Bavaria statue is one of the world’s largest bronze sculptures, portraying the secular guardian saint of Bavaria, Tellus (Mater) Bavarica (“Goddess of Bavaria).
The monument, including the Ludwig Schwanthaler’s Bavaria sculpture and the Ruhmeshalle temple by Leo von Klenze, were built from 1843-1853…
…at a time, when Ludwig I built (out of his own pocket) several other monuments within Bavaria, including:
- Konstitutionssäule (Constitution column, in 1828) to Gaibach,
- Walhalla (1842) to Regensburg’s eastern side, and
- Befreiungshalle (Freedom hall, in 1863) to Kelheim.
PHOTO: Bavaria monument, as seen from Theresienwiese, the location of the annual Munich folk festival, Oktoberfest.
PHOTO: Sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler designed Bavaria as a romantic Germanic character: holding a wreath of oak leaves, dressed in a fur made out of bear, carrying a sword, and accompanied by a lion…all of which are allegorical to the strength and glory of the Bavarian state.
PHOTO: The monument’s lion statue is allegorical to the strength and glory of Bavaria. The lion figure is also found from the Wittelsbach (ruling dynasty of the region) coat of arms.
PHOTO: Next to the Bavaria monument is the Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame) temple, with busts of the personalities from the region’s past. The temple is a design by Leo von Klenze. With the temple, Ludwig I (1786-1868) aimed to elevate Bavarian sense of independence and historical greatness…at a time, when Bavaria was no longer threatened by Napoleon from the west, or by Austria from the east.
PHOTO: Entrance to the monument’s spiral staircase, leading up to the observation platform at the top of the statue…with excellent views to Theresienwiese.
As a monument, the Bavaria statue is 18.52 meters (61 ft) tall and weights about 87.36 tons.
It’s central “Tellus Bavarica” figure has historically been a popular allegory for the Bavarian region…
…and you can find it from paintings, bas-relief artworks, coat of arms, and statues around Munich.
In addition to the Theresianwiese monument, other famous representations of Bavaria include a sculpture by Hans Krumpper (from 1623) on top of Munich Hofgarten Diana temple.
The Hofgarten Bavaria sculpture replaced an earlier sculpture of goddess (of fertility) Diana, which still gives the temple its current name.
Inspiration for the massive monument in Theresienwiese, meanwhile, was taken from the colossal statues of the ancient world, including…
- Colossus of Rhodes,
- Zeus statue in Phidias, and
- Athena of Parthenos.
Address: Theresienhöhe 16, 80339 Munich, Germany
Official website: Schloesser.bayern.de/Bavaria
…including that the wreath of oak leaves on the left hand of the statue has been intended to crown the great Bavarian statesmen immortalized at the temple.