Königsplatz, Munich

KonigsplatzKonigsplatz

The plans for the Königsplatz were drawn up by Leo von Klenze in 1812 in anticipation of Munich 's expansion. Klenze's designs reflected the ideas of Karl von Fischer, who saw in the Königsplatz a "Forum for the Arts" comparable to the "Forum for the Sciences" represented by Ludwigstrasse. The square took 50 years to complete, the final building, the Propyläen, being finished in 1862, 14 years after the abdication of King Ludwig I who originally commissioned the scheme.

Old Picture Gallery

Built between 1826 and 1836, Munich's Old Picture Gallery is one of the biggest in the world. The Gallery showcases Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, German, Spanish and Medieval Paintings.

Sculpture Gallery

The Sculpture Gallery is one of the oldest Museums in Munich. Home to some of the oldest sculptures in Europe, the Gallery also showcases Greek and Roman Sculptures.

Theatine Church of St Cajetan

The Theatine Church of St Cajetan is one of Munich's landmark buildings. The church, built in a typically Italian High Baroque style, boasts splendid marble statues and beautiful facades.

New Picture Gallery

The New Picture Gallery in Munich displays works of art ranging from the Roccoco to Art Nouveau period.

State Collection of Antiquities

The State Collection of Antiquities is held in a splendid Late Neo-Classical building constructed in the mid 19th C.

Ludwigskirche

This church was built by Friedrich von Gärtner in the first half of the 19th C. The lovely façade is flanked by twin towers.

Munich Municipal Art Gallery

The Art Gallery is housed in an early 20th C villa, which once belonged to artist Franz von Lenbach. The gallery displays a strong collection of 19th and 20th C paintings.

Bavarian State Library

The Bavarian State Library in Munich is Germany's largest library with some 9.6 million volumes and more than 57,500 periodicals. The library has several sections of particular note: the science, manuscript and incunabula departments, the music collection, the oriental and Far Eastern department, the comprehensive East European collection and, last but by no means least, the large map collection of more than 800 atlases and 250,000 maps.
The long range of buildings, with seven wings laid out around two courtyards, was built by Friedrich von Gärtner in 1834-39 within the plan for the development of Ludwigstrasse. The style is modeled on that of the Early Renaissance palaces of Italy. The strong emphasis on the horizontal articulation of the facade contributes to the continuity and monumental effect of the street.
On the steps leading up to the entrance are statues of Thucydides, Homer, Aristotle and Hippocrates, all by Ludwig Schwanthaler.
Address: Ludwigstrasse 16, D-80539 München, Germany

Court Garden

The Hofgarten, a garden in the Italian style, lies on the north side of the Residenz, enclosed on two sides by long arcades. It was laid out in its present form in 1613-17, in the time of Duke Maximilian I, and has undergone no significant alteration since then. Rows of chestnuts, limes and maples give welcome shade among the beautifully tended rose- and flowerbeds.
In the center of the gardens stands the Temple of Diana, a twelve-sided pavilion with a low domed roof (1615; attributed to Heinrich Schön the Elder). The "Tellus Bavarica", the graceful bronze figure on the roof (originally by Hubert Gerhard, 1594), was given new attributes to make it a symbol of Bavaria by Hans Krumper.
War Memorial
A memorial commemorating Munich's civilian bomb victims and servicemen and women of both World Wars, is also found on the east side of the gardens.

