This Neoclassical temple commissioned by King Ludwig I houses an art collection ranging from the 14th to the 18th centuries. While the museum’s main focus is on German religious art from this period, visitors will find ample representation of secular art, the Dutch painters and a scattered sampling of the great Italian painters. Some of the more popular pieces on display include Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Crucification (1503) and Albrecht Altdorfer’s Battle of Alexander the Great (1529). The so-called Dürersaal houses Albrecht Dürer’s Self Portrait and his Four Apostles (1500), two must-sees for art lovers. Free audio guides are available in English.
Tel: 089 218 066 30
Photo: FVAmuc / Wilfried Hösl
The monumental building housing the Bavarian National Museum is one of Munich’s most stunning architectural delights. A sweeping collection focused on the art, folklore and cultural history of Bavaria, ranging from the Middle Ages to the Jugendstil, is on display. Highlights include carved sculptures by Erasmus Grasser and Tilman Riemenschneider, Nymphenburg porcelains and precious glass pieces, as well as an incredibly brazen tableware set once owned by the prince of Hildesheim. Anyone hoping to catch a glimpse into Bavaria’s colorful past should spend a few hours examining the museum’s artifacts; Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Tel: 089 211 240 1
Photo: Bayerisches National Museum
One of the world’s largest museums of science and technology, the Deutsches Museum has what seems like every major invention on display. To see the entire collection, you would have to walk over 100 kilometers. There are hundreds of interactive displays documenting everything from glass blowing and coal mining to microelectronics and seismology. Because there is so much to see, it is highly recommended that you pick and choose a few sections rather than try to tackle the whole thing in one go. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Children under six enter for free.
Tel: 089 217 91
Photo: Deutsches Museum - Air and Space Travel exhibit
Munich’s oldest museum was commissioned by Ludwig I to house his vast collection of dubiously acquired Greek and Roman art. The 170-year-old gallery has several rare specimens, including sculptures from the Aphaia Temple in Aegina, busts of Alexander the Great and Emperor Augustus, and the famous Barberini Faun. The inner courtyard has a darling café that hosts classical theatre during the summer months. The museum is free on Sundays.
Tel: 089 286 100
Photo: FVAmuc / Josef Wildgruber
The origins of the Jewish Museum date back to 1928, when a group of individuals discussed plans to create a permanent collection documenting Jewish life in Munich. A number of catastrophic setbacks prevented the museum from materializing until the present day. Opened at last in 2006, the Jewish museum and its striking architecture at St.-Jakobs-Platz now include a school and a synagogue. In addition to a number of permanent exhibits chronicling the fate of the Jewish people, the museum includes several temporary ones focusing on various themes of Jewish identity. The museum is operated by the City of Munich and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Tel: 089 233 960 96
Photo: Jewish Community Center
Franz von Stuck, an influential Art Nouveau painter and artist, built his mansion in 1897. The former fin-de-siecle residence now serves as a showcase for Jugendstil art and culture. Stuck’s tapestries and handmade furniture lend powerful expression to his dark and Romantic paintings. Several of the historic rooms, including the artist’s studio, recently reopened after a decade-long renovation. Temporary exhibits display the works of Stuck’s contemporaries. Open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Tel: 089 455 551 0
Photo: City of Munich / Jens Weber
The Neue Pinakothek picks up where the old one left off. On display are primarily paintings and sculptures from the 18th to the early 20th centuries spanning France’s Rococo movement to Germany’s own Jugendstil (Art Nouveau). Most of the works come from the private collection of Ludwig I, who upon his death owned nearly 400 paintings. A large section of the museum is devoted to Hans Marées, who was known for his realistic country scenes and portraits. Also presented is Caspar David Friedrich’s Riesengebirge or Landscape with a Rising Mist (1835). The French impressionists are prominently featured: Dagas, Gauguin and Manet. Don’t miss one of Van Gogh’s famous Sunflower renditions. The museum is free on Sundays and closed Tuesdays.
Tel: 089 238 051 95
Photo: FVAmuc / Robert Hetz
Germany’s largest museum of modern art opened in 2002 after nearly six years of construction. The driving force behind its establishment was Bavaria’s Duke Franz von Wittelsbach, who contributed his private collection of some 800 contemporary art works. On top of that is the State Graphics Collection of nearly 400,000 sketches, drawings and paintings, making for a small cause-d’celebre for lovers of modern art. The focus is on 20th Century art, design, photography and sculpture, featuring works by Picasso, Dali, Klee and Warhol. Beuys’ End of the 20th Century is hallmark piece that has found a permanent home in the Pinakothek. Its theme of renewal strikes a chord among environmentally conscious Germans. In 2007, the permanent collection was expanded to include the Museum Brandhorst (located directly behind the Pinakothek der Moderne), which features post-modern art from the 21st century.
Tel: 089 238 053 60
Photo: FVAmuc / Gerhard Blank