Prince-Bishop's Residence (Freising)

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East facade with the small residential tower and the adjoining prince's corridor
South facade with Belvedere (right) and Seidlturm

The Prince-Bishop's Residence in Freising is a building on the Domberg in Freising and was the seat of the Freising bishops until secularization in Bavaria . Today the educational center Cardinal-Döpfner-Haus of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising , the Renovabis relief organization and the Institute for Theological and Pastoral Training Freising (until 2014) are based there.


The building is located at the highest point of Toompea on the west side of the cathedral courtyard. In the south, the Domberg drops steeply to Moosach and Isar . In the west there is an extension of the education center and the diocesan museum Freising is housed in a spatially separated area to the west in the former boys' seminar . In the south-east there is a terrace as a connecting "Belvedere" to the former stables and gallery building , which today houses the modern cathedral library.


Only in the foundations of the towers is something of the Agilolfingian ducal castle, which existed on the Domberg from the early Middle Ages. Because over a millennium, a lot of renovation work was carried out in the subsequent residence of the bishops and prince-bishops.


The residence is a four-wing complex with a central courtyard. The core of the building dates from the 14th century. Some of the rooms in the north wing of this building are still preserved. A redesign began in 1517 under Prince Bishop Philipp von der Pfalz . The court arcades are still preserved today, the ornamental columns of which were designed by Stephan Rottaler until 1519. The current form of the residence dates from the years 1607 to around 1622.

The ground floor was originally used by the Freising Hochstift administration and served various supply facilities of the episcopal court. Stucco from 1619 has been preserved in today's Veit Adam Hall - the former office of the Prince-Bishop's Court Councilor. On the first floor in the east and south-east there are princely rooms with fine boiseries, around 1730 (today private rooms of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, partly seminar rooms of the education center), with a large cabinet and a small cabinet, furnishings from the 18th century. On the second floor there is a hall with a stucco ceiling by Johann Baptist Zimmermann , around 1715/20.


In the almost square inner courtyard there is a Fischkalter from 1651/85 on the northwest corner; At the staircase you can see the Freisinger Mohr , a stucco figure from 1720. This residential courtyard is occasionally used in summer - after the installation of a grandstand - for theater performances and concerts.

Large residential tower

Merian freising.jpg

At the northwest corner of the residence was a residence tower, also known as the Khueturm . In contrast to the other towers on Domberg, it was not a church tower, but a secular tower.

The oldest parts of the tower probably date back to the Middle Ages and were part of the keep of the bishop's residence at that time. This first tower was divided into several floors with only small windows. The floor plan did not correspond to that of the adjacent buildings and the tower stood out clearly from them.

In 1620 the original roof was demolished and replaced by an octagonal structure with a Welscher hood . Due to the large area of ​​the hull tower, it was possible to attach a circumferential balcony , which represented the highest viewing gallery in Freising and the surrounding area.

After the fire of 1743, the Welsche hood was replaced by an onion hood during repairs . During the reign of Prince-Bishop Ludwig Joseph von Welden (1768–1788), the tower gallery was decorated with vases and figures. Among them was a figure of the Archangel Michael , which led to the octagon being called Michaelsburg for several years .

Static problems arose in the course of the 18th century, but the well-known master builder Johann Michael Fischer in 1755 did not describe them as worrying. However, since under the successor of Ludwig Joseph von Welden, Maximilian Prokop von Toerring-Jettenbach , there was no more money available for the maintenance of the tower due to the high debt of the Hochstift Freising , the octagon and the gallery were torn down in 1790 and replaced by a mansard roof . When the building was converted into a seminary a few years after the secularization in Bavaria in 1802/03, the tower was shortened to the level of the surrounding buildings. However, most of the building fabric has been preserved and - after the tower was gutted - now integrated into the other buildings.

Originally, the tower was part of the fortifications of the residence and thus served purely military purposes. By the beginning of the 18th century at the latest, the tower lost this function with the removal of the facilities and served representative purposes. Part of the tower also served as a prison, but from the end of the Middle Ages only for clergy. Reasons for imprisonment were, for example, negative personal lifestyle or also contrary opinions on questions of faith. A well-known inmate was Lorenz von Westenrieder , who had to serve a few days' arrest here in 1775 because of a controversial textbook. The name Khueturm , which, according to Johann Andreas Schmeller, goes back to the word khue or kue for episcopal prison for delinquent clergymen , probably comes from this use .