State Palaeontology and Geology Collection

The State Palaeontology and Geology Collection occupies a hybrid, and somewhat, monumental building designed by Leonard Romeis, originally for a school of commercial art.
The palaeontological section has an extensive display of animal and other fossils from crucial epochs in the Earth's history. The particular strength of the collection lies in the material from the Swabian and Franconian Jura (e.g. ichthyosaurs from the Holzmaden Lias, pterosaurs from around Eichstätt in the upper Jura). Other highlights include the skull of a triceratops from Wyoming and the skeleton (cast) of a giant elephant which perished in the Mühldorf/Inn area sometime in the Late Tertiary. Also worth seeing are the fossils of Ice Age fauna and the special display devoted to the Nördlingen Reis meteorite crater.
Address: Luisenstrasse 37, D-80333 München, Germany

Brienner Strasse

Brienner Strasse in Munich was laid out at the beginning of the 19th C. in the reign of King Maximilian I as part of the development of the Maxvorstadt, Friedrich von Sckell being responsible for the initial design. Also involved were the architects Karl von Fischer and, following his death, Leo von Klenze. The street opens into a series of magnificent squares: Wittelsbacherplatz, Karolinenplatz and Königsplatz. The houses, originally Neo-Classical and Neo-Renaissance in style, were occupied by aristocratic families, leading citizens and prominent artists. The Brienner Strasse suffered badly during the Second World War, and afterwards from alterations wrought by various banks and insurance companies. The busy Altstadtring (the ring of wide boulevards encircling the Old Town), which crosses the Brienner Strasse at the Platz der Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (Square of the Victims of National Socialism), has further eroded the original unity of conception. In recent years several of the facades have been restored and a more sympathetic approach adopted in the design of new buildings. Some high-class shops, galleries, and the luxurious premises of major companies provide a glimpse of former glories.
Almeida Palais
This mansion (Brienner Str. 14), in strict Neo-Classical style, designed by Jean-Baptiste Métivier, a pupil of Leo von Klenze, is a typical example of the original architecture of the Brienner Strasse. It was built for Sophie Petin, who was granted the title of Baroness von Bayrstorff in 1823 and married her lover Prince Carl, Ludwig's I's brother, in 1834. Count d'Almeida was her son-in-law. Note the iron lanterns adorning the drive.
Globusbrunnen
Another exceptionally attractive feature is the Globus Fountain in front of Brienner Strasse 24.

Ludwigstrasse

Ludwigstrasse is one of Munich's two great monumental avenues (the other being Brienner Strasse), extending about a kilometer from Odeonsplatz in the direction of Schwabing. It was laid out at the behest of King Ludwig I as a prestigious street worthy of his kingdom. The general plan of Ludwigstrasse was prepared by Leo von Klenze, who also designed the buildings in the southern part of the street, adopting a rigorously Neo-Classical style modeled on Early Renaissance architecture in Italy. The northern section was built by Klenze's successor as Court Architect, Friedrich von Gärtner. An adherent of the Romantic Christian school of architecture, he favored Neo-Romanesque.
The change in architectural style, however, did not detract from the overall impression of uniformity, for Gärtner held firmly to Klenze's basic conception of broad-fronted buildings depending on their facades for effect, and narrow streets coming in on the sides. "Europe's most monumental street" (Wölflin) has thus been able to preserve its unity, with only a few facades altered from the original plan.
The terminal point of the street at the south end is the Feldherrnhalle, at the north end the Siegestor. The architectural pattern was set by the Leuchtenberg-Palais (1816-21). The last building erected in Ludwigstrasse by Klenze was the old Ministry of War, now occupied by the Bavarian State Archive. Friedrich von Gärtner designed the Staatsbibliothek (State Library; No. 16), Ludwigskirche (No. 20) and the University.

Chancellery, House of Bavarian History

The large complex of buildings on the east side of the Hofgarten houses the Chancellery and House of Bavarian History. Highly controversial, the development is set around the domed shell of the Bavarian Army Museum which was erected in 1906 and destroyed during the last war.
The greater part of this Bavarian "Kremlin", approximately 200m/650ft long and over 11,000sq.m/13,000sq.yd in area, will be occupied by 300 plus employees of the State government.
The aim of the "Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte" is to nurture the already considerable public interest in Bavarian history, through the medium of words and pictures and a well-thought out selection of exhibits.
Renaissance arcades
At the northern end of the gleaming new complex are some Renaissance arcades which survived the wartime bombing, the lower dating from the time of Duke Albrecht V (16th C.), the upper being added by the Elector Maximilian I in around 1615. Threatened with demolition to make way for the new project, they were eventually reprieved.
Pump-house
Also on the site is a pump-house designed by Leo von Klenze complete with its machinery, an early 19th C. monument to the dawn of the technological age.

