• Germany's news in English

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
Brexit vote
Left leader calls for German referendum on EU deals
Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht. Photo: DPA.

The left-wing leader of the official opposition party in Germany said that it’s time the German people also have a say on what goes on in Brussels.

Teacher overpaid quarter of a million euros. No one notices
Photo: DPA

The Düsseldorf teacher was paid a full-time salary for six years, despite only working part time.

Euro 2016
Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation
Distraught England players after Iceland defeat. photo: DPA

Still upset by their British brothers voting for Brexit, Germans expressed an overwhelming sense of Schadenfreude at England's Euro 2016 exit.

Cleaning spray sets off shock explosion in Frankfurt cafe
Photo: Frankfurt fire department.

Four people have been injured in an explosion at a cafe in a Frankfurt shopping district. The culprit: cleaning products.

Brexit vote
Merkel vows to create 'new impulse' for EU
Chancellor Angela Merkel with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy vowed on Monday "a new impulse" for the EU as it reels from Brexit.

Police investigate after 'Nazi knifeman' threatens President
Demonstrators protest against the visit of President Joachim Gauck. Photo: DPA.

German President Joachim Gauck was confronted by some aggressive right-wing extremists during an official weekend visit, including one man carrying a knife.

Telekom warns all users to change passwords after scam
Photo: DPA.

German giant Deutsche Telekom is warning customers to change their passwords after finding that up to 120,000 customers' data was being sold on the black market.

Brexit vote
How Brits can escape to Germany and still feel at home
The store Broken English in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Giving up on the UK post-Brexit? Come to Germany - it's not so different!

German MPs file war crimes suit against Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

A group of German politicians and public figures have filed a lawsuit against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of committing war crimes against his country's Kurdish minority.

Brexit vote
Merkel: no backroom deals with UK on Brexit
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out on Monday informal talks with the UK on the terms of a Brexit, but said the EU should be patient with London.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
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
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd