St. Luke's Church, Munich
|St. Luke's Church, Munich
St. Lukas on the banks of the River Isar
|Affiliation||Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Parish church|
St. Luke's Church (German: St. Lukas or Lukaskirche) is the largest Protestant church in Munich, southern Germany. It was built in 1893-1896, designed by Albert Schmidt. St. Luke's is the only almost perfectly preserved Lutheran parish church of the historical Munich. St. Lukas is located on the banks of the Isar, between the Steinsdorfstraße and Mariannenplatz. Although the ground belongs to Mariannenplatz (Mariannenplatz 3), the main entrance is found at the Steinsdorfstraße. The two east towers and the almost 64 meter high dome shape the buildings on the western Isarkai. Although St. Luke's is called Der Dom Der Münchner Protestanten (The cathedral of Munich Protestants), the church is not a seat of a bishop.
History and description
The history of the Protestant church in Munich is rather short. The first Protestant groups early in 16th century were banned and suppressed. Bavaria was a predominantly Catholic kingdom under the reigning Wittelsbach family from the time of the Reformation, but in 1799 the Wittelsbach head, Prince-elector Max IV Joseph married Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine; a Lutheran princess, and there was suddenly a Protestant presence at court in Munich. 19th century Munich also became a city with a growing number of immigrants from other regions of Germany, many of them Lutherans. In 1826, there were already 6,000 Lutheran parishioners in the city. The first Protestant church, St. Matthew, was inaugurated in 1833. It was demolished in 1938 by the Nazis and rebuilt after the World War II in another location. The second Protestant church, St. Mark's, was inaugurated in 1877. By the last decades of the 19th century, Munich’s Lutherans were in need of a third, and larger church. But the Bavarian royal family was concerned to protect the Catholic character of the city, therefore the Lutherans were given land on the banks of the river Isar to build St. Luke's. The first stone was laid on 29 June 1893 and the church was consecrated on the first Advent, 1896.
Architecture and art
The architect Albert Schmidt has used pre-Reformation styles in order to please the Roman Catholic city rulers: The exterior architecture is built in Romanesque forms, while the interior is reminiscent of the early Rhenish Gothic based on the geometric shape of a Greek cross. In the east there is a three-sided apse, the western facade is seven-sided and has square towers. St. Luke's had some artistically outstanding stained glass windows from 1896-1899. They had been created by the München Mayer'sche Hofkunstanstalt (Mayer's court art workshop Munich) after drafts of the Englishman Charles Dixon, one of the best renowned glass painter of his time. Those windows were destroyed irretrievably during the great air raid of the 6/7 September 1943. The lost windows of the chancel were replaced by new ones by Hermann Kaspar in 1946. The altar painting is a work of the artist Gustav Adolf Goldberg, which is dedicated to the Entombment of Christ.
The organ was built in 1932 by the G.F. Steinmeyer & Co. (Oettingen).
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