City Gate

Leo von Klenze modeled this Neo-Classical "City Gate" (1846-62) on the Propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens.
Aligned with the obelisks in the Karolinenplatz further to the east, the Propyläen was conceived as a symbolic gateway giving entrance from the old city to the new, the latter extending along the original Königstrasse to Schloss Nymphenburg. The Propyläen's Doric style is in deliberate contrast to the "Ionic" Glyptothek and the "Corinthian" Staatliche Antikensammlung.
The sculpture in the pediment of the central portico glorifies the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks (1821-29) under King Otto, son of the Bavarian King Ludwig I. On his abdication in 1848 Ludwig I continued to finance the construction of the Propyläen from his private fortune, presenting the finished building to the city of Munich in 1862.
Like the reliefs of scenes of combat beneath the windows of the flanking towers, the pediment was the work of the sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler (1802-48), also responsible for the Bavaria statue on the Theresienhöhe.

German Theater Museum

The Theater Museum in Munich, founded in 1910 in the house of the actress Clara Ziegler (1844-1909), a member of the Court Company, is now accommodated in the Churfürstlichen Galerie (Old Electoral Gallery), which was built by Lespelliez in 1780-81.
The collection of documents relating to the history of world theater includes plans of theaters, pictures, sketches of stage sets and costume designs. There are also role portraits of actors and actresses, photographs of scenes, Theater masks and stage props.
The museum archive preserves several thousand manuscripts, production scripts, programs, letters, revues and sound recordings, while the specialist library of some 80,000 items contains more manuscripts, librettos, scores, Theater journals and important works of secondary literature.
The museum also runs a unique service - Münchner Spielplan, or Munich Repertoire - providing information on all performances currently being staged at Munich theaters (photographs, programs, texts, librettos).

Maxvorstadt

Maxvorstadt, a planned early extension of Munich begun towards the end of the 18th C., lies to the northwest of the city center, its lay-out being determined by Brienner Strasse and Ludwigstrasse. Several distinguished architects contributed to its development, among them Leo von Klenze whose magnificent designs for Ludwigstrasse have parallels here in Türkenstrasse (e.g. Kreuter, No. 4, the former Palais Dürckheim, and Schöpke, No. 30).
No. 26 Schellingstrasse, by Martin Dülfer, is also particularly fine, while Richard-Wagner-Strasse is noteworthy for the designs of Leonard Romeis.
Other streets with notable buildings are Max-Joseph-Strasse, Amalienstrasse and Karlstrasse, Max-Joseph-Strasse No. 9, the former Palais Schrenck-Notzing, being by Gabriel von Seidl. The character of Maxvorstadt today is chiefly influenced by the presence of several institutes and facilities belonging to the University of Munich. Numerous shops (especially bookshops, antiquarian bookshops, galleries etc.) and student bars add color to the scene.

Old and New Law Courts

The Alte Justizpalast in Munich is a monumental building with projecting wings on either side. It was severely damaged in 1944 and completely renovated a few years ago. Designed by Friedrich von Thiersch and erected between 1887 and 1897, this superb example of Late Historicist architecture incorporates elements of both the Renaissance and Baroque.
The north facade of the building overlooks the Botanische Garten. The eastern end with its vaulted middle section, facing onto the Karlsplatz (Stachus), has all the effect of a richly decorated main front. The four-sided steel-and-glass dome over the central light well was a novel feature at the time of its construction.
The adjacent "new" Law Courts, a Neo-Gothic building in brick with a clock tower and stepped gables, was also the work of Friedrich von Thiersch. Built in 1906-08 it illustrates the revived interest in North European architectural forms fashionable at that time (the contrast with the Old Law Courts is striking).

