Grainau Church


A historic, 18th-century church with stunning frescoes.

Grainau Church

Grainau Church

Grainau Church in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is an absolute must-visit for anyone visiting this mountainous district in the heart of Germany. Officially named St. John the Baptist Church, this revered place of worship stands majestically against the rugged, dramatic landscape of Grainau. The charming aesthetics of the alpine church, combined with its rich heritage, makes it an incredible attraction.

Upon your arrival in Grainau, the quaint, snow-tipped village nestled at the foot of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, the sight of Grainau Church will undoubtedly take your breath away. The delicate spire of the church piercing the azure sky with the panoramic view of the Alps as a backdrop provides a mesmerizing sight.

The church itself is steeped in history, being established as far back as 1300 AD. However, the present-day building was constructed in neo-Gothic style in the late 19th century and has since stood as a testament to the centuries-old cultural heritage embodied by the village of Grainau.

As you draw closer to this beautiful church, the intricate rococo adornment on the exterior comes into full view. The soft pastel colours contrast perfectly with the robust wooden frames, creating an ethereal scene that is emblematic of the Bavarian way of life. The intricacy of the exterior hints at the sublime artistry that awaits you inside.

Once inside the church, the awe-inspiring artworks and serene atmosphere impart a sense of tranquility and heartfelt reverence. The central nave features a grand altar, with hand-carved statues and vibrant paintings adorning the interiors. The attention to detail in every fresco, every corner, every stained glass window is astonishing and adds to the overall charm of this small church.

Throughout its existence, Grainau Church has remained an active place of worship. Regular services are held here, and it’s not uncommon to come across local families and couples here. Even if you are not religious, attending a service can provide a unique insight into the local culture and tradition.

Many visitors are particularly drawn to the church’s organ. Dating back to 1900, the organ is an impressive instrument that adds a layer of richness and depth to the services held within the church. If you're lucky, you may get the chance to hear this historic instrument being played. The sound resonating within the walls of the church is truly unforgettable.

The expansive, well-maintained churchyard is a place of peaceful contemplation. Decorated with beautifully carved crosses and surrounded by towering evergreens, it offers magnificent views of the Zugspitze and Waxenstein Peaks. The graveyard also holds historical significance, with generations of locals laid to rest here, further deepening the sense of connection to the local community.

Despite being a religious site, the church also offers a social and cultural hub for locals and visitors alike. Throughout the year, the church hosts various events such as concerts, festivals, and weddings, providing a vibrant and colourful spectacle for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling tourist spots, a lesson in history and art, or simply to enjoy the stunning views, Grainau Church offers something for every visitor. Just a few hours spent wandering around this charming church can offer a deeper appreciation for the traditions, aesthetics, and culture of Grainau.

Ultimately, Grainau Church in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is more than just a place of worship—it's a testament to the rich history, diverse culture, and deep-rooted traditions of the area. It provides a welcoming and immersive experience, allowing visitors to feel a genuine connection with a place and people so far from their own.