Isartor, Karlstor, and Sendlinger Tor

Isartor, Karlstor, and Sendlinger Tor are three Gothic city gates, historically part of the defensive wall that protected central Munich.

Of these gates, Isartor was build from 1285-1347, as part of King Ludwig’s construction project to build a second defensive wall.

Isartor Munich Germany

PHOTO: Isartor has a location close to Isar river, thus the name. Highlights of the gate include fresco artwork from 1835 by Bernhard von Neher. The fresco portrays King Ludwig’s victorious return from the Battle of Mühldorf, in 1322.

Isartor is the best preserved of the gates, and contains…

  • watchtowers,
  • a central tower, and
  • a courtyard.

Later King Ludwig I made sure that Isartor was kept in good condition, by commissioning Friedrich von Gärtner to renovate the structure, in 1833.

As part of that rebuilding, a fresco artwork was added to the structure, by Bernhard von Neher, in 1835.

Among the Isartor highlights is a historical clock from 1860, which was originally intended, however, for Karlstor.

The clock’s western side is interesting, as it is a mirror image of the other sides…

…and this peculiarity got politician Willy Brandt to note about Bavaria: “In Bavaria the clocks turn to a different tune”.

Karlstor Munich Germany

PHOTO: Karlstor is a historic western gateway to Munich old town (…and Isartor was the eastern and Sendlinger Tor the southern). Karlstor was, until 1791, known as “Neuhauser Tor”.

Karlstor is the most famous of the historical gates, marking entrance to the old town pedestrian street Neuhauser strasse / Kaufingerstrasse…

…the best shopping walkway in Munich.

Together with Isartor, Karlstor was part of east-west route through the old town, historically called “Saltstreet” (Salzstrasse).

Karlstor was also build as part of the project to have a second defensive wall for Munich, from 1285-1347.

Originally, the gate looked very modest, but got a facelift in 1791, when watchtowers were added to it by Count Rumford, the Bavarian army general, with funds from Prince-Elector Karl Theodor.

With the addition of the watchtowers, the historical “Neuhauser Tor” was renamed after the Prince-Elector, as “Karlstor”.

The current Neo-Gothic style for the gate is from 1861/62, from renovations done by architect Arnold Zenetti.

Sendlinger Tor Munich Germany

PHOTO: Sendlinger Tor, pictured, was a historical point of departure for travelers from Munich to Italy.

Sendlinger Tor was also constructed within King Ludwig’s project to have a second defensive wall, from 1285-1347…

…but the gate’s watchtowers were added much later, in 1420.

The gate had a very particular importance, as historical documents, from as far back as 1318, mention Sendlinger Tor as a main departure point for travelers towards Italy.

Arnold Zenetti, (who renovated Karlstor), was commissioned to rebuild Sendlinger Tor to its current condition, in 1860.

Munich used to have two additional gates:

  • Angertor, and
  • Schwabinger Tor…

…however, over time, these gates were both demolished, to make way for new constructions.