The Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus, an artists' villa with an onion tower in Bogenhausen in Munich.

Monacensia Munich

You can’t get much more Munich than that

“Monacensia” – a poetic name for the city’s literary archive. It translates roughly as “pieces of Munich”, and there isn’t a word that could better describe the uniqueness of this institution. What a vibrant, splendid and internationally respected place!

The Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus is much more than just a city library or literary archive. The magnificent villa on the banks of the Isar – with its turrets, creaking wooden spiral staircases, and high and bright rooms – preserves the legacy of Munich’s authors like Thomas Mann and Frank Wedekind, as well as Munich’s actors like Therese Giehse. This is where creative minds and experts stand before large audiences to discuss art and literature and read passages from their new books.

A priceless treasure can be found right on the ground floor: Oskar Maria Graf’s desk with retractable typewriter from his exile in New York. The wood is full of notes containing German addresses, while black-and-white postcards hang to one side with pictures of Lake Starnberg and people in traditional Bavarian dress. This shows how much the writer must have yearned for his home after being exiled by the Nazis. The suicide note of Lena Christ, who took her own life with cyanide, is exhibited nearby. And a menu shows how the city of Munich celebrated the winner of the later Nobel Prize for Literature, Thomas Mann, at the town hall in 1919 – with crab tails, bird’s nest soup and cheese sticks.

The basement is used to store valuable pieces at 14 degrees on heavy moving shelves, including numerous original documents with handwritten notes from the authors and actors, the complete legacies of these creative minds and even surprising things like the gloves of the writer and amateur goalkeeper Albert Ostermaier. When you hold these documents in your hand, you’re taken back to another era and begin to understand the historical and personal context in which the world-famous works were created.

The villa’s double doors are open to anyone who’s interested: Coffee drinkers who just want to read in peace in the glazed extension, “Café Mon”; students who’d like to see handwritten pieces; authors and writers in the making; and all tourists who’d like to find out even more about Munich while chatting in the wonderfully bright café. It’s not unusual to have a conversation with a local author in the middle of their work.

They are the ones who take centre stage at the Monacensia. After all, the “Library of the Mann Family” is joined by the “Library of Munich Authors”, which is dedicated to the city’s writers. Whenever someone from Munich puts a book on the market, they can place it on the shelves of this library for three years, and keen visitors can browse and borrow their works. The works of famous authors like Hans Pleschinski (“Königsallee”) stand alongside those of journalists like Veronika Beer and Stefanie Gentner, who like to publish something creative once in a while (“Glücksorte in München”).

The Monacensia is the literary memory of Munich. The city’s works couldn’t be presented in a more beautiful setting than the Hildebrandhaus of 1898, which is a piece of art and history itself. The tower room has painted lemons on the ceiling and offers a magnificent view of the city. This used to be the family home of the sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand, who created the Wittelsbach Fountain on Lenbachplatz and the Father Rhine Fountain at the Deutsches Museum. These fantastic fountain sculptures were made at his artist’s villa behind the huge gates to his studio, before being transported through the city by horse and cart to their current sites. While the villa is now home to old and new books, the charm of the Wilhelminian era has certainly remained.

 

 

 

Photo: Frank Stolle
A church window in the Salvatorkirche in Munich

Munich's church windows

The most beautiful windows of the city

Michael Mayer of Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt presents the most spectacular church windows.

Fascinating people for centuries: Michael Mayer of Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt presents the most spectacular church windows the city has to offer.

The monument to Max I. Joseph in front of the Residenz

Munich's royal monuments

Four kings and a prince regent

In Munich there are fantastic monuments to admire. Where they are and what makes them so special.

In Munich there are several fantastic monuments to admire. Where they are and what makes them so special: an overview.

The tour guide Alvestad-Aschenbrenner stands in the Museum for Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke Munich

Ludwig I of Bavaria

When Munich became an „Athens on the Isar“

Ludwig I of Bavaria converted Munich into his "„Athens on the Isar“, many buildings still remind us of this today. An interview.

Ludwig I of Bavaria converted Munich into his "„Athens on the Isar“, many buildings still remind us of this today. An interview with a tour guide.

Young woman sitting at a window in a tram in Munich.

Column

A vacation in my own city

Our author used to be a travel blogger. Now she has started to explore her own city: Munich!

Our author used to be a travel blogger. Now she has started to explore her own city: Munich!

View from the inside of a figure of the carillon in the New Town Hall in Munich.

New Town Hall

The Glockenspiel in ten pictures

An exclusive look behind the scenes.

The Glockenspiel on Marienplatz has been enchanting visitors and locals for over 100 years. An exclusive look behind the scenes.

Panoramic view of Karlsplatz / Stachus in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background photographed from the air.

Munich's city centre

Classical and curiosities

Numerous Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz square. A city walk.

Numerous interesting Munich stories can be told along the roughly one-kilometer-long route between Karlsplatz-Stachus and Marienplatz square. A city walk.

Weissenburger Platz in Munich photographed from above with a drone.

Haidhausen and Au

A village in the city

Haidhausen and Au have developed from working-class quarters into popular residential areas.

When strolling along the narrow streets of the districts Haidhausen and Au with small shops and green courtyards, it almost feels like being in a village in the middle of the city.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich in autumn.

Schwabing

From artists and writers

Around 1900, it was the artists and writers who settled around the university and the art academy and shaped the spirit of Schwabing.

In the heyday of the Schwabinger Bohème around 1900, it was the artists and writers who settled around the university and the art academy and shaped the spirit of Schwabing.

Flowerbed at Gärtnerplatz in Munich.

Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbach

Where the night begins

Independent labels, hip bars, pubs and cool inns attract the young and the young-at-heart.

The Gärtnerplatz and Glockenbach neighbourhoods are known as trendy quarters. Their independent labels, hip bars, pubs, cool inns and calm backyards attract the young and the young-at-heart.

Munich Card & City Pass

Discover Munich in a relaxed and uncomplicated way: discounts for the diverse range of art, culture and leisure activities with our guest cards.

Public transport is included

Many discounts with the Card, many things for free with the Pass.

Online or at the tourist information offices

Merchant with dried fruit on the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.

Viktualienmarkt Tasting Tour

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Book now for 40 €!

Discover the most delicious delicacies of the city and learn all kinds of interesting historical facts about Munich's most famous food market.

Munich's Palace of Justice

Justizpalast Tour

During the guided tour of the present-day seat of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, you will learn everything about the history and significance of the neo-baroque court and administrative building.

Book now for 20 €!

During the guided tour of the present-day seat of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, you will learn everything about the history and significance of the neo-baroque court and administrative building.

Small meeting room of the Neues Rathaus in Munich

New Town Hall Tour

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Book now from 22 €

Explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Magistrates, Monachia and magnificent celebrations: explore the Neue Rathaus on Marienplatz with an official City of Munich tour guide. A visit of the famous law library is also included!

Exterior view of the Hofbräuhaus Munich at dusk.

Hofbräuhaus Tour

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Book for 28€, Mass beer included!

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Discover the most famous beer hall in the world with an official guide of the city of Munich and enjoy a fresh Mass of beer afterward!

Towers at Marienplatz in Munich

Old Town Tour

The city walk for everyone who wants to become acquainted with the most beautiful parts of Munich's city centre.

Book now for 18 €!

The city walk for everyone who wants to become acquainted with the most beautiful parts of Munich's city centre.

Wort kettle at the Spaten brewery in Munich.

Spaten Brewery Tour

Experience a brewery tour at Spaten with a look behind the scenes, interesting facts about the company history and beer tasting in the brewery tower.

Book now for 22 €!

Experience a brewery tour at Spaten with a look behind the scenes, interesting facts about the company history and beer tasting in the brewery tower.

A woman with varnished fingernails holds a gift with the inscription "simply Munich".

Vouchers

Buy now vouchers for your visit in Munich. The ideal gift! Guided tours, guest cards and more...

Buy vouchers from 6,50 €

Buy now vouchers for your visit in Munich. The ideal gift! Guided tours, guest cards and more...

View of the Salzach river and the castle in Salzburg.

Salzburg and the Lake District

Visit the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and relax on the journey to beautiful Lake Wolfgang.

Book now from 58 €

Visit the birthplace of composer extraordinaire Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, stroll through the Baroque old town and then relax on the journey to beautiful Lake Wolfgang.

A stone jug with the inscription Oktoberfest Munich.

Order now!

Oktoberfest Shop

Bring a piece of Oktoberfest home: Purchase official souvenirs such as the Wiesn poster or the Oktoberfest beer stein in the official Oktoberfest shop.

Bring a piece of Oktoberfest home: Purchase official souvenirs such as the Wiesn poster or the Oktoberfest beer stein in the official Oktoberfest shop.

Bikes stand in the green grass in the English Garden in Munich

Rental bike 1 day

With a rental bike, you can experience Munich at your own personal pace. Discover hidden alleys and charming districts off the beaten track.

Book now for 26 €!

With a rental bike, you can experience Munich at your own personal pace. Discover hidden alleys and charming districts off the beaten track.

A woman in the exhibition "Der Blaue Reiter" in the Lenbachhaus in Munich

Discovery trip incl. City Pass

2 nights in your selected hotel and - thanks to the City Pass - free admission to 45 museums, sights and attractions: our travel package for explorers.

3 days from 313 € for 2 Pers.

2 nights in your selected hotel and - thanks to the City Pass - free admission to 45 museums, sights and attractions: our travel package for explorers.

Bag on green background

Vouchers

Give the gift of a special Munich voucher: we also offer vouchers for all our guided tours. Here you can book unique Munich experiences directly online, print them out and give them as a gift voucher to friends or family.

Buy vouchers from 6,50 €

Give the gift of a special Munich voucher: we also offer vouchers for all our guided tours. Here you can book unique Munich experiences directly online, print them out and give them as a gift voucher to friends or family.