Friday, April 16, 2010

Peterskirche in Munich, Germany

Top of Church across from Marian Square

A lovely traveling friend of my wife and I were standing in the Marienplatz in the middle of Munich, Germany, talking and listening to the Glockenspiel clock in the town hall building as it rang. Standing in the center of the platz we noticed people outside of a high steeple just a short distance from us. We learned that the church was called Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church) and was Munich's oldest church built in 1180.

We discovered, though it lacked an elevator, one was free to make the ascent up and out of the steeple. Our friend, a retired college English professor, and a few years my senor, wanted to go to the top to get a better view. My wife cast a “no vote”, but I could not let our dear friend go alone. So into the church we went, found the way into the attic and then the tower. Being the gentleman I am, I let her go before me and saw her forge her way upwards through makeshift ladders and steps. There were even some places I could hardly go through.

The distance was 303 feet in total height, and has 306 steps to the observation terrace located at 187 feet. I thought the 306 steps would not be like a lot, but I got a serious lower body workout on the way up. But the views are good, but space is tight on the terrace as you will have to squeeze by other folks at the top while walking around the 360 degree view.

The initial stairwell entrance is a little deceiving as it is really narrow, but it gets wider and has many switchbacks to allow for a breather and a chance to let people coming down squeeze by you.

At last, I heard the good doctor whisper out a “Whew!.” “We have made it,” she exclaimed tiredly.

A few more steps and I joined her as we looked out the small doorway and saw a narrow plank walkway protected by only a weak cable and aged fencing. We noticed others were returning off the platform as we prepared to go out for the most unexpected view. From this high pinnacle we were able to see all across the city and it being a beautiful day could see the Bavarian Alps to our south about 80 miles away. The view was worth the climb.

The way to heaven may appear rough at times, but to use the saying I saw on a bumper sticker, “Heaven is out of this world!”

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

Dr. Alton Loveless is the former CEO/President of Randall House Publications, Nashville, Tn., He is a freelance writer and has written for assorted publications printed both nationally and internationally.

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