The Encyclopedia Americana (1906)/Munich

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For works with similar titles, see Munich.

Munich, mü'nik, or Munchen, mün'Hĕn, Germany, the capital of Bavaria, considered to be "the most uniformly beautiful city in Europe," lies on an extensive but uninteresting plateau, about 1,700 feet above sea-level, on the left bank of the Isar, with suburbs on the right, the river being crossed by nine bridges. The original nucleus of the town was at one time surrounded by walls and ditches, and entered by lofty turreted gates. The ditches have been filled up and the walls removed, but three of the old gates, with their loopholed and embattled flanking towers, still remain. In the older part of the town there are many old houses, irregular both in size and form, and of quaint but not unpicturesque architecture. This quarter, though it contains the government offices and many public edifices, is surpassed, both in extent and magnificence, by the new town, which has risen chiefly to the north and west, with almost unexampled rapidity and splendor, due to the art-loving proclivities of King Ludwig I. and his successors, who spent over 7,000,000 thalers in beautifying the city, and adorning it with buildings of almost every style of architecture, wide and handsome streets, and squares and gardens decorated with statues and other monuments. Near the centre of the city, between the Max-Joseph-Platz and the palace gardens, is the royal palace. consisting of an old central building of vast extent and two modern wings. From this great pile run at right angles to each other the two finest streets in Munich—the Maximilianstrasse and the Ludwigstrasse. The chief public buildings are the old town-house and the new, the latter in the Gothic style, considerably enlarged in 1899: the old palace and the Herzog Max Burg, now used as public offices; the post-office; the central station (1880); the chief customs house (1876-9); and the new palace of justice (1897). Buildings connected with art embrace the gallery of sculpture, or Glyptothek, an edifice of the Ionic order, containing a series of the finest ancient and modern sculptures; the 01d Pinakothek {or picture-gallery, another beautiful edifice, containing one of the richest collections of pictures in the world: the New Pinakothek, adorned externally with frescoes and containing only paintings by recent masters: the academy of arts, an imposing building in the renaissance style: the academy of the plastic arts (1885); the Schack gallery of paint- ings (1894}, named from its donor: the Schwanthaler and Kaulbach museums, etc. Other collections are the. Hof-und-Staats Bibliothek, with 900,000 printed volumes and 40,000 MSS.: the old Bavarian national museum, now used for art collections; the new Bavarian national museum (1899); etc. The chief theatre is the Royal and National theatre with a lofty Corinthian portico. Munich is rich in monuments, which adorn its squares, gardens. and public promenades. Among the chief are the monument of Maximilian II., with his statue 26 feet high; and the colossal bronze statue of 'Bavaria,' 65 feet high. It is a hollow female figure, designed by Schwanthaler and cast from foreign cannon. From the head a fine view of the city and the Alps is obtained. It stands on a low eminence in front of the "Hall of Fame," a Doric building of horse-shoe shape, containing busts of notable Bavarians. The "Gate of Victory," in imitation of the arch of Constantine at Rome, and the Propylæa, in imitation of that at Athens, should also be mentioned. There is a fine statue of Maximilian I. by Thorwaldsen, and statues of Schiller, Gluck, Schelling, Fraunhofer, and Gärtner, a bronze monument to the Bavarian soldiers who died in the war with Russia, and a monument to the chemist Liebig. The Hofgarten is a garden near the palace, finely planted, and surrounded by an open and richly ornamented arcade; the so-called English Garden is an extensive and beautiful park. The cemeteries of Munich are noteworthy for their artistic tombs, probably the most beautiful in Europe. The ecclesiastical buildings include the cathedral, founded in 1488, a vast pile, entirely of brick, with two lofty towers, terminating in domes 333 feet high; St. Michael's or the Jesuits' Church (1583), a handsome Italian structure; the church of the Theatines. another Italian structure, beneath which are the burial vaults of the royal family; the church of St. Louis. a modern building of brick, faced with white marble, decorated externally with statues by Schwanthaler, and internally by the finest frescoes of Cornelius: the church of All Saints: the basilica or church of St. Boniface: the Mariahilf church on the right side of the river: the three Protestant churches: and the Jewish synagogue. At the head of the educational institutions is the university. (See Munich, University of. Closely associated with it are the university library with 400,000 volumes and 2,000 manuscripts: the Collegium Georgianum (1494), a priests' seminary; the Maximilianeum (1852), etc. There is also a high school of technol6gy, and numerous other high class institutions for educational purposes. The industrial development of Munich lags behind its aesthetic development. Its stained-glass works iron brass, and bell foundries, lithographing and engraving works. and manufactories of optical and mathematical instruments. and various artistic articles, are, however. deservedly noted. Still more famous are the enormous breweries of Bavarian beer, which annually produce about 49,000,000 gallons. of which 37,000,000 are consumed in the city itself. Munich carries on a large trade in grain and in objects of art.

In 1158 Henry the Lion raised the Villa Munichen from its previous obscurity by establishing a mint and a salt-emporium within its precincts. the name (also appearing as Forum ad Monachos) being derived from the monks who owned the site. In the 13th century the dukes of the Wittelsbach dynasty selected Munich for their residence and fortified the town. In 1327 the old town was nearly destroyed by fire. and was rebuilt by the Emperor Louis the Bavarian: it was not until the fortifications were razed at the close of the 18th century that the limits of the town were enlarged to any extent. The true history of modern Munich is the account of its artistic development in the 19th century, closely identified with which are Klenze and Gärtner the architects, Schwanthaler the sculptor, Cornelius and Kaulbach the painters, and Wagner the composer. The modern Munich school of painting, headed by K. von Piloty, W. Diez, and Grützner, is characterized by marked realism in color and detail, in contrast to the romanticism of the older masters. The elevated site of the city and the neighborhood of the Alps render it liable to sudden changes of temperature, sometimes ranging over 20° in 24 hours. The population in 1801 was only 48,885, in 1900 it was 499,959; from 30.4 per thousand in 1871 the death rate fell to 24.1 in 1898.

The University, the Academy of Fine Arts, and the. Conservatory of Music, under the leadership of men of world-wide reputation, and the splendid facilities of the city in its theatres, museums, and galleries, its handsome buildings and healthful location, attract thousands of visitors to Munich every year.