Munich

Highlights from the collection of the Photothek

By Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

The Photothek of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte presents 16,000 historical photographs of the city of Munich, its buildings, streets, and squares as part of its collection. With this exhibition, we would like to give you a first impression of the variety of images and invite you on a journey into the city's past and the history of photography.

Munich: Catholic Church Saint Cajetan and Adelheid (Theatine Church) (1663/1765) by Agostino BarelliZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Churches in Munich

Sacral buildings and their interiors have long been of particular interest to art historians and form a clear focal point in the Photothek's collection. More than 8,000 photographs attest to the diversity and importance of Munich's church architecture.

Munich: Jesuit Church of Saint Michael (1583/1597) by Friedrich SustrisZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Saint Johann Nepomuk (Asam Church) (1733/1746) by Cosmas Damian AsamZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Benedictine Abbey Church of Saint Boniface (1835/1850) by Georg Friedrich ZieblandZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Catholic Parish Church Saint Maximilian (1893) by Heinrich von SchmidtZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Mary of the Seven Sorrows (Catholic church) (1969/1970) by Franz RufZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Ludwigstrasse (1816/1817) by Leo von KlenzeZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

The Streets of Munich

Photographs of the city and exterior views of notable buildings document the passing of time. The magnificent boulevards of the 19th century and their buildings still characterize Munich's cityscape today.

Ludwigstrasse was designed as part of the expansion of Munich, today's Maxvorstadt, according to the wishes of Crown Prince Ludwig I. He initially entrusted the architect Leo von Klenze (1784-1864) with the planning and execution in 1816 and Friedrich von Gärtner (1791-1847) from 1827.

Munich: Ludwigstrasse (1816/1817) by Leo von KlenzeZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Ludwigstrasse (1816/1817) by Leo von KlenzeZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Maximilianstrasse was initiated by Maximilian II as an extensive urban development project and executed by Friedrich Bürklein (1813-1872). It leads southeast from Max-Joseph-Platz and ends at the Maximilianeum, the residence of a study foundation for outstanding high school graduates and, since 1949, of the Bavarian Parliament.

Munich: Residential and commercial building, Maximilianstraße 32 (1854) by Friedrich BürkleinZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Government of Upper Bavaria (1856/1864) by Friedrich BürkleinZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Maximilianeum (1857/1874) by Friedrich BürkleinZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Tourist attraction, traffic hub, and event venue: Munich's city squares are centers of urban life.

Munich: Isartor (gate), 1314/1337, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Evangelical Lutheran Parish Church of Saint Matthew, Gustav Gsaenger, 1953/1955, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Propylaea, Leo von Klenze, 1854/1862, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
Show lessRead more

Munich: Munich Residenz (1614/1700) by Hans KrumpperZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Residence of the Monarchs

For many centuries, Munich was the residence and seat of government of the Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings from the House of Wittelsbach. Photographs of the Residenz and Palace Nymphenburg show the palace architecture of the different eras and the rich interior.

Munich: Munich Residenz (1826/1835) by Leo von KlenzeZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Munich Residenz (1570/1600) by Simon ZwitzelZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Nymphenburg Palace (1664/1758) by Enrico ZuccalliZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Nymphenburg Palace (1664/1678) by Agostino BarelliZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

The urban green spaces and their park buildings invite visitors to unwind. While the English Garden was intended for the bourgeoisie from the beginning, the Nymphenburg palace garden only opened to the public after the end of the monarchy.

Munich: Chinese Tower in the English Garden, Joseph Frey, Johann Baptist Lechner, 1789/1790, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: View of the city, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Nymphenburg Palace Park, François de Cuvilliés (1695), 1734/1739, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
Show lessRead more

Munich: Benedictine Abbey Church of Saint Boniface (1835/1850) by Georg Friedrich ZieblandZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Early Photography

Munich was one of the most important centers for photography in the 19th century. In the 1850s, pioneers like Georg Böttger laid the first milestones, when they began to portray the city and its buildings and capture them as contemporary documents for eternity.

Munich: Viktualienmarkt (market)Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Isartor (gate) (1314/1337)Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Justizpalast Munich (Palace of Justice) (1890/1897) by Friedrich von ThierschZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: View of the cityZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: National Theater (1811/1825) by Karl von Fischer (1782-1820)Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

A Center for the Arts

The royal court drew a large number of visual artists to the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, Munich had a flourishing art scene. The numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and concert halls still attract culture enthusiasts today.

Munich: Academy of Fine Arts Munich (1875/1885) by Gottfried von NeureutherZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Lenbachhaus (Städtische Galerie) (1887/1891) by Gabriel von SeidlZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: former New Pinakothek (museum) (1846/1853) by August von VoitZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Neue Pinakothek (museum) (1975/1981) by Alexander von BrancaZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: House of Cultural Institutes (former administrative building of the NSDAP) (1934/1936) by Paul Ludwig TroostZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

The National Socialist Party Headquarters

In 1931, the development and transformation of the previously peaceful villa district between Königsplatz and Karolinenplatz into the National Socialist party headquarters began. Our photographic documentation shows the planning and construction of the Nazi structures and the use of the buildings after 1945 by the American military government and cultural institutions of the Free State of Bavaria.

Munich: Führerbau of the NSDAP, Paul Ludwig Troost, Atelier Troost, 1933/1937, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Führerbau of the NSDAP, Paul Ludwig Troost, Atelier Troost, 1933/1937, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: University of Music (former Führerbau), Paul Ludwig Troost, Atelier Troost, 1933/1937, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
Show lessRead more

Munich: Partial view of the cityZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Destruction and Reconstruction

During the Second World War, a large part of Munich was destroyed, 90% of the historic old town. Today's appearance of Munich is mainly the result of the reconstruction of the past, either true to the original or evolved.

Munich: Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinakothek) (1826/1836) by Leo von KlenzeZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Munich Residenz (1615/1615) by Heinrich Schön († 1640)Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Partial view of the cityZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Block of houses, Maximilianstraße 11-13 (1945/1950)Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich: Apartment building, Marschallstraße 1 (1901/1902) by Georg LindnerZentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Munich Facades

In 1971, Siegfried von Quast photographed the historicist and art nouveau facades of Munich townhouses for the illustrated book "Münchener Fassaden." The more than 1,200 photographs are – since by now historic themselves – also testimony to urban change.

Munich: Villa, Bavariaring 15, Benedikt Beggel, 1896, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Apartment building, Agnesstraße 20, Otho Orlando Kurz, Eduard Herbert, 1911/1912, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
,
Munich: Apartment building, Wittelsbacherstraße 3, Philipp Adam, 1889/1890, From the collection of: Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
Show lessRead more
Credits: Story

All photographs from the photographic archive of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Munich

Concept & Text: Sonja Hull, Ralf Peters, Nadine Raddatz and Silvia Werndl

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
From Bach to Bauhaus
Art, sights and history brought to you by over 120 institutions in Germany
View theme
Google apps