts so that they would have something to come back to start over from when the time was right. So when the Frauenkirche was destroyed in the bombings and didn't have the money to rebuild the Jewish community remembered their kind action and donated about 60% of the funds needed. So the Menorah is a symbol of thanks.
As we walked along some of the streets our tour guide gave us some really fascinating history about the early stages of the Nazi party and it's roots in Munich. We walked along many of the same routes Hitler did when setting in motion his revolution. We passed one area that had a plaque dedicated to fallen Nazis that if you did not salute it when you walked by you were beaten and made an example of. We even discussed the roots of Kristallnacht which took place in Munich. to conclude the tour we walked around the viktualienmarkt, the fresh open air market.
After the art museums my feet were killing me so I trucked on back to my hostel. I began this post in the Frauenkirche and am ending it in my hostel. Today was my first travel day alone and I'll admit it was both liberating and lonely. I'll be going out to a beer garden with some of the girls in a little bit and who knows what I'll get into tomorrow.