KLENZE, Leo von
(b. 1784, Schladen, d. 1864, München)


Englischer Garten, Munich

The Englischer Garten is a large public park in the centre of Munich, stretching from the city centre to the northeastern city limits. It was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814), later Count Rumford (Reichsgraf von Rumford), for Prince Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria. Thompson's successors, Reinhard von Werneck (1757–1842) and Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell (1750–1823), advisers on the project from its beginning, both extended and improved the park.

The Englischer Garten is one of the world's largest urban public parks, larger than New York's Central Park. The name refers to its English garden form of informal landscape, a style popular in England from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century.

When Sckell moved to Munich in 1804, he was raised to the rank of Court Garden Director by the new ruler, Maximilian Joseph. Now he was able to start work on transforming a huge stretch of land, more than five kilometres in length, into a harmonious and rhythmically subdivided park.

Sckell wanted only to retain staffage buildings - those used for decorative rather than purely functional purposes - in Neoclassicist style. The sentimental and exotic motifs, built in 18th century, were to be removed. Sckell died in 1823, and his ideas on staffage buildings were realized by Leo von Klenze.

One of Klenze's most imposing buildings is the Monopteros on the artificial mound near the Hofgarten, built in 1838. It is a little round temple where Ludwig I had a memorial tablet installed to Karl-Theodor and Maximilian I.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.