Monopteros in the Englischer Garten during summertime in Munich

Monopteros

A Temple of Tolerance

No matter what time of day or year, the Monopteros offers a spectacular view of streams, trees, churches and domes, making you feel happy and free. It’s no wonder the temple in the English Garden has come to represent the cosmopolitan nature of the city of Munich.

The Monopteros is 16 metres tall – and reaches almost as deep into the ground. The elegant temple is built upon strong brick foundations that is neatly concealed by a man-made hill. This gives the Monopteros a stable base, offers a magnificent view of the city and makes it a part of the English Garden that can be seen from far and wide. Just like the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower), it’s one of the best known locations in the world-famous park.

King Ludwig I commissioned his court architect Leo von Klenze to build a Greek-style round temple. The Monopteros was constructed between 1832 and 1837 in honour of Elector Karl Theodor and King Maximilian. A green dome with a red top is supported by ten columns made of Kelheim limestone.

The construction of a temple was first suggested by the urban planner Friedrich Ludwig Sckell, who emphatically proposed the idea of a pantheon in a specially designed wooded area in 1807. It was envisaged as a place to honour Bavarian personalities. His nephew, the landscape gardener Carl August Sckell, managed to convince King Ludwig I to implement the plans. Sckell junior spent many years designing the raised embankment around the solid foundations and planting trees in certain areas.

The complex has since been restored on several occasions: firstly in 1898, then to repair war damages in 1944, once more in the 1950s and 80s, and most recently from 2014 to 2016. The latest restoration efforts have even given visitors a new effect to enjoy, as the building is now lit up at night by two spotlights.

The king and his men would never have expected the Monopteros to become a meeting place for alternative thinkers, minor artists, intellectuals, actors, hippies and “drop-outs”, as it did in the 1960s. The Schönfeldwiese lawn between the temple and the Japanese tea house became a gathering place for nudists. These “nudies” may have caused quite a stir, but they also proved the tolerance of the city that let them be. This made the Monopteros a symbol of counter-culture and cosmopolitanism well beyond Munich.

“Live and let live” is still the way of life at the Monopteros to this day, where the guitar is played in the setting sun. The hill might not be marked as an official toboggan slope, but nobody would ever dream of spoiling the fun for so many young visitors as they swoosh down on their sledges in the winter.

 

Frequently asked questions about the Monopteros

 

Monopteros is an ancient Greek term meaning an open circular structure with columns. These structures were very popular during the Classicism and Baroque periods for the embellishment of English and French gardens.

The King Ludwig I commissioned Leo von Klenze to build the round temple in the Greek style in honour of Elector Theodor and King Maximilian I.

The Monopteros in the English Garden was built by Leo von Klenze from 1833 to 1837. He was also responsible for other buildings in Munich, such as the Glyptothek, the Residenz, the Alte Pinakothek or the Königsplatz.

The Monopteros in the English Garden has a total of 10 columns.

The Monopteros offers a beautiful view over the meadows of the southern English Garden and the silhouette of Munich's old town. Here you can see, for example, the Frauenkirche, the New Town Hall or the Old Peter.

The English Garden is perfectly accessible due to its central location. The best way to get there is with the U3 and U6 underground lines. From the stops Universität, Giselastraße or Münchner Freiheit you can walk to the park in a few minutes. But buses 154, 54, 58 and 68 also stop in the immediate vicinity of the English Garden.

 

 

 

Photos: Dominik Morbitzer, Luis Gervasi
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.