The Greek- Bavarian friendship began historically in the 19th century, when it put down roots. This relationship has kept during the time and has been influencing the current relations of the two regions. Bavaria was a kingdom in the 19th century with a different history from the other German ones and it was involved with the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s throne. Greece and Bavaria linked in various fields, developing a relationship that has lasted almost two centuries and art has evidenced it. The intense increase of philhellenism of the 19th century is evidenced nowadays mainly through the monuments, which are scattered in Bavaria and especially in the city of Munich as it is the capital. The king Ludvic A wanted to transfer the Bavarian capital to a big European cultural, academic and artistic center, influenced by the spirit of Ancient Greece, and tried to enhance this flourishing through Munich’s “Royal Academy of Visual Arts”.
Bavaria played an important role in the Greek Revolution from 1825, when Ludvic A’ took the throne. They sent Carl von Heideck in order to encourage the Greek effort. It was the first formal foreign intervention in the Revolution. This is the reason why Ludvic’s son, Otto, became in 1832 the first king of Greece, being accompanied by Bavarian intellectuals, who admired Greece. Loudvic was a great collector of art pieces that have been exhibited since 1830 in Munich’s Sculpture Museum, and his architects made significant buildings, following German neoclassicism. Those kinds of buildings are Konigsplatz, Salvatorkirche e.c.t. and the most important of these are the Sculpture Museum, the Museum of National Ancient Collection and the Gateway. Furthermore, there is a Parthenon’s copy in a hill out of the Regensburg of Bavaria that has hosted the busts of important German personalities. Its rhythm was Doric outside and Ionic inside and it has been decorated with strips with figures and sculptures of Nike and Caryatids.
In 2021 exhibitions that took place in Munich proved the connection between Greece and Bavaria, such as “Athens-Munich. Architecture’s influences” and “Greece in Munich-200 years of Greek-Bavarian friendship”. The latter was a periodic exhibition about the historical facts of the 19th century and the Greek Revolution’s appeal to the region. The exhibition became true in cooperation with the General Consulate of Greece in Munich and the Museum “Otto-Koning von Griechenland” in Ottobrunn. It included oil paintings representing Greek fighting, Otto’s personal things and copied documents from the Diplomatic and Historic Data of the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the early diplomatic relations of Bavaria and Greece.
To conclude, the influence of the ancient Greek spirit in Bavaria is visible till today. Ludvic A’ inspired from ancient Greek ideas and art and tried to make Bavaria similar to Ancient Athens. So, he transformed his capital to a New Athens in the river of Izar, called Munich as “Izar’s Athens”. Today, the buildings and the permanent collections that were exhibited in Munich and generally in the province of Bavaria show this deep relation. The friendship firstly between the Greek State and Bavaria’s kingdom and secondly between Germany and Greece now has kept in time, depicted mainly nowadays in European and bilateral level of relations.
Εκδόσεις Καρμανώρ-reposted-, «Ένας Παρθενώνας στη Βαυαρία», 13rd of April 2009, Available at: https://www.karmanor.gr/el/article/enas-parthenonas-sti-vayaria (27/2/2022)
Greek Republic- Minister of Foreign Affairs- General Consulate of Munich, «Κρατική συλλογή Αρχαιοτήτων στη Γλυπτοθήκη του Μονάχου», 24th of June 2021, Available at: https://www.mfa.gr/germany/geniko-proxeneio-monahou/news/periodike-ekthese-me-thema-ellada-sto-monakho-200-khronia-ellenobauarikes-philias.html (27/2/2022)
Η Καθημερινή, «Το Μόναχο συμμετέχει στους εορτασμούς της εθνικής μας επετείου», 24th of July 2021, Available at: https://www.kathimerini.gr/culture/athinaika-plus/561443572/to