Not for the faint of heart, the climb up the 302 steps that lead to the top of the main steeple at Peterskirche in Munich (one of the oldest and most notable churches in Munich’s center, also known as St. Peter’s Church) is worth every gasp and every strain. The view from the top is truly impressive, and the church itself is deserving of a proper, lengthy stay, and some careful investigation.
The building has suffered damage many times over the years (most notably during the great fire that engulfed the city in the early 14th century), but each new addition and reconstruction has added key elements to the design that visitors and residents have come to know and love.
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The interior of the main church is dominated by a beautiful high alter donated by Erasmus Grasser in honor of Saint Peter. Other notable features include five Gothic paintings by Jan Polack and several altars by Ignaz Günther. A ceiling fresco originally painted by Johann Baptist Zimmermann in the 18th century was restored to an impressive extent in 1999. Don’t let its recentness put you off, though. It is easily one of the most beautiful sights in the city.
For newcomers to Munich—as well as visitors looking to soak up the maximum amount of historical data and culture—guided group tours come highly recommended. It pays to do a little research in advance as there are many offering their expertise, and many tours are highly specialized.