Thursday, 8 October 2015

Asam Church, Munich

Stumbled across this gem whilst trying to get out of the cold and rain in Munich last weekend. My friend and I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was. Ostentatiously and sublimely Baroque in every sense. Multiplicity of materials, colours, textures and gems - terrifyingly impressive and equally as intimidating - walls so convoluted that the space is literally moving.
Asam's Church, or otherwise known in German as Asamkirche, was built between the 1730s and 1760s by two brothers called Egid and Cosmas Asam (hence the name).
Originally intended for private use as a private chapel, it soon outraged local residents and was opened to the public.
The design is densely rich and faithful to the Italians and their high Baroque. It is reported that the artistic brother of the two Cosmas (who was responsible for the incredible tromp l'oeil fresco on the ceiling) travelled Italy extensively and therefore would have been influenced by what was going on there.
The church is divided in three, similar to many other holy places. This of course is alluding to the father, son and holy spirit. This was not new. Think of every single Florentine church between the years 1450 and 1550, they'll be divided into three. Think of Constantine's arch, and every subsequent triumphal arch since... divided into three. However, what made this one different, is that the divide into three was not on the exterior and therefore not immediately obvious. It was on the inside. The bottom is dark and demonising, as if to represent the seminal sin that humans share on earth. The middle is lighter and glamorous, to signify God's dignitaries on earth - the kings and emperors that he had supposedly anointed. Lastly, the ceiling, is light and beautiful and pointing upwards into the sky, to represent heaven.





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