The minster on the Fraueninsel (2)

The most significant art treasures in the minster are the Romanesque frescoes which were uncovered in the garret in the 1960s. The archaeological inspections of 1961 brought to light fragments of apparently Ottonian frescoes in the three right- and three left-hand sections of the vaulting on the wall to the right and left of the High Altar. 

The 11th century campanile, standing alone to the north of the minster, is unique. 

 

With a diameter of 8.8 metres, 2-metre thick walls, and at a height of 36 metres, the campanile is not part of the original monastery. It was built as a defensive tower and a place of refuge at the time of the Hungarian invasions of the early 10th century.

It was not converted into a bell tower for the minster until the 13th and 14th centuries.

 

In 1573 the characteristic onion-shaped dome was added and today it is one of the landmarks of the Chiemgau.

On the right- and left-hand walls of the baptismal chapel in the minster one finds arcades which are part of the Romanesque basilica. These date from around 1000AD 

The Late Gothic baptismal font from1475 is fitted with a wooden cover dating from 1602 and depicts both the Holy Trinity and the seven sacraments

On our right as we pass the tomb of Blessed Irmengard, we come to her original burial place, discovered in 1961, in a vault under the south-west pillar of the original abbey.

Already revered as a saint while she was still alive, Irmengard was buried in the foundations of the church. 

 

The original sarcophagus, a plain, square coffin of white marble, which was re-discovered as a result of the 1961 excavations, dates from the late Roman period. 

The inscribed coffin lid was apparently destroyed during the re-building of the church in 1475 and has been missing ever since. The identity of the sarcophagus is confirmed by the precise description we have of the opening of the grave and the removal of the bones of blessed Irmengard in 1631.