Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Monastery of the Assumption in Diessen, Germany

The subject of our recent quiz is the baptistery of the Marienmuenster in Diessen, Bavaria, a remarkable Baroque church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It was built for a community of Augustinian Canons founded in the 1120s by the Counts of Andechs, after whom another monastery close by is named. (Kloster Andechs is quite famous in Bavaria as the place where a deservedly popular beer is produced, and also for the large brauhaus next to the monastery.) The current church at Diessen is the work of the architect Johannes Michael Fischer, in collaboration with many other artists and architects, and was constructed from 1732-39. Since the secularization of German ecclesiastical properties in 1803, it has served as the parish church of the nearby market town of Unterdiessen.

Note that the side-chapels are all oriented in the same direction as the main altar; this is a common arrangement in Germany, whereas Italian Baroque churches almost always have the side-chapels perpendicular to the walls of the nave.
A closer view of the high altar.
The side altar dedicated to the Cross, for Masses of the Dead.
The pulpit
The main side-altar of the Virgin, originally for the daily Votive Mass of the Virgin Mary.
Many of the pews still have at the end these poles, which were carried in processions by confraternities and pious associations. Their insignia can be seen near the bottom of the upper part, as here; the one on the right of this photograph belonged to the local butchers.
The organ

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