The Maximilianeum building in the Haidhausen district houses students and politicians all under one roof.

Behind Wiener Platz on the eastern banks of the Isar, the Maximilianeum building towers over the grand boulevard of Maximilianstrasse that leads over the Isarbrücke bridge and connects Haidhausen with the old town.

Initially created as a foundation for gifted students by King Maximilian II to help them prepare for civil service, the Maximilianeum is now most famous for its well-known tenant, the Bavarian state government, which moved in in 1949.

The king's foundation, one of the primary goals of which was to promote science and the arts, is still around today: Each year, six to eight male scholarship holders – who must have received the highest possible grade in their Abitur (A-level equivalents) – move into the Maximilianeum for free room and board.

Thanks to a second foundation set up by the Wittelsbach family in 1980, outstanding female students are also able to apply for a scholarship as well. Anyone who receives a scholarship is joining an elite group: Former holders include Bavaria’s former Minister President Franz Josef Strauss and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics Werner Heisenberg.

In terms of its architectural history, Maximilianeum forms the impressive conclusion to Maximilianstrasse, which Maximilian II had built according to plans drawn up by the architect Friedrich Bürklein from 1852 onwards. The foundation stone for the Maximilianeum was laid in 1857, with construction work finally completed in 1874 following multiple improvements. The magnificent building was severely damaged by bombing during the Second World War, when around two thirds of the building were destroyed. It was later rebuilt under the guidance of the architect Karl Kergl.

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Photo: Redline Enterprises