• 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
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd