The minster on the Fraueninsel (1)

A short guided tour round the island's minster

Before you enter the minster, please take a few moments to just stand in the cemetery.


If you look to your north, you will see the oldest building on the island, the Carolingian gatehouse. It is the only example of its kind in southern Germany. It is currently believed to have been built by Duke Tassilo III. in 782, together with the abbey and church.

Above the arcades of the gatehouse you will see barrel vaulting with the Chapel of St. Michael. On the walls of the chapel’s apse one can admire five important angel frescos, which are part of the chapel’s original decoration. Together with the Romanesque frescos in the minster, they are among the most important archaeological-cultural discoveries of recent times in southern Germany.

Currently during the summer months the gatehouse houses an Agilolfing memorial exhibition.

The minster is one of the oldest church buildings in southern Germany. It was constructed as asingle-aisle Romanesque basilica. The foundations and part of the walls date from Carolingian times (8th century). The rest of the building was added around 1000AD.

The ambulatory around the High Altar and the three side chapels are of later origin.

From the steps of the Gothic porch, added in 1472, one can contemplate the Romanesque main entrance with its weathered sandstone tympanum and its depiction of the Tree of Life, which draws our thoughts to Christ’s sacrifice and death.

The finely-engraved door knocker on the Gothic, iron-clad door is Romanesque and is in the form of a stylised lion’s head