Königsplatz: open-air events, museums, meeting place for Munich residents

Königsplatz in Munich: sights, events and history

On Königsplatz (King's Square), modern lifestyle, classicism and antiquity meet. Millennia-old art, architecture and more are there to be discovered.

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Königsplatz 1 , 80333 München

Sonnenuntergang am Königsplatz im Kunstareal in der Maxvorstadt
Tobias Grosskopf / Shutterstock.com

Memorial to the burning of books in 1933 at Königsplatz

Mahnmal zur Bücherverbrennung 1933 am Königsplatz
Anette Göttlicher

On the central gravel area in front of the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, the artwork "The Blacklist / Die Schwarze Liste" by Arnold Dreyblatt has been commemorating the book burnings of 1933 since 2021. The title of the artwork refers to the "black lists" of undesirable literature that were drawn up from spring 1933 and used by the National Socialists for the book burnings. The circular, walkable spiral features book titles by 310 authors who were ostracized and proscribed by the Nazi regime.

The Königsplatz: The most important info at a glance

  • Architecture: In the early 19th century, the Königsplatz was built on the model of the Acropolis in Athens and finally completed in the style of European classicism.
  • History: The square was used by the National Socialists for party events and book burnings, among other things.
  • Events: Today, the King's Square is used for open-air concerts, events such as the Summer in the City and festivals or demonstrations.
  • Culture: There are many works of art to discover in the museums State Collection of Antiquities, the Glyptothek and the Lenbachhaus.

Concerts, open-air events and relaxation

Königsplatz am Abend

Königsplatz in the Maxvorstadt district is a favorite place among many Munich residents to relax, read and soak up the sun:

  • Especially popular: the museum Glyptothek with its stone projections. The sun shines here until late in the evening - a cozy spot when the rest of the city is already in the shade.
  • As a location for open-air events: Concerts with national and international music stars take place at Königsplatz.

Museums and sights at Königsplatz

Glyptothek am Königsplatz
Katy Spichal
  • Glyptothek: In the museum you can admire ancient Greek and Roman statues - some of them world-famous originals.
  • State Collection of Antiquities: Here you can find Etruscan, Roman and Greek small art like jewelry and vases.
  • The Propylaea: Are not walkable, but still worth a visit. Completed in 1862, the temple gate is modeled after the Propylaea of the Greek Acropolis.
  • Lenbachhaus: In the Museum of Modern Art you ll find not only the largest collection on the "Blue Rider", but also a beautiful little garden.

Things that make Königsplatz so special

Staatliche Antikensammlung am Könisgplatz
  • Few places are as well suited for Instagram-suitable photos as the Königsplatz. Green meadows and classicistic splendor buildings, columns, stairs and sculptures offer the best photo motifs.
  • The extensive sunbathing at Königsplatz is a must! In fine weather, especially the steps of the Glyptothek invite you to do so.
  • A portion of culture must not be missing, of course: In the Staatliche Antikensammlung and the Glyptothek you learn a lot about antiquity. If you're more in the mood for modern painting, you'll find it around the corner at the Lenbachhaus

Architectural history of the "Isar-Athens"

Königsplatz in der Maxvorstadt
Katy Spichal

At the beginning of the 19th century, the architect Karl von Fischer was commissioned by King Ludwig I to build a magnificent square at the western end of Brienner Strasse:

  • Fischer designed the square based on the model of the Acropolis in Athens.
  • The completion of the square was then taken over by the architect Leo von Klenze.

The result is an urban work of art in the style of European classicism: with the Doric Propylaea, the Corinthian collection of antiquities and the Ionic Glyptothek, the Königsplatz is considered one of the major works of the Ludovician "Isar-Athens".

Nazi era: Central marching site in Munich

There is probably no place in Munich that was used so much by the National Socialists for self-promotion as Königsplatz. Even before the seizure of power in 1933, the so-called Brown House, the party headquarters of the NSDAP, was located in nearby Brienner Strasse, so Königsplatz was already the focus of the Nazis at an early stage. On May 10, 1933, Königsplatz was one of the places where the Nazis burned the books of writers they disliked, such as Erich Kästner and Kurt Tucholsky.

In 1935, the Nazis laid some 20,000 granite slabs so that Königsplatz could be used as a central rallying point for party events in Munich. In addition, "temples of honor" were erected there for the dead of the "Hitler putsch" of 1923. In Arcisstraße, the "Führerbau" was opened in 1937, which at the time served primarily as a representative building, and which today houses the Munich University of Music and Theatre.

After the end of the war: From the parking lot to today's appearance

The Königsplatz was badly damaged during bombing raids in the Second World War. After the end of the war, the "temples of honor" were blown up by the US Army. After that, the area was used as a parking lot for most of the time. It was not until the late 1980s that the Königsplatz began to be restored to its 19th century appearance. Until the turn of the millennium, the buildings were generally renovated.

At a glance

Königsplatz in Munich: sights, events and history

Königsplatz 1
80333 München