Freising Tourist Attractions
The old Bavarian town of Freising, the see of a bishop from the eighth to the 18th C, lies on the high left bank of the Isar, here flowing along the north side of the Erlinger Moos.Freising, today the principal town of its district (population: 36,000; altitude: 448m/1,470ft) is situated 33km/20mi north of Munich.
Cathedral of St Mary and St Korbinian
Freising's most outstanding attraction, its Romanesque Cathedral of St Mary and St Korbinian, was constructed anew between 1160 and 1205 from remnants surviving from a fire in 1159. The five-aisle basilica was given its vaulted roof in 1480-82, and lavishly decorated by the Asam brothers in 1723-24 with stucco ornament and paintings. Since 1983 it has been co-cathedral of the archdiocese of Munich with Freising.A Gothic porch between the twin towers leads via a stepped Romanesque doorway (figures of the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, Bishop Albert I and the Empress Beatrix) into the cathedral interior.The Romanesque crypt, which survives in its original form, is one of the oldest of its kind in Germany. Among the 24 columns in three rows supporting the vaulting, with capitals of varying shape, stands a famous "animal column", made up of the intertwined bodies of men and monsters. Also in the crypt is the tomb of the church's founder, Bishop Korbinian.Adorning the high altar is a copy of Rubens' sublime "The Apocalyptic Women" (c. 1625), the original of which has been removed to the Alte Pinokothek.In 1723/1724 the interior of the church was brilliantly refurbished in the Baroque style by the brothers Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam.
Diocesan Museum on the Domberg
The Diocesan Museum on the Domberg boasts the most comprehensive collection of sacred art in Germany and provides an almost continuous history of the Catholic church from the 11th to the 19th centuries. The famous "Lukasbild", a quite exceptional icon from Constantinople, warrants special mention.
Benedictine Monastery of Weihenstephan
To the south of the market place in Freising lies the former Benedictine monastery of Weihenstephan. St Korbinian founded the first monastery on the site in 725; the earliest references to Weihenstephan however are found in documents dating from 1003, by which time the monastery had already been destroyed by the Huns and rebuilt. In 1040 Weihenstephan's Benedictine monks were granted the right to brew, thus giving rise to a tradition of brewing unrivaled anywhere in the world.Following the opening of the electoral "Musterlandwirtschaftschule" (Model Farming School) and "Centralbaumschule" (Central Tree School), from 1803 onwards Weihenstephan began its transformation into one of the most renowned colleges of its kind in Germany, incorporating the faculties of agriculture and horticulture and the departments of food technology and dairy science of Munich's Technical University and five specialist departments of its own.The 5ha/12 acre "Staudensichtungsgarten" on the northern slope of Thalhauser Strasse offers pleasant walking.
Rising 80m/262ft above the roofs of Freising Old Town is the lovely Baroque tower of the Stadtpfarrkirche St Georg (St George's Parish Church). The Hauptstrasse-Marienplatz area includes some pleasing town houses, among them the "Zierer-Haus" in the Rindermarkt; looking around, elements of Gothic, Baroque and Biedermeier are all to be seen.The Gothic St George's was built around 1440 by Jörg Ganghofer, later to make his name as the architect of Munich's Frauenkirche.Opposite stands the former Prince Bishops' Lyzeum with its Baroque Asam Room decorated in 1709 by Hans Georg Asam, father of the famous brothers. The stucco and fresco ceiling is extraordinarily splendid.
Buildings on the Domberg
The 15th C. cloister on the east side of Freising cathedral was decorated in 1716 with frescoes and stucco-work by Johann Baptist Zimmermann. On its east side is a Benedictine church (ca. 1340) which has a Gothic window of the Virgin (1391) and stucco-work again dating from 1716.The Maximilian Chapel was built in 1710.The residence of the Prince Bishops ("Bischofsschloss") was erected on the foundations of the old Agilolfinger ducal palace. It is graced by the earliest Renaissance arcade north of the Alps.
Worth visiting in Freising is the former Premonstratensian convent in the suburb of Neustift. It now houses the local administrative offices, having earlier been used, following its secularisation, first as a barracks and then a textile factory.The parish church of St Peter and St Paul has a Late Roccoco high altar (1765) with carvings by Ignaz Günther. There are also fine choir stalls.The church of a former Premonstratensian monastery was rebuilt in 1751 by J. B. Zimmermann and Ignaz Günther.
Munich International Airport
Southeast of Freising, beyond the Isar, is the great level expanse of the Erdinger Moos, on which Munich's new airport, due to replace the existing airport of München-Riem, is under construction. Since it may be necessary to lower the water table in order to reduce the possibility of fog, this may lead to changes in the ecology of this moorland area.