Highlights of the Münchner Stadtmuseum

Leo von Klenze, Propylaea at Munich’s Königsplatz

Commissioned by King Ludwig I, the Propylaea were the most elaborate city gate in the capital of the young kingdom. Their name makes reference to the “Propylaia”, the entrance to the Acropolis that had been erected in ancient Athens. Surrounded by the Propylaea, Glyptothek museum, and exhibition halls, the square is a blend of the classical canons of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns.

The construction of the Propylaea had been under discussion since 1816. Klenze painted them at a time when not even their foundation existed. Comparable to a modern computer simulation, the architect advertised his project which had been called into question when his sponsor abdicated in 1848. In addition, its original function as a city gate had become superfluous since Munich had already spread far beyond Königsplatz. Ultimately, the Propylaea were erected after all, as a monument to the Wittelsbach dynasty’s reign over Greece. They were inaugurated shortly before Greek-Bavarian King Otto was deposed in 1862.

The picture of the Propylea is on display in the Königssaal of the permanent exhibition "Typically Munich!".