We stopped at this church on our way to Neuschwanstein castle and it’s so pretty I felt it needed its own post. Weiskirche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, designated as such in 1984 and underwent extensive restoration shortly after. Interesting story of how it came to be. In 1738 a local woman moved into a new home and discovered a statue of Jesus in a box in her attic. It’s quite a graphic statue of a very thin Jesus with a chain around his neck, but what surprised her the most was that it was crying real tears. Shocked, she told people about it and word spread so fast that her home quickly became over run with visitors wishing to see the statue for themselves. This went on for two years until the woman was able to get a small chapel built for the statue a couple miles from her home. Due to its increasing popularity, and supposed miracle healings, it was soon obvious that the small chapel wasn’t large enough. In 1745 construction began on the new church and lasted roughly 10yrs until it was completed. Today it is visited by thousands of people a year to see the statue, called The Scourged Savior, and marvel at the beauty of the church.
The location of the church couldn’t be more picturesque. Surrounded by farmland and rolling hills, it’s the only large structure for several miles. There are a couple small inns if you wished to stay here and one restaurant/cafe. Ample parking down the hill before you get to the church. The original chapel still stands and has a lovely ceiling so remember to look up when you visit.
Inside the church is breathtaking. You are allowed to take photos inside as long as there is not a service going on and you are respectful to other visitors. The statue is up at the front, beyond the alter. You can not get very close to it and it is only about 3’ tall, but you can zoom in with your camera for a better shot if you can’t see it very well. The ceiling fresco blew me away here. Totally didn’t expect something so beautiful in a church so far from any large city. Also look to the rear of the church on the balcony as the organ is equally impressive.
I will admit that my photos do this church no justice. It is really worth the visit. It’s also worth mentioning that the church has no heating and is actually several degrees colder inside than it is outside so if visiting in the winter, dress accordingly.
Directly across from the church is a small inn with restaurant and cafe called Gasthof Schweiger. We visited the cafe mid morning and were treated to hot, fresh wieskücherl, a Bavarian donut/cake topped with cinnamon and sugar. They cook them right out front so when I say fresh, it was really fresh! They were similar to an elephant ear from your local fair but not as thin. Definitely worth the €2.50. They also had very clean bathrooms and excellent hot chocolate. The staff spoke English very well so that was a nice bonus too.
You’ll find a couple small gift shops near the parking area. I found their prices to be cheaper than many other more popular locations so they may be worth a look if you are hunting for some Bavarian souvenirs.
I hope you add this church and cafe to your visit as they are worth your time. Located between Neuschwanstein Castle and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it’s a good stop for a break along the drive.