Germany, Munich

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The landmark Frauenkirche, built between 1468 and 1488, is Munich's spiritual heart and the Mt Everest among its churches. No other building in the central city may stand taller than its onion-domed twin towers, which reach a skyscraping 99m. The south tower can be climbed, but has been under urgent renovation for several years.

The church sustained severe bomb damage in WWII; its reconstruction is a soaring passage of light but otherwise fairly spartan. Of note are the epic cenotaph (empty tomb) of Ludwig the Bavarian, just past the entrance, and the bronze plaques of Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II affixed to nearby pillars.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Munich attractions

1. Fünf Höfe

0.09 MILES

Munich usually feels more cosy than cosmopolitan, but one exception is the Fünf Höfe, a ritzy shopping arcade whose modernist design is as interesting as…

2. Neues Rathaus Tower

0.11 MILES

For pinpointing Munich's landmarks without losing your breath, catch the lift up this 85m-tall tower.

3. Neues Rathaus

0.11 MILES

The soot-blackened façade of the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus is festooned with gargoyles, statues and a dragon scaling the turrets; the tourist office is on…

4. Glockenspiel

0.11 MILES

The Glockenspiel has 43 bells and 32 figures that perform two historical events. The top half tells the story of a tournament held in 1568 to celebrate…

5. Marienplatz

0.13 MILES

The epicentral heart and soul of the Altstadt, Marienplatz is a popular gathering spot and packs a lot of personality into a compact frame. It's anchored…

6. Mariensäule

0.13 MILES

Mariensäule (St Mary's Column) was erected in 1638 to celebrate Bavaria's victory over Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War. It's topped by a…

7. Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung

0.15 MILES

Fünf Höfe, a fashionable shopping mall, also houses the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, a modern gallery space renowned for quality cross-genre…

8. Michaelskirche

0.16 MILES

It stands quiet and dignified amid the retail frenzy out on Kaufingerstrasse, but to fans of Ludwig II, the Michaelskirche is the ultimate place of…