GLYPTOTHEK: “What we do in life will echo throughout eternity!” This quote doesn’t apply to everyone perhaps, but Russell Crowe’s character Maximus could have had Munich’s Glyphothek in mind when he shouted those words at the start of Gladiator.
Talk about old. Some of the treasures here go back over 2,500 years…and still scrub up nicely today.

Tomb raiders

TREASURE TROVE: The Museum contains thousands of priceless artifacts.
The Greek-style Glyptothek blocks up the northern side of Königsplatz. It was built for booty brought back by King Ludwig I’s band of tomb raiders who were out digging up Italy and Greece as far back as 1811.
Many of the most famous finds came from the Aphaia Temple (500BC), on the Greek island of Ägina Munich’s oldest museum Master builder Leo von Klenze built the Glyptothek 1816 to 1830 from designs by Karl von Fischer.
It houses one of Europe’s most important sculpture collection – the name stems from the Greek word Glyptik, meaning sculptor. The tympanum (that triangle section outside above the Corinthian columns) shows the goddess Athene surrounded by artists.

Do a lap

barberini faun
VIVID: The statue of the Barberini Faun. Photo by Mattias Kabel

Turn left at the lobby to start your circuit of the exhibition halls arranged around a central courtyard. The collection is in chronological order, starting with Greek statues of Homer and youthful figures in Hall I.
A museum highlight is the marble Barbarini Faun statue (220bc) in Hall
. This erotic piece was taken from Rome’s Barbarini Palace. Also here is an antique copy of the Medusa Rondanini.
In Hall III you’ll find the head of the goddess of heroic endeavour Athene and a statue of the Homeric warrior Diomedes. Hall IV contains a tomb relief of the beautiful courtesan Mnesarete and an ancient woman’s tomb.
Hall V has a statue of the Greek goddess of peace Eirene, and there’s more tomb reliefs in Hall VI.

Hall VII
features gables from the Aphaia Temple showing the second siege of Troy, and Hall VIII has a sphinx from the roof of the temple.
There’s more Aphaia Temple gables in Hall IX, these ones showing the first siege of Troy. Hall X is home to the orator Demosthenes, an ancient copy of an Aphrodite’s head and a bust of Alexander the Great looking like he wants to go and sow his wild oats somewhere.
Hall XI holds a bust of Roman super-Caesar Augustus, a relief showing the marriage of Poseidon, and a floor mosaic from a Roman villa in Sentinum. Hall XII features a colossal statue of the god Apollo, called the “Apollo Barberini”, and a statue of the Emperor Domitian
Hall XIII has antique copies of Greek statues, including the “Boy with the Goose”, and some Roman sarcophaguses.

Drama central

The central courtyard has a café and bronze statue of Emperor Hadrian of British wall-building fame. It’s a cute setting for Greek tragedies in summer, and bread and wine are laid on at performances. Shows start at 8pm and tickets can be bought an hour beforehand. Call 3 00 30 13 for more details.

The Details

Location: Königsplatz 3
Phone: 089 28 61 00
Cost: €3.50, concession €2.50, Sundays €1
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, Thursday till 8pm
Directions: Take U-Bahn No. 2 or 8 to Königsplatz.

Do you like this site? Get the guidebook!

Destination-munich-ebookDestination Munich and Bavaria is the best, most up-to-date and entertaining travel guide to the region - guaranteed.
It gives you full-colour maps, practical information and top tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
It's 227 pages of up-to-the-minute travel intelligence and it can be yours as an eBook for less than the price of an Oktoberfest beer. (read on)

Sharing is caringshare-me

Share this page:

Or follow us on Facebook: