Ost-West-Friedenskirche
Ost-West-Friedenskirche
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Leo_0031
NL209 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
Even to many Munich residents the Ost-West Friedenskirche (East-West Church of Peace) remains quite unknown. Among those who have heard of it many haven’t visited, maybe because it’s quite hard to find if you don’t know how to go there. It’s hidden behind trees at the Oberwiesenfeld, South of the 1972 Olympia Park and even if you’re at only 100 meters distance one would not expect any buildings of any kind in between the bushes.
Timofei Wassiljewitsch Prochorow, better known under the less formal name “Father Timofej”, said to be born in 1894, has hand built this chapel and surrounding houses and garden together with his companion (and later his wife) Natascha. During World War II, then still living in Russia, Timofej had a vision in which Mary ordered him to leave his homecountry Russia behind and move west to build a church for the peace and reconciliation of the people in East and West. Through several countries Timofej moved west during the war, met Natascha in Vienna, settled in Munich and in 1952 the two of them started to build a house, a small chapel and a church In Munich. All of this happened at the edge of the Oberwiesenfeld, in those times a former airfield. Timofej and Natascha used materials from the pile of war debris nearby to build their church. In 1968 plans for the ’72 Olympic Games were to demolish the illegal buildings but after protesting citizen and a lot of newspaper attention Timofej and his church were allowed to stay and the Olympic Park was built slightly north from the original planned area.
Natascha died in 1977, aged 80. Timofej lived on to become 110 before leaving this earthly life.
Not long after finishing his work Timofej offered both Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches to use his building as a house of God, but the Catholics declined since they judged it to be too much influenced by Russian Orthodox elements while the Russian Orthodox church declined the offer since they saw to many Catholic elements.
Most striking element to many visitors, apart from the many religious drawings, icons and statuettes, is the material Timofej used to cover the ceilings: chocolate tin foil.
There are no fixed opening times. On must days however you will find that from 11.00 until 17.00 chapel and church can be visited by everyone interested. There is no entrance fee. Also the little museum with pictures from Timofej, Natascha and their work can be visited freely although a voluntary donation for maintenance costs will be highly appreciated.
As said before the place is a little difficult to find.
We decided to take the tram that gets nearest to the church: we took Tramline 20
at the Hauptbahnhof towards Moosach Bahnhof and hopped off at the Goethe Institut stop.
From there you have to walk northeast for a little over 5 minutes, starting at the Hedwig Dransfeld-Allee right next to the tram stop. Not long after the last building in that street you will reach the edge of the Oberwiesenfeld and after another minute there is a signpost or two, pointing to the “Ost West Friedenskirche” amidst a small bush.
For understanding the few texts in the little museum some knowledge of the German language will be required, since there is no info whatsoever in English. Enjoying the peacefulness of the place and admiring the work of Timofej as well as looking at his chapel and garden goes beyond any language barrier.
Furthermore: if you prolong your walk in the same direction after visiting Timofej’s church, you will find a very nice view upon the Olympic Park from a small hill nearby.
A further 10 minutes of walking will take you to the foot of the Olympic Tower. For automotive fans there’s the BMW Welt (free) and BMW museum (paid) in the same corner.
Also nearby: Sea Life, the tent-like Arena, the Star Wars Identities exhibition and the Olympic swimming pool.
Hop on the U3 subway at Olympiazentrum to get back to the city center and you will be able to spend a varied and diverse afternoon. Total walking distance a little over two kilometers.
Written 7 March 2017
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