State Graphic Collection

Since 1949 the State Graphic Collection has been housed in one of the former "Führerbauten" situated just off Königsplatz. The building, designed by Paul Ludwig Troost, was erected in 1933-35.
The collection, one of the most important of its kind in Central Europe, comprises more than 300,000 sheets of drawings and graphics, ranging in date from the 15th C. to the present day. Among the German artists whose works are displayed are Altdorfer, Dürer and Eisheimer, among the Italians Fra Bartolomeo, and among the Dutch and Flemish Rembrandt. The collection is particularly rich in material from the Baroque period in southern Germany (the Asam brothers, Ignaz Günther) and in 19th C. work (von Klenze, Kobell, Schwind, Marée and Busch). The Expressionist and post-Second World War periods are also well represented. A study room and library (some 24,000 volumes on graphics-related topics) may be used by visitors. The Staatliche Graphische Sammlung holds temporary exhibitions in the Neue Pinakothek.
Address: Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10, D-80333 München, Germany

Old Botanic Garden

From 1814 to 1909 this park, just north of the Old Law Courts in Munich, was the municipal Botanic Gardens. A whole range of trees, some of them quite exotic, are a reminder of its former glories. The area became a public park in 1935-1937 since when it has provided an oasis of peace amid the rushing traffic of the city center.
The gardens were originally laid out in 1808-14 by the landscape gardener Ludwig von Sckell. The Neo-Classical gate in Lenbachplatz was erected in 1812 by Joseph Emanuel Herigoyen. The Neptune Fountain (1935-37) was the work of Joseph Wackerle.
In 1854 a "Crystal Palace" was erected on the north side of the garden for the first international Industrial Exhibition. The steel and glass structure - progressive for its day - was destroyed by fire in 1931. An exhibition of works by major German Romantics was lost at the same time.
Address: Menzinger Straße 65, D-80638 Munich, Germany

St Boniface's Church

The Benedictine Monastic Church of St Boniface in Munich, which is also the parish church of the Maxvorstadt, was built in 1834-47 in Byzantine style to the designs of Georg Friedrich Ziebland. Following its destruction in the Second World War Hans Döllgast rebuilt the south end and porch, and later a modern conventual building was constructed on the ruins of the north end and apse.
In the aisle on the east side (to the right of the main entrance) is the tomb of King Ludwig I.
The old conventual buildings originally linked the building which now houses the State Collection of Antiquities with the apse of the church - a bringing together of religion (the Church), learning (the monastery) and art (the museum) which appealed to the Romantic educational ideal of the first half of the 19th C.

General and Applied Geology Collection

Located in the substantial complex of buildings in Luisenstrasse belonging to the Technical University, the General and Applied Geology Collection boasts informative exhibitions on the twin themes of "Erdkruste im Wandel" (The Changing Crust of the Earth) and "Bodenschätze der Erde" (The Earth's Mineral Resources). Also of considerable interest are two display cases explaining the structure and rock formations of the eastern Alps (northern limestone Alps, central Alps and southern Alps) and a third devoted to the geology of carbon deposits (fossil fuels).
Pieces of rock can be examined under a magnifying glass, so revealing their complex structures and constituent minerals.
Address: Luisenstrasse 37, D-80333 Munchen, Germany

Karolinenplatz

The Karolinensplatz, Munich's first star-shaped open space, was laid out in 1809-12 to the plans of Karl von Fischer, who probably took as his model the Place de l'Etoile in Paris. The square is one of those into which the Brienner Strasse opens.
The obelisk (by Leo von Klenze) in the middle of the square commemorates the 30,000 Bavarian soldiers who fell in the Russian campaign of 1812.
The original Neo-Classical uniformity of the square has unfortunately been damaged by later building.
Munich's America House and the Anthropologische Staatssammlung (State Anthropology Collection; viewing by arrangement) are situated on the southwest side of the square.

Odeon Square

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