15.08.2016 - 31.08.2016
I had planned to visit Bichl since several years because I had seen and read so much about its beautiful little church. But it took until August 2016 until I finally managed to do so.
Wat can I say?
To me it looked like the ideal village, with an ideal and well functioning community.
A place to live.
Or a place to stay, during visits of southern Bavaria.
Maybe it was because I discovered this bakery where delicious bread and rolls are being baked from scratch. Maybe because this bakery felt like a meeting place just like bakers and butchers and market places were the places to meet up, chat and buy produces since the Middle Ages? I definitely had this impression while I was sitting on the bench and had my lunch.
Since the Middle Ages Bichl belonged to nearby Benediktbeuern Monastery, people were farmers working for the monastery. In a way Bichl has not changed much over the years, only adapting to modern times. Today it has approx. 2100 inhabitants, mostly still farms but now also farming connected businesses like tractors and tractor repairs, seeds, etc. But there is also the local inn with regional menus and beer, and various pensions and rooms or apartments for rent. For very reasonable prices.
In case my relatives move away from their current location south of Munich, Bichl will be my choice to stay when I want to visit the region south of Munich.
The beautiful village church St. George
I had seen and read so many interesting things about this little church that I wanted to visit it since a long time. But somehow I never managed it although Bichl is only a stone-throw away from one of my favourite places, Benediktbeuern’s herb shop.
But in August 2016 I finally managed to visit it and was impressed indeed. It is said to be one of the most beautiful village churches in southern Bavaria.
Bichl and the church belong to Benediktbeuern Monastery since more than 1000 years, since early 8th century to be precise. The original church was expanded over the years and what we see today is work of mid 1th century in beautiful Baroque style. The work was done by three famous artists who also worked on Dießen, Marienmünster, Anastasia Chapel in Benediktbeuern and Ettal: architect Johann Michael Fischer, Austrian fresco painter Johann Jakob Zeiller and sculpturer Johann Baptist Straub. Straub’s sculpture of patron saint St. George looks especially intriguing, very vivid. The fresoes show the martyrdom of St. George and are surrounded by medaillons with the four Evangelists. However, only Marcus and Matthew are visible from the little space behind the fence, the other two are next to the organ above the entrance.
The little church is open daily, but of course not open for visitors during church service.
It is easy to find, especially since Bichl is a very tiny village. Located in the eastern part of town, on a small hill.
And then - Walk around in the cemetery
St. George church is surrounded by a beautiful typical Bavarian cemetery, enclosed by walls and little iron gates. Of course the gates are always open, maybe closed in the evening though. Walk around for a while, admire the old iron crosses on the graves, or also the modern ones, many with reference to the deceased professions.
There is also a tiny chapel in the western section of the premises. It is dedicated to the 263 people who died during the Black Death year of 1634.
Did I mention the bakery?
When I was in Bichl, it was around noon. I had visited the beautiful church of St. George and was hungry. First I thought that I’d drive the short distance to Benediktbeuern and have some snacks in my favourite herb shop, but then I passed Bichl’s bakery. The sign at the door said something like “Forgot something? Buy a Semmel (Bavarian word for bread roll) and the day is yours”. I liked that and went inside. To my utmost surprise they told me that they still bake traditionally and don’t use any kind of industrially manufactured pre-baked stuff but make every single piece of bread and rolls from scratch. Incredible – I thought that I was in heaven!
So I asked the very nice staff lady about their various rolls and at the end I bought three rolls with wholemeal and various grains. I was happy to see that they also sold fresh raw milk from the local dairy farmer, so I bought one litre of this precious white cold liquid.
What can I say? I sat on the bench and had a most wonderful lunch, with the rolls and the milk. There was no need for me to have anything on the rolls, because they were just perfect as they were. And the milk.... of course delicious (I am addicted to milk).