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St. Lorenz Basilica, Kempten

#1 of 21 in Things to do in Kempten
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
St. Lorenz Basilica is a baroque minor Basilica in Kempten, Bavaria, named after the Christian martyr Lawrence of Rome.

It is the former abbey church of the Benedictine Kempten Abbey. It is currently used as the parish church of the Roman Catholic parish of St. Lawrence in the Diocese of Augsburg.

A church was built on the site in the 13th Century but was burned down in 1478.

Roman Giel of Gielsberg, the Abbot of Kempten, commissioned the master builder Michael Beer from Graubünden to build a new church to serve the parish and monastery. The foundation stone of the Basilica of St. Lawrence was laid on 13 April 1652. This was one of the first large churches built in Germany after the end of the Thirty Years' War.

Michael Beer built the nave, the ground floor of the towers and the choir. He was succeeded by Johann Serro on 24 March 1654.

The church was consecrated on 12 May 1748.

In 1803 the monastery was dissolved and the church became a purely parish church.

In 1900 the twin towers were finally completed. They were built of concrete which is heavier than the used material before that time. Cracks at the connections to the main building are the result of the completed towers.

In 1969 Pope Paul VI bestowed the honorary title of basilica minor.

The building included a residence for the Prince-abbots.

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St. Lorenz Basilica reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
105 reviews
  • Even though the exterior is currently being renovated, the interior is splendid and well worth looking at.  more »
  • At the time of my visit, the building was receiving some much-needed maintenance. Mostly outside, so I still had the opportunity to view the interior and let me tell you... It was the best part of...  more »
  • Was completely blown away by the beauty of this church. Photos does not do it justice. A must for anybody visiting the town of Kempten. Entrance is free so you literally have no excuse not to go. The church is currently undergoing maintenance and may look a little unwelcoming, but it is open (just walk to the door and open it). I will return one more time before my trip is over. I would give it five stars, but because of the limited tourist information available, I can't. I understand however, that the church is not a commercialised attraction, and that it may be costly for the church to provide pamphlets and marketing materials if entrance is free of charge. Still, this is an amazing place. Go, enjoy the artwork, or sit down and say a prayer. This building is an absolute masterpiece. Appreciate it.
  • Just beautiful! Hopefully the scaffolding will come down soon!
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