New Town Hall (Munich)

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The New Town Hall

The New Town Hall on Marienplatz in Munich is the seat of the Lord Mayor , the City Council and the headquarters of the Munich City Council . It was built from 1867 to 1909 in three construction phases by Georg von Hauberrisser in the neo-Gothic style.


Due to the lack of space in the old town hall (destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt) and in the small town hall on Petersbergl (as an extension to the old town hall tower, destroyed in 1944 and not rebuilt), it was decided to build a new building. In memory of the bourgeois heyday during the Gothic period, the choice fell on a design in the neo-Gothic style, which sets an independent architectural accent in contrast to the buildings of the royal family.

The north side of Marienplatz was chosen as the building site , where the landscape houses still stood, which had been built in the late Middle Ages as a kind of representation of the landscape towards the Bavarian duke or elector.

The first construction phase in the eastern part, Marienplatz, at the corner of Dienerstraße, was the result of an ideas competition that Georg Hauberrisser won and carried out from 1867 to 1874. The foundation stone was laid on August 25, 1867, the birthday and name day of King Ludwig II. When it became clear that the new building would not be enough to accommodate the entire administration, the city began all properties adjacent to the town hall on the Diener-, from 1887 Buying up the landscape and wine route. From 1889 to 1892 the construction section Dienerstraße / corner of Landschaftstraße was built. In 1897 the magistrate and the community council decided to add extensions to the town hall at Marienplatz and in Wein- und Landschaftstraße to create a four-sided complex. The entire area between Marienplatz and Landschaftstrasse on the one hand and between Weinstrasse and Dienerstrasse on the other hand was used for the new building. In 1898 work began on the extension with the town hall tower, also under the direction of architect Georg von Hauberrisser. In December 1905, when the keystone was set on the 85-meter-high town hall tower, the shell of the third construction phase was completed. In the architectural design of the Munich town hall tower , Hauberrisser was clearly inspired by the Brussels town hall tower. The 96-meter-high late-Gothic Brussels city hall tower ( belfry ) was built by Jan van Ruysbroeck between 1449 and 1455.

By the end of 1906, the offices and offices were ready for use. The front length at Marienplatz has been 98.5 meters since then, of which 48 meters are accounted for in the first construction phase. The town hall in Brussels and the New Town hall in Vienna were the models for the extension .

Slightly damaged in the air raids on Munich in 1944, the New Town Hall was rebuilt after the war. The construction sections at Marienplatz were given an additional floor, which is hidden behind the neo-Gothic balustrade , so that the old impression was retained. The facade on the Landschaftsstrasse was restored in a very simplified manner. At the end of the 1990s, the New Town Hall was completely renovated and its details were reconstructed, for example the neo-Gothic ornamental forge that crowns the roof.


Architectural design

The complex of bakery and shell limestone houses has six inner courtyards. On a plot of land of 9159 m², 7115 m² are built over. The almost 100 m long main facade facing Marienplatz is richly decorated. It shows the Guelph Duke Heinrich the Lion and almost the entire line of the Wittelsbach ruling house in Bavaria and is the most extensive series of princes in a German town hall. An equestrian statue of Prince Regent Luitpold can be seen as a central monument in the middle of the main facade between the two construction phases on Marienplatz above the guard house. Munich originals, neo-Gothic gargoyles in the form of grimaces and masks , allegorical images, themes from the lives of saints and popular mythical figures can be discovered on the main facade on Marienplatz and on the one in Weinstrasse . The corner of Marienplatz / Weinstraße is called Wurmeck , the corner of Weinstraße / Landschaftsstraße is called Klebereck.

Numerous glass windows with local, regional, national, international and religious motifs adorn the building. After most of the windows were destroyed by the bombing in the final phase of the Second World War , most of the objects could be restored to their original form with the help of donations.

The 85 m high town hall tower is crowned by the Münchner Kindl , which was created by Anton Schmid , whose son Wiggerl ( Ludwig Schmid-Wildy ) was the model. At the top of the tower is the fifth largest carillon in Europe. It rang for the first time in 1908. The 43 bells of the mechanical clock play four different melodies one after the other, to which a total of 32 figures represent the shepherd's dance and a knight's tournament at the wedding of the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V with Renata of Lorraine in 1568. The melodies are changed during the year. Six different combinations of four songs each are used. A Munich night watchman appears in the bay windows of the seventh floor of the tower, blowing his horn, as well as an angel who blesses the Munich child . The town hall has 400 rooms. The cellar is almost completely developed as a restaurant: the Ratskeller.