In order to supply the Domberg with water, a pipeline network was built from the 16th century and the tower was also used as a water tower . The groundwater was pumped up to the Domberg and into a copper tank located on one of the upper floors of the tower using a pumping station driven by the Moosach. From there, the water was distributed over an extensive network of pipes. In some springs, the tower is therefore referred to as a water reserve .

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the octagon was equipped with a clock. There were dials on four sides and there were also two bells for the clock strike . Parts of the movement have been preserved and are to be restored.

As of 2020, as part of the redesign of the Kardinal-Döpfner-Haus, there are plans to build a large tower again. In doing so, specific reference is made to the historical model.

Small residential tower

Small residential tower with house chapel and prince's walk over the arcades

The small residential tower is located in the northeast corner of the building . An octagonal structure with a hood sits on a square base. The prince-bishop's house chapel is located in the lower area of ​​the tower. The so-called Fürstengang leads from the tower over the access roads to the cathedral courtyard in the direction of the cathedral.

Prince-Bishop's house chapel

In the Middle Ages, the bishop's personal chapel was located above the porch of the cathedral. However, when the organ gallery was built in 1622, it was cut off from the cathedral and given up as a sacred space. However, a private chapel was established in the residence as early as 1617. The chapel was in the lower part of the small residential tower on the same floor as the living quarters of the bishop in the east wing. Its stucco was created in 1629. The important and recently restored altar was created between 1617 and 1620 by Philipp Dirr .

The chapel has been extended to the west since the 19th century and extends over two floors. In the upper part you can see stucco from the 18th century.

After secularization

In the course of secularization in Bavaria , the Hochstift Freising was dissolved and the bishopric was orphaned. The last Bishop of Freising was Joseph Konrad von Schroffenberg-Mös . The bishopric was moved to Munich and the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising was created .


To compensate the city of Freising for the heavy losses of secularization, Ludwig I founded the seminary in the building of the former residence in 1826 . Between 1900 and 1902 an extension for the seminary was added to the west wing of the residence. This was on the site of the former St. Andrä collegiate monastery . The architect was Gabriel von Seidl . Since 1923 the training facility has been called the Philosophical-Theological University of Freising . In the course of the expansion and redesign of the extension building for the seminary, the Martinskapelle was demolished in 1959, which was still spared in the previous building. As early as 1964 there were the first rumors about the relocation of the seminary. The seminary was then moved to Munich in 1968.

Cardinal Döpfner House Education Center

After the seminary was moved to Munich, the building was used as an educational center for the Diocese of Munich and Freising . The center, which is named after Bishop Julius Cardinal Döpfner , offers besides other events such as B. concerts or theater performances, especially seminars on topics such as meaning and religion, ethics and politics, art and culture and personality development.

In addition to the conference rooms, there are also guest rooms for the seminar participants. Two dining rooms are used for catering. There is also a café and a beer parlor. The St. Martin's Chapel, built in 1965, and the former Prince-Bishop's Palace Chapel (Marienkapelle) are available as places of worship.

Redesign of the Freisinger Domberg

In 2013 the archdiocese decided on a large-scale further development and redesign of the Freising Cathedral Hill. Among other things, it is planned to replace the extension built in 1960 with a new building. After an architectural competition in 2017, a winning design was determined, which, however, will no longer be pursued after massive cost increases. After extensive volume studies, the key data for the new tender was announced in October 2019. Based on the historical model of the large residential tower, the new design provides that the Seidlturm is to be replaced by a new, large tower, which should act as a counterpart to the cathedral towers and better underline the castle character of the Domberg.

Web links

Commons : Fürstbischöfliche Residenz (Freising)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Handbook of Bavarian History p. 1053, Max Spindler, 1988, ISBN 3-406-32320-0
  2. Report in the Freisinger Magazin Fink , issue 07/2010 (July / August) p. 16 ff (PDF; 6.1 MB)
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. ^ Sigmund Benker / Marianne Baumann-Engels: Freising. 1250 Years of the Spiritual City - Exhibition in the Diocesan Museum and in the historic rooms of the Domberg in Freising, June 10 to November 19, 1989 . Wewel Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-87904-162-8 , p. 374 f .
  6. Report in the Freisinger Magazin Fink about the demolition of the Martinskapelle , issue 09/2009 (October) p. 12 f (PDF; 7.8 MB)
  7. Homepage of the Cardinal Döpfner House
  8. ^ Petra Schnirch: Massive increase in costs. In: December 6, 2018, accessed December 7, 2018 .
  9. [3]

Coordinates: 48 ° 23 ′ 55 "  N , 11 ° 44 ′ 41.6"  E