St Michael is a Jesuit church in Munich, the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps. The style of the building had an enormous influence on Southern German early Baroque architecture. The church was built by William V, Duke of Bavaria between 1583 and 1597 as a spiritual center for the Counter Reformation. The foundation stone was laid in 1585. In order to realise his ambitious plans for the church and the adjoining college, Duke William had 87 houses in the best location pulled down, ignoring the protests of the citizens. The church was erected in two stages.