Domberg, The Cathedral Church in Freising

Domberg is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  The current structure is a Romanesque building from the 13th century.  When you go in, however, it is a shock, because the interior had been redone in Baroque style in the 17th century.  It almost seems like a disconnect.  I once had an architecture professor who called the Baroque “Eclectic clutter.”  My reaction was “majestically bizarre.”  Elaborate frescoes, pink stucco, gilt and an alter piece originally painted by Rubens (The one there now is a reproduction, the original was carted off somewhere.)  The organ is really a baroque organ, the decoration is so over the top.  I can hardly imagine baroque organ music, like J.S. Bach coming from it, and I assume that Bach’s protestant tunes didn’t come from that organ in the beginning.

Domberg was the cathedral until the seat was moved to Munich.  It now has the status of co-cathedral for Munich and Freising.

The Collegiate Church of St. John is next to the Domberg,  It was built in the 14th century in the early Gothic style.  The church was used as a hay barn for about 40 years in the early 19th century after the secularization of Bavaria.  In the 1840s it was established as a “Study Church.”  There are faded paintings on the wall and the church is a relief after the overwhelming Domberg.

Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) was ordained at Domberg in 1951 and both studied and taught at the school connected with the church.

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