Maximilianeum

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The Maximilianeum set on Maximilianstrasse on the eastern bank of Isar River in Munich had previously been the residence of the foundation for gifted students and students’ hostel. Since 1949 it has been the seat of Bavarian Parliament.

The front of the building has flat roof and two straight side wings. The two rows of round arches and bounded by a tree-storey open tower at each end. The figures and artwork proclaim the original purpose of the building – to be the “institution of higher learning and teaching”.

At the half of the 19th century King Max II wanted to enlarge the city of Munich and 1200 metres long street started to be built in 1853. Since 1858 the street has been named Maximilianstrasse. The Maximilianeum building was planned at the very same time. The architect of the building became Friedrich Burklein – his plans could well responded to the king’s own ideas. The foundation stone lied king himself on 5 October 1857. Despite the fact that a part of the building had already been made, Max II ordered a change in the plans in 1864. The originally planned Gothic arches were to be replaced by ones in neo-Renaissance style and the pilasters by an arrangement of columns. The building was finally completed in 1874 and it marks both the beginning and the end of Maximilian style. The statue of Palace Athene was added in 1906 and it was made by Franz Drexier.

Up to the end of World War I there were Scholarship Foundation, a historical gallery and royal “pagerie” (school for the education of pages) located. Shortly before it was bombed (and partly destroyed) in World War II, the Maximilianeum held the Munich Art Exhibition. In 1949 Bavarian Parliament chose the building as its seat.

In 1958 – 59 and 1964 – 65 wings were added to the eastern part of the building. An underground car park was built in 1993 and two more wings were added by October 1994. In 1998 the foundation stone was rediscovered, together with some object such as gold coins or royal portraits that are now displayed in the Stone Hall.

When entering the Maximilianeum through the main portal to the west, one finds himself in a vestibule with staircase leading to the Stone Hall. The south-eastern portal leads to the Plenary Chamber of Bavarian Landtag, the north-eastern to the so-called Senate Chamber and the north-western into covered walk called Presidents’ Corridor.
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