The monumental painting Monachia , created in 1879 by Carl Theodor von Piloty , returned to the large conference room of the New Town Hall in 2004. It shows 128 Munich personalities (including only seven women) from 700 years of city history.


In contrast to many Gothic buildings, the town hall facade is not made of solid natural stone, but of bricks with natural stone in front.

Compared to the St. Johann town hall and the Vienna town hall

The facade of the St. Johann von Hauberrisser town hall shows unmistakable similarities to that of the new Munich town hall in its completed design from 1898–1905: On the one hand, the asymmetrical placement of the important architectural elements (tower, gable wing, tower window), on the other hand, the design of the individual forms (Gable field design, the balcony arbors supported by mighty consoles, encircling battlements, paired arrangement of the windows, encircling tower balcony with corner turrets, figurative decorations).

However, Hauberrisser was able to design the town hall facade in St. Johann in one go and thus compose it in a more balanced way than that of the new Munich town hall, which was built in three construction phases (1. 1867–1881 / 2. 1889–1892 / 3. 1898–1905) . On the Marienplatz facade of the Munich City Hall, Hauberrisser also had to put two building sections with different storey heights, facade cladding and window designs in a visually obscure relationship with each other through abundant facade and figure decorations.

In contrast to the facade conception of the Viennese town hall by Hauberisser's teacher Friedrich von Schmidt , Hauberisser's facades in Munich and St. Johann remain planar and live from the relief effect of the balconies, bay windows, battlements, tracery and statue decorations.

Both facades of Hauberrisser (St. Johann and Munich) correspond to the type demanded by the building trade newspaper “Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung” published in Berlin: “a picturesque, in a suitable space surrounding the town hall square and the inner city in general. intimate, German town hall complex. "


The Legal Library in 1909

The New Town Hall is the seat of the Lord Mayor and the City Council , which has its meeting room here. At the same time, the council groups and small parts of the city administration are housed in the New Town Hall. The richly decorated, neo-Gothic library hall was built for the legal library of the council and is still a public legal library under the administration of the Munich city library .

In the New Town Hall and on Marienplatz, the receptions and honors for successful Munich athletes and teams usually take place.

The town hall tower has a viewing gallery below the top, above the carillon, which can be reached with a lift. From there, when the weather is clear, you have a view to the south of the Alpine chain, the Old Peter , the Holy Spirit Church , the Marienplatz , the Old Town Hall and the Talburgtor . In the north you can see the Theatine Church and the Olympic Tower , in the west you can look over to the Frauenkirche and St. Pauls Church .

Carillon and night watchman with angel

The carillon with 43 bells, the sound of which is triggered by six different rollers depending on the season, sounds daily at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and from March to October at 5 p.m. The actual play mechanism is located under the tower helmet and can also be played individually using a keyboard. The smallest of the bells weighs 10 kg and has a diameter of 18 cm, the largest weighs 1,300 kg with a diameter of 125 cm, and the bells weigh a total of 7,000 kg.

The player's bay in which the carillon is located is embossed in copper. The 32 game pieces relate to motifs from the history and legend of Munich . The kinematic arrangement was developed in 1899 by the inventor of the four-stroke engine, Christian Reithmann . In the upper part of the bay a "tournament" is shown, which was held for the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine in 1568 on Marienplatz . Heralds, fools, fanfare players, pages and standard bearers lined the tournament field on which Bavaria and Lorraine competed in a medieval feudal game of skill. The fact that the white-blue Bavarians won over the black-yellow Lorraine can only be interpreted symbolically. On the lower floor, the shepherd's dance is shown, which reminds of the plague survived from 1515 to 1517. When, for fear of the epidemic, no one dared to leave their houses on the streets of the city, the shepherds in their brightly colored guild clothing are said to have lured the frightened citizens back into the open with dancing and making music.

