Church of St Martin

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Landshut, Germany

Church of St Martin Landshut Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
371 reviews
Church of St Martin Feb 02, 2017
The main parish church of Landshut is a magnificent gothic building with an enormous steeple that is visible from almost everywhere. So far I knew brick gothic only from the North on the Baltic Sea coast. In this part of Lower Bavaria, though, they also have no natural stone suitable for construction, so they used bricks here, too.

The tall steeple is Landshut's Landmark and a useful signpost to find your way, as it is visible from almost everywhere. It is said to be the tallest brick tower in the world. I cannot tell whether this is true, but it is certainly - tall. At the same time it is a very elegant building. The bottom has a square ground, the top part is octogonal. Its spire must be as high, if not higher, than the roofs of Trausnitz castle on the hilltop. As the last part of the church to be completed, the steeple was built around 1500, entirely on bricks. Its weight is carried by thousands of fir poles thats erve as foundation. All sides have large clockfaces and, one storey below, equally large sundials. The pointed spire is ornated with crown-shaped tracery. The steeple can be climbed (almost 500 steps).

The interior is jawdropping because of its sheer size. The wide hall has huge windows, hence a lot of light. The slender columns seem almost too delicate to carry the vaults. The vaults of the central nave reach a height of 28,8 metres, total length is about 90 metres. The pendant crucifix is gigantic, too. Christ is 5.8 metres tall.

The church is full of art works - hard to decide where to begin: sculptures, reliefs, frescoes. Among the stained glass windows in the side chapels, there is a remarkable one on the left: created shortly after World War II, it includes, among the henchmen who torture the saint, two with the faces of Hitler and Goebbels.

On the outside wall of the church, on the Southern side, there is a tombstone or rather epitaph with three crests and the fine portrait of an elderly man, which is protected behind glass. This man was the "master of the church" according to the inscription. In Landshut this is interpreted as: He was the master builder.

Which makes me wonder: is Steinmetz his family name or his profession (stonemason), so was he the master builder indeed, or does "master" refer to a function like administering the finances?
Church of St Martin
The steeple is visible from almost…
Steeple seen from Dreifaltigkeitsp…
Streetview from the east
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photo by: vicIII