Autumn in Munich is when the city shines, a peak time for the city when most visitors and locals make their way to the “Wiesn”, the city fairgrounds, to celebrate Oktoberfest. The iconic month-long festival pays homage to German beer and pretzels, and gives locals an excuse to put on traditional costumes of lederhosen to show their national pride.
Competition is fierce for reservations in the beer tents on the Wiesn. So if you are one of many who are unsuccessful in securing yourself a spot, we have a suggestion for another more contemplative way to spend the afternoon. Make your way to Koenigsplatz square to visit the renowned museum of art, Lenbachhaus.
Lenbachhaus is the former residence of local artist Franz von Lenbach, the go-to portrait artist for the well-to-do and famous of Munich’s society around the turn of the 20th century.
In 1890 he built a beautiful Italianate villa right in the then-fashionable center of town near the Propylaea, a symbolic city gate, on the ceremonial route leading from the royal residence to Nymphenburg Palace.
The prominent location was conveniently close to the major art collections of the state. The Glyptothek and the royal exhibition building (now home to the State Collection of Antiquities) on Königsplatz are just a stone’s throw away, and the Alte and Neue Pinakothek are within easy walking distance. Count Schack, Lenbach’s greatest supporter, resided a short way down the road toward Nymphenburg, and renowned composer and theater director Richard Wagner’s villa stood just across the street.