Wieskirche: ornately decorated and completely unexpected

We visited the Wieskirche on our second day in Bavaria, and I'm skipping ahead a little and sharing pictures from there ahead of the day's cycling, It deserves it's own post as it was so breathtaking and stunning and completely unexpected.

We arrived just after lunch and emerged from the woods to see the UNESCO protected church in the distance. We approached the Wieskirche through open countryside and not through the tourist coaches and everything that goes with them which we saw later on the far side of the building.


The large oval church dates back to 1754 and was built to house the dilapidated wooden figure of the Saint of the Scourged Saviour. Several years before in 1738 tears has been seen on the figure, then housed on a small farm and so a small chapel was built to house it. The Wieskirche was built as the resulting pilgrimages meant that small chapel was quickly outgrown.

We quickly spotted where to park our bikes - yes even here, there was a bike stand - and headed towards the church.


We soon realised this was likely to be something special when we spotted the amount of detail on the outside.


But neither of us were quite expecting this:

Well you wouldn't expect that of a church in a meadow (or Wieskirche) would you?

The German architect Dominikus Zimmerman designed this church and his brother Johann Baptist, the fresco master, helped created the lavish interior of the late Baroque church. In 1983 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site and underwent extensive restoration between 1985 and 1991.

The detail of those silver candlesticks were amazing, and I'm sure they're not light either!

The organ - above the door we entered - was equally as ornately decorated but seemed to go unnoticed by many of the people there the same time as us; they certainly missed out.

With all it's ornateness it was reassuring to sit in plain wooden pews, and a shame that these were bearing the marks of previous visitors.


Back outside we headed down towards the throng of tourists mainly to explore some more. I was pretty taken with the tiling on the roof of the Gasthof, but as we'd already eaten we didn't stop.

Having got as far as the car park we headed back to where we'd left our bikes, but not without visiting the small chapel first.

Back at the bikes it was time to get back on the saddle and pick up our route and follow the directions to our hotel for that night, I'll share more about the cycling from day 2 later in the week - but even now looking back at those photos I'm still amazed at how beautiful the Wieskirche was, and how totally unexpected it was!