Ceiling of the Wieskirche
Explore the vast collection of Baroque art and architecture to be found in the historical Bavarian lands
Visit churches, monasteries and palaces, including Schloss Nymphenburg and Ettal Abbey
Take in spectacular scenery as we journey through Alpine territories, past Bavarian lakes and across the Danube Valley
“Alex Koller was a revelation – his breadth and depth of knowledge is phenomenal! Impressive, inspiring and approachable – I hope to travel with Alex again soon!”
- ACE customer on a 2023 tour led by Alex Koller
This new tour explores the array of fine Baroque art and architecture to be found in southern Germany, in its many regional and stylistic variants. Following a route from the Alpine territories of Upper Bavaria towards Munich, we continue into Lower Bavaria, Regensburg and its environs.
The influence of Italian architects and designers was felt in the region as reconstruction began after the devastations of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). In the 18th century, this initial activity turned into what is known as the famous ‘Bauwurm’, the building frenzy that created one of Europe’s great artistic legacies and gripped ecclesiastical institutions like monasteries and parishes, as well as the courts of the many regional princes in the area.
As a result, a number of schools of Baroque architecture and decoration developed; the several architects involved are amongst the leading lights of the period, such as Johann Michael Fischer, the brothers Zimmermann and the Asam family. Their involvement is reflected in the major works of the era.
Particular highlights of our tour will include a visit to the former monastery church of St Johann Baptist at Steingaden, with a rococo interior dating from 1740-42; the Wieskirche, a major example of 18th century German architecture; and Ettal Abbey, one of the largest Benedictine houses, which underwent a spectacular rebuilding in the Baroque style to the designs of Swiss-Italian architect Enrico Zuccalli, who had studied with Bernini.
Zuccalli was also involved in an 18th century extension to Schloss Nymphenburg, commissioned by Maximilian Emanuel, heir to Bavaria and sovereign electorate of the Holy Roman Empire begun in 1701. The palace was originally built to the designs of Italian architect Agostino Barelli, considered one of the key individuals responsible for introducing Italian Baroque architecture to Bavaria. We also look forward to seeing Barelli’s Theatinerkirche as part of an exploration of the Baroque churches to be found in Munich.
Further highlights of our tour include a visit to Schloss Schleissheim, situated in a grand Baroque park and home to several important paintings by Flemish Baroque painters including Rubens and Van Dyck, amongst other Old Masters.
As we gain a comprehensive overview of the highlights of the Baroque in southern Germany, we will enjoy changes of scenery as we journey from the foothills of the Alps to the Bavarian lakes. We will also have time to absorb the picturesque traditional architecture of the quintessential Bavarian town of Regensburg, a vibrant and well-preserved medieval town listed by UNESCO, with its beautiful Gothic cathedral and charming bridge over the Danube.
We will stay at comfortable hotels of four-star standard in Ettal, Munich and Regensburg.
This tour will be led by Alex Koller, PhD, an expert in art and architectural history. Born in Vienna, Alex has lived and studied in Vienna, Salzburg and Cambridge, gaining his PhD in History of Art from Magdalene College. Alex is an accomplished linguist and has travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Far East.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, seven breakfasts, seven dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £385.