Maximilianeum is the official residence of the Bavarian State parliament (Landtag), but it is also a beautiful historical palace and a tourist attraction.
The building became part of the plans for the city, as Crown-PrinceMaximilian rose to power in 1848.
He had, in fact, devised a list of new buildings and projects to be completed during his reign almost ten years earlier, in 1839.
These new constructions were part of the rebuilding the entire easternMunich, and these plans included a new street, Maximilianstrasse.
Maximilianstrasse got many new buildings, constructed (according to the orders by King Maximilian) with “Maximilian style“…an architecture style primarily based on Gothic Revival tradition.
In reality, “Maximilian style” came to mean using the best parts of historical architecture styles, and combining them with modern construction techniques.
PHOTO: The palatial building, as seen from Maximilianbrucke (that crosses the Isar river).
PHOTO: Aerial view to Maximilianeum. Oldest sections of the building in the picture are from 1874, while the more modern parts were added in 1958, 1964, and 1992.
PHOTO: The main facade of the building towards Maximilianstrasse. Maximilianstrasse, for its western sections (closer to city center), is one of the best shopping streets in Munich.
PHOTO: Originally made in Gothic Revival style, the building was finalized (for its facade) in Renaissance Revival, under supervision by Gottfried Semper. Facade mosaics portray the historical usage of the building as a center for education and learning. The central mosaic portrays Emperor Ludwig IV donating money to Ettal monastery (www.kloster-ettal.de), historically a significant center for learning in Bavaria.
PHOTO: Approaching the building from Maximilianstrasse, you’ll find a statue of Pallas Athene, the ancient goddess of wisdom, within the Maximilianbrucke.
PHOTO: On Maximilianstrasse, there is the pictured Maxmonument, dedicated to Emperor Maximilian II, who commissioned the street to be built from 1850. In the monument, the emperor is portrayed wearing a coronal cloak. The surrounding statues are allegorical to virtues: young man with a palm leaf (closest on the picture) symbolizes “peace and love“, woman with a book and a sword is allegorical to “justice“, man with a helmet (sitting on top of a lion) symbolizes the virtue of “fortitude“, and woman with a torch is allegorical to “wisdom“.
Work on Maximilianeum got underway in 1850, with an international architecture competition, with instructions to provide plans of an “institution for higher learning and education“.
The competition was won by Wilhelm Stier in 1854, the director of Berlin’s public works, but the Bavarian Emperor abandoned those plans…
….partly due to the planned costs to build the building by Stier.
Instead of the winning plan, the emperor gave the commission to another architect, Friedrich Bürklein.
Foundation stone for the building was laid by Maximilian II personally, in1857. Due to his unexpected death in 1864, however, Maximilian II wasn’t able to see the structure being completed in 1874.
Major educational organizations that operated within the building included “Studienstiftung“, a scholarship foundation, until 1918.
The premises were also used for art exhibitions, and there was a cafeon the top floor, with panoramic views over Munich.
The building was, however, badly damaged during the Second World War, with rebuilding commencing in 1949.
With the rebuilding, Maximilianeum was modified to be used as offices for the Bavarian Landtag, the parliament in Bavaria.
However, the building was found to be too small for the Landtag, which is why new buildings have been added to the complex over time, in 1958, 1964, and 1992.
Address: Maximiliansbrücke, 81675 Munich, Germany
Official website: Maximilianeum.de
- a portrait of Maximilian II by Julius Zimmermann,
- Philipp Foltz’s painting “The Humiliation of Frederick Barbarossa by Henry the Lion“, and
- “Imperial Coronation of Charles the Great” by Friedrich Kaulbach (1861).
In fact, Maximilian II commissioned more than 30 major artworks for the building, most of which portray major historical events.