Munich’s Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, also known as the Bavarian National Museum is one place to visit when you in Munich. I recommend this Museum a lot because of its rich collection of folklore and art.
One thing you should know by now is that you are spoilt for great museum choices in Munich. Bayerisches National Museum like other museums in the city are not only rated in Germany, they also have some of the best collections in Europe.
I enjoy touring the Bayerisches National Museum a lot. Besides the fact that it is fun to do so, the museum is well segmented into separate collections. This makes it very easy to access.
Construction of the Museum
The construction of Bayerisches National Museum commenced in 1855 during the era of King Maximilian II. Before the construction of the museum, most German antiquities could be found in a building that served as a school for deaf and dumb students.
Antiques are still kept after completing the museum. It also contained huge European collections from the medieval ages till the beginning of the 20th century.
The construction of the museum took about 9 years, and it was finally opened in 1867 (already during the period from King Ludwig II), in Maximilianstrasse. However, there was a need for a relocation due to the growing collection of antiquities. Hence, a new location was sited for the museum in PrinzregentenstaBe. This new building was completed in 1900.
Today, the former building of the Bayerisches National Museum in Maximilianstrasse is the Museum Five Continents, home for non-European antiquities.
Bayerisches National Museum Architects
The first architect that designed the museum located at Maximilianstrasse is Eduard Riedel. He is a graduate of architecture from Munich. Riedel (1813-1885), has numerous architectural projects to his name. Before his work on the Bayerisches National Museum, he worked in Athens. He was there for the famous Greek King Otto, the uncle from Ludwig II.
Some of Riedel’s works in Germany include LudwigstraBe Damenstift convent, the Schleissheim palace garden, and designs of other royal palaces, like the castle Neuschwanstein.
Gabriel Seidel monitored the reconstruction of the Bayerisches National Museum in Prinzregentenstaße. If you are a lover of architectural designs and a frequent visitor to Munich, this name should sound familiar. He is responsible for the architectural designs of Lenbach Villa and the Deutsches Museum. One of his famous works outside Munich is the Town Hall in Bremen.
Seidel (1848-1913), is a native of Bavaria, and he graduated from Munich’s polytechnic with a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he explored his field of mechanical engineering in the UK, before realizing his passion for architecture. With this, he returned to Munich to study architecture in the Academy of Fine Arts.
The final work of construction in the Bayerisches National Museum was an expansion of the southeast wing in 1937. The architect responsible for this is German Bestelmeyer (1874-1942), a graduate of architecture from Munich’s Technical University.
Collections in Bayerisches National Museum
The museum has a rich collection all through, and you will enjoy every bit of the tour. Some of the exhibitions include the following.
Collections of Past Treasures
Going through the rooms, you are going to marvel at some of the best-assembled arts in Europe. They are also objects from the antiquities of the medieval age to those of the 20th century.
The rooms have enough space, while you learn about the story of every display.
Collections of Sculptures
Another rich collection of the Bayerisches National Museum is that of sculptures from famous artists around Europe. This collection is one of the most significant in the continent. It contains sculpting works from the 13th century to the 20th century. Some rarities here don’t find similars in other European museums.
These sets of collections include artworks from the famous Wittelsbach family. Other artists featured are Tilman Riemenschneider, Giovanni Bologna, Franz Xaver, etc. This collection symbolises as the largest one for German sculptures of the medieval era.
Collection of Folklore’s Antiquities
The folklore antiquities collection is quite astonishing. They include smooth porcelain, some Alte textiles, and fashion materials, instruments used for musical performances, etc. These are some of the best nativity collections you can find today.
The Baroque Luxury Collection
This contains more nativity collections in the museum. However, these are more related to the baroque world. Twelve rooms specially prepared for this collection, welcome international guests. There are about more than 1000 treasures and artworks.
They include various ivory materials, specially designed jugs, and cups, and various other items from workshops around Europe.
The most notable of this collection are the fashions and textile materials. These alone contains about 3 separate halls in the museum. The clothes on display are very colorful. Some of which are from the medieval age, and worn by famous people of those periods.
Some of the fabrics include Robe a la Francaise, early days Meissen and Dottore.
Kids’ Toy Collection
A small space in the Bayerisches National Museum hots the collection of toys from the 19th and early 20th centuries. If you were a kid in those times, it will be cool to relive those moments again by going through the collections. Believe me, it is fun!
Bayerisches National Museum Events
There is more to the museum than the conventional touring. There are Seminars, Workshops and specialized Tours available. This could be in the form of seminars, workshops or an organized classroom. The museum hosts frequent visits from students all around Europe.
The Long Night of Museum
In Bavaria, one popular event in October is the Long Night of Museums. This takes place every year. Bayerisches National Museum is one of the most popular venues for this event. Hence, there are usually a lot of tourists during this period.
During this event, museums are open till midnight, providing access to all collections. This practice started in Berlin around 1997. Today it is a common practice all over Europe and even some Asian and South American countries.
One thing about the Bayerisches National Museum that I find fascinating is that regardless of your area of specialization. Wherever you are. you find something that interests you. If your obsession is art, then I advise you to plan 2 days’ visits. This would be necessary to go through most of the collections.
You don’t have to worry about background information. I would be by your side at all times, providing you with the necessary information you need to know. It’s going to be fun, so please come along with your loved ones, and of course, your camera.