Munich’s oldest church in the city center
Peterskirche better known as "Alter Peter" (Old Peter) is located on Petersbergl (Peter’s hill), which marks the highest point in Munich’s Old Town. Even before the founding of the city, in 1058, a chapel occupied this site, forming the core of the first church erected here, an 11th-century Romanesque building, which was followed in the 13th century by a Gothic structure that burned to the ground in the great city fire of 1327. In 1365 the church was rebuilt and in 1386 given a twin-tower facade that featured Munich’s first city clock. Once again, however, misfortune reigned over “Old Peter” and the twin towers were blown to bits by lightning, being replaced by the single tower we admire today. In the early 17th century the church was given a complete Baroque facelift. Rococo touches were put on the interior in the 18th century. Heavy damage in World War II required rebuilding work that lasted until 1975.
The bells didn’t just serve the purpose of calling worshippers to prayer. After the lightning blast that destroyed the spires, the new tower basically doubled as Munich’s first fire station—a watchtower for sounding alarms to prevent fires like the one that destroyed the city in 1327. The bells themselves are also quite old, including one from 1382 and two others from 1605 and 1720, respectively.
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