Three Lions of the Feldherrnhalle

I mentioned in an earlier post, that Munich is full of lions (in art and sculpture, of course) as the Bavarian Lion was on the coat of arms of the Wittelsbach family, the ruling family of Bavaria. So, I wasn’t surprised to see more of these at the Feldherrnhalle on the Odeonsplatz.

The Feldherrnhalle is located on the southern end of the Ludwigstrasse  on the Odeonsplatz. Also commissioned by Kind Ludwig I of Bavaria, it is dedicated to the Bavarian army. The monument is dominated by two massive lions flanking the staircase, a central sculpture added later in 1882 after the Franco.Prussian war, and the statues of two Bavarian commanders – Count von Tilly & Field Marshal von Wrede.

Of the two lions flanking the staircase leading to the loggia, this one faces the Theatinerkirche and has its jaws shut... (Sep. 2014)

Of the two lions flanking the staircase leading to the loggia, this one faces the Theatinerkirche and has its jaws shut… (Sep. 2014)

 

... while the other one faces the Residenz and has its jaws open in a low growl.... (Sep. 2014)

… while the other one faces the Residenz and has its jaws open in a low growl…. (Sep. 2014)

I was more fascinated by the lions (surprised?) – since it was pointed out to me that they are not quite similar. The one on the right (as you face the Feldherrnhalle) faces the Theatinerkirche and has its jaws shut (almost in respect). While the one on the left facing the Residenz & the Hofgarten has its jaws open in a low growl.

Need some good luck? Rub the muzzle of this lion and its three other companions at the entrance and the exit of the residenz. If you hang around, you'll see quite a few Münchners instinctively reaching out and giving the nose a slight rub. Supposed to bring good luck! No wonder it shines so bright! (Sep. 2014)

Need some good luck? Rub the muzzle of this lion and its three other companions at the entrance and the exit of the residenz. If you hang around, you’ll see quite a few Münchners instinctively reaching out and giving the nose a slight rub. Supposed to bring good luck! No wonder it shines so bright! (Sep. 2014)

Right next to the Feldherrnhalle, there are four smaller lion statues (two flanking the entrace to the residenz, another two at the exit of the Residenz) with their muzzles shining bright by being rubbed by the locals, as it is supposed to bring good luck! Hang around long enough and you’ll be surprised how many Münchners rub the noses on their way by… Anyone know the significance or symbolism of these lions?

The Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals' Hall) in Munich on the Odeonsplatz was built at the behest of King Ludwig I of Bavaria in honour of his Bavarian army (Sep. 2014)

The Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals’ Hall) in Munich on the Odeonsplatz was built at the behest of King Ludwig I of Bavaria in honour of his Bavarian army (Sep. 2014)

 

 

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2 replies »

  1. Magnificent sculptures! I think I read somewhere about an offender being pardoned by the king, who then rubs that muzzle in gratitude, setting off a tradition that survives! Wonder why the two lions jaws are portrayed differently? 🙂

    • Thanks for that explanation!! .. 🙂 Searching the net after posting this entry, I found a couple of relevant links… the one that’s probably most comprehensive is here. It does match what you’ve mentioned in your comment.

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