• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Church spends €130m on new Munich offices

Alex Evans · 30 Oct 2013, 12:28

Published: 30 Oct 2013 12:28 GMT+01:00

The news comes after weeks of controversy over big-spending building projects by the German Catholic Church sparked by the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, €31 million bill for his new headquarters.

The costs of the Munich project have crept up from €39.88 million in 2011, to €42.15 million at the end of 2012, before ballooning to the current figure, Munich newspaper the Abendzeitung reported.

But church spokesman Bernhard Keller told the Abendzeitung: "It is a cost increase in line with market conditions."

Former archbishop Friedrich Wetter bought the property from the Landesboden credit institution in 2006 for €86 million, using the church's property investment fund.

The current archbishop of Munich and Friesing, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, is now responsible for the project. 

But the growing bill for the building's conversion to offices for 400 employees will be paid with money from the church tax, the Abendzeitung reported, referring to the German system whereby those who have not opted out of any religious body pay their chosen church a part of their taxes.

The centre, which is set to open in October 2014, will incorporate a computer centre costing €1.5 million, part of the overhaul of the building's technical facilities which church officials claim makes up most of the costs, along with new energy saving measures.

Archaeologists found remains of 14th-16th century bathhouses and warehouses on the site in summer 2012, but these will be bulldozed to create the building's 55-space underground car park.

Story continues below…

The church in the Munich district is modernizing its accounting system, according to Keller, so that in a few years there will be a "concrete, transparent and correct" record of the church's finances.

But valuing the 7,000 properties the church owns in the region could make the stock-take challenging.

READ MORE: Catholic bishop spends €350,000 on wardrobes

Alex Evans (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich gunman planned attacks for one year: officials
Vigils continue in Munich to commemorate the victims, seven of whom were teenagers. Photo: DPA

The teenage gunman who killed nine people in Munich on Friday had been planning his attack for a year, according to German authorities.

Germany grapples with enigma of Munich gunman
A debate is already underway as to whether Germany's gun laws, which are already strict, should be tightened further. Photo: AFP

Investigators were seeking clues on Sunday into the mind of gunman David Ali Sonboly, the teen author of one of Germany's bloodiest killing sprees.

Munich shooting
 Social media a blessing and a curse in Munich shooting
The Munich gunman may have hacked a Facebook account to lure some of the victims to the McDonald's fast-food outlet where the shooting began. Photo: DPA

Social networks were both a curse and a blessing in the deadly shopping mall shooting in Munich, as police sometimes found themselves chasing fictitious leads and false alarms.

Munich shooting
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Munich shooting
Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,713
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd