Monday, October 6, 2008

Temple Tales - 6: Rococo Architecture in the heart of Bavaria

'Temple Tales' returns, this time with a look at Weiss Kirche (White Church), a classic small church in the middle of a meadow in the Bavarian countryside of Germany. The classic architecture of Bavaria is generally extremely ornate and exemplifies drama and grandeur. When this ornate 'Baroque' architecture is used with curves and shell-like structures, the architecture is termed 'Rococo' for a combination of the French Rocaille, or shell and the Italian Barocco, or baroque styles.

As you approach the Weiss Kirche, it looks like most of the churches in small-town Germany and shows nothing of the ornate sculptures it holds inside. Its only when you venture in that you're overwhelmed with the amount of rococo art.

The Church was built in 1746 AD and has an interesting story behind it as well. Apparently a carved figure of Jesus was dug up nearby in 1738 and it began crying real tears and the church was then built at this site. The church is today a UNESCO World heritage site. The large ceiling fresco depicts the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment.

The Weiss Kirche is located in the area called Pfaffenwinkel between Munich and Fuessen. If you take the Romantic Road bust tour in Germany, this is a stop on the way and well worth it. You spend about 30 minutes here and there is a nice cafe nearby with delicious local food.