There is also a two-minute variant in the late evening at 9 p.m., then spotlights illuminate two side bay windows . On the left the night watchman steps out and makes his round; he carries a halberd, a horn and a lamp, his dog follows him. (The night watchman's call from Richard Wagner's opera " Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg " is also heard ). After a short pause, the sounds Lullaby by Johannes Brahms . In the right oriel tower the Münchner Kindl marches to the left, followed by the Guardian Angel ( Angel of Peace ) (the model is probably the depiction of a citizen child with Guardian Angel by Ignaz Günther in the Munich Citizens' Hall of the Marian Congregation ). After both are back in the tower, the light goes out. The night watchman and the guardian angel have led the Münchner Kindl to rest and Munich dives into the night.

The idea of ​​integrating a carillon in the tower of the New Town Hall goes back to Georg von Hauberrisser. The cost was substantial. The 43 bells alone struck 154,000 gold marks, to which the Munich furniture and antiques dealer Kommerzienrat Karl Rosipal made a donation of 32,000 marks in 1904 on the occasion of the centenary of his furniture company. This donation had a peculiar aftermath: Karl Rosipal, who died in 1924, was of Jewish origin. The donation was returned to his family in 1933/34, as they probably no longer wanted Jewish participation in an original German carillon at that time. The carillon was finished in 1908, but it was not officially put into operation until February 18, 1909, as people were initially dissatisfied with the sound of the bells. Since then, the figures have appeared every day at 11 a.m. and the carillon has sounded. The appointments at 12 noon and 5 pm have only existed since the Olympic Games in 1972. Between 1944 and 1952, only limited operation was possible because the carillon had not been destroyed during the war, but considerable repairs were necessary.

In the course of the restoration of the tower facade, all bells were removed, cleaned and refurbished in 2006-2007. The bell cage received a suspension made of stainless steel, and springs, cables and other important parts were replaced. The total costs of 750,000 euros were mainly raised with donations from the Munich citizenship (660,000 euros), the German Foundation for Monument Protection contributed 100,000 euros. The bells were reinstalled , revised and tuned in time for the city of Munich's 850th birthday in 2008.

The bells each play four melodies, which are controlled monthly by six different reels.

City crib

Munich city crib
Carrier with crucifix

During Advent and until the end of the Christmas season, the old Bavarian Christmas crib by the wood sculptor Reinhold Zellner , born in 1903, can be viewed in the town hall's grand courtyard (inner courtyard) in the immediate vicinity of the Christmas market. The Christmas crib was designed by the artist for the Christkindlmarkt in 1954 and consists of 33 figures, some dressed in alpine and partly oriental clothes, and 28 animals. A special feature is considered to be the carrier who anachronistically carries a crucifix with him for the birth of Jesus . In the course of the decades, some figures disappeared and the ensemble as a whole was damaged by weather and aging. In 2000, the work of art was extensively renovated for DM 30,000, during which the lost nativity figures were replaced. Once the renovation work was completed, the property became the property of the Munich Tourist Office.


The Ratskeller was painted by the painter Heinrich Schlitt from Biebrich am Rhein and officially opened as a restaurant in the six cross vaults in the cellar of the new town hall on August 1, 1874 by the first Ratskeller host couple Ernst and Franziska Steidl. The current painting of the Munich Rathskeller was originally designed for Hauberrisser's Ratskeller in the St. Johann town hall . Hauberisser had suggested Schlitt for the painting of the St. Johanner Ratskeller. The theme of the planned painting was "The battle of beer against wine". Heinrich Schlitt was already a well-known artist in the Saar area. Among other things , he designed ceramics for Villeroy & Boch at the beginning of the 20th century . Schlitt was also in collaboration with colleagues from the year 1890 in the Ratskeller of the also of Georg von Hauberrisser designed the new town hall in Wiesbaden the "beer hall" with humorous painted frescoes.

After disputes between the city administration of St. Johann and Schlitt about the amount of the payment for the painting, Schlitt demanded his St. Johann sketches back and painted the Munich Ratskeller from 1905 onwards (subject: “When wine and beers meet war - who will win, who will be defeated? ").

Memorial room

Memorial room
Cube in front of the plaque

In 1958 - for the 800th anniversary of the city of Munich - a sacred, hexagonal memorial room was set up on the first floor on the side facing Marienplatz, but facing the inner courtyard. A memorial room was located in the same place after the First World War , but it was destroyed in the Second World War. In the newly designed, chapel-like room, there are two marble panels to the side of a predominantly gold-colored stone mosaic created by Karl Knappe , which commemorate the dead of the two world wars and the victims of political persecution at the time of National Socialism. The black base plate is reminiscent of the “employees who died on duty” of the city of Munich. The altar similar cube in front of the vertically mounted plaques containing a glass plate under a folio in which the names of the dead are recorded both World Wars.


  • Oscar Doering: Two Munich architects, Gabriel von Seidel, Georg von Hauberrisser , ed. from the General Association for Christian Art Munich, No. 51 u. 52, Munich 1924, pp. 14-15.
  • Klaus Gallas : Munich. From the Guelph foundation of Henry the Lion to the present: art, culture, history . DuMont, Cologne 1979, ISBN 3-7701-1094-3 (DuMont documents: DuMont art travel guide).
  • Brigitte Huber: The New Town Hall in Munich. Georg von Hauberrisser (1841–1922) and his main work . Dölling u. Galitz, Ebenhausen b. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-937904-24-7 .

Web links

Commons : Neues Rathaus (Munich)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Siggi Weidemann: Brussels, 5th, updated edition, Ostfildern 1998, pp. 29–30.
  2. Building history .; Retrieved December 18, 2012
  3. Corinna Erhard: Munich in 50 Answers , MünchenVerlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-937090-57-3 , p. 16: The Münchner Kindl on the town hall - who was the model?
  4. ^ Christian Baur: Neo-Gothic (Heyne Stilkunde, Volume 26). Munich 1981, pp. 207-210.
  5. ^ Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung. Volume 16, Berlin 1896, No. 47, p. 519.
  6. Lea Rosh : Speech at Chaverim e. V. in Munich on November 13, 2007 ( Memento from August 4, 2012 in the web archive )
  7. Max Joseph Hufnagel: Famous dead in the southern cemetery in Munich. Zeke, Würzburg 1983
  8. a b Glockenspiel in the town hall tower.
  9. How the people of Munich got their "Bimmelbammel" . In: Die Welt , August 22, 2001.
  10. Bierwalzer und Meistersinger - The carillon at Munich City Hall has been restored . Monuments Online, Issue 1/2008
  11. Bell program.
  12. The Munich city crib
  13. Homepage of the Münchner Ratskeller ( Memento of the original from February 18, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. ^ Brigitte Huber: The New Town Hall in Munich, Georg von Hauberrisser (1841–1922) and his main work. Dölling and Galitz, Ebenhausen near Munich 2006, pp. 112–113.
  15. Report on a pitcher designed for V&B on the Stein Collectors website , accessed on August 2, 2010.
  16. ^ JA Schmoll, called Eisenwerth, Therese Thomas: Heinrich Schlitt (1849–1923) . Mettlach 1990.
  17. ^ Günter Leicher: Kaspar Kögler, life and work. Wiesbaden 1996, p. 22.
  18. Bertram Heide: Old Masters painting technique in the Wiesbaden Ratskeller, Eberhard Münch reconstructed the paintings of the Wiesbaden painter-poet Caspar Kögler / Illusion painting lifted from oblivion. In: Wiesbadener Tagblatt, June 26, 1987.
  19. Marianne Fischer-Dyck, Gretel Baumgart-Buttersack: Stories from the old Wiesbaden, Kaspar Kögler - 150 years, and not forgotten ... In: Wiesbadener Leben , 3/1988, p. 29.
  20. ^ Friedrich Hellwig: Ratskeller, first catering: January 27, 1905, first lease: April 10, 1909, complete redesign: April 27, 1963, Saarbrücken 1988, p. 5.
  21. Helga Pfoertner: Living with history. Volume 1, Literareron, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-89675-859-4 , pp. 139-141; ( Memento from April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 1.1 MB)
  22. ^ State capital Munich (ed.): Topic History Path. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, 2012, p. 61; (PDF; 3.5 MB)

Coordinates: 48 ° 8 ′ 15 "  N , 11 ° 34 ′ 33"  E