Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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A concise architectural history of LMU

The Hohe Schule zu Ingolstadt found its first home in the Prebendary’s House (Pfründnerhaus) and the University was based there from 1472 until 1800. In 1736 the Medical Faculty moved into a new building near the Botanic Garden. It took 13 years to construct and included an Anatomy Theater.

In Landshut the “Ludovico-Maximilianea” was first housed in temporary accommodation, but with the secularization of ecclesiastical property in 1803 the former Dominican Monastery became available, and the University also acquired the Aula of Jesuit College as well as sections of the Franciscan Monastery. The Georgianum was accommodated in the Convent of the Holy Cross, and the Medical and Surgical Departments in the local hospital. The Kapuzinergraben in the town was used as a riding arena, and one wing of Trausnitz Castle became an astronomical observatory.

On its relocation to Munich in 1826, the University was quartered in St. Michael’s, the former Jesuit College. Fourteen years later, LMU moved into the present Main Building, designed by Friedrich von Gärtner. As the 19th century progressed, increasing specialization and the resulting need for new institutes, clinics and academic departments made expansion inevitable. The University’s Medical Departments became concentrated around the Sendlinger Tor, where the Institutes of Ophthalmology, Psychiatry and Dentistry were built. In 1908 an Orthopedic Clinic was erected in Harlaching, while Natural Science departments were dispersed around the city. The Chemistry Laboratory made famous by Adolf von Baeyer was on Sophienstrasse. The Department of Physiological Chemistry was sited next to the Botanic Garden, and moved to a new building on Karlstrasse in 1915. The Department of Mathematics and Physics, on the other hand, was accommodated in an extension added (1892–1894) to the Main Building, while the Humanities took up much of the Main Building itself. Its northern wing was extended along Adalbertstrasse in the years 1897/98. Further extensions and modifications followed in 1905–1909, when the Atrium and Auditorium Maximum were added to Gärtner’s structure. In 1899 the Department of Forestry moved to new quarters on Amalienstrasse, while a new home for the Department of Veterinary Medicine was finished on Königstrasse in 1902.

By the end of World War II, major parts of the Main Building and the clinics in the city center, as well as the Natural Science Institutes, had been extensively damaged. The option of moving out of the downtown area was considered, but it was decided that the damaged buildings should be repaired or rebuilt from scratch. The University Library was transferred to the Salinenbau adjacent to the Main Building. The Medical Campus was rebuilt, but some of its units were later relocated to the new Medical Center in Grosshadern on the perimeter of the city. The tendency towards dispersal that set in during the post-war phase of reconstruction has continued, so that the modern University no longer conforms to the classical campus model. Thus, in collaboration with Technical University (TU) of Munich, the Accelerator Laboratory for the Physics Division was opened in Garching in 1972. In 1992 the Faculty of Forestry was transferred to the TU Munich and relocated to Weihenstephan, and in 1999 the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy moved out to Grosshadern. The Biocenter in Martinsried, finished in 2008, is the latest building complex to be added to LMU.

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