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Munich, Germany

Asamkirche

Among the ostentatious rococo ornamentation of this church, an image of death cuts the life-thread. 

The Asam brothers — Egid Quirin Asam and Cosmas Damian Asam — were Baroque masters, but nowhere were their rococo tastes so lavish as in their own private chapel.

Officially called the Church of Saint Johann Nepomuk, the church is better known as Asamkirche (or Asam Church) in their honor. It was built between 1733 and 1746, and was intended to be their own gilded spiritual retreat, but the public wanted in and eventually it opened to all.

Lurking among the gold, grinning cherubs, mosaics, and frescoes, is one particularly ominous sight. A gilded sculpture near the entrance portal shows a skeletal image of death about to cut through the life-thread of a poor soul with a pair of scissors. It’s an incredibly detailed memento mori amongst the ornamentation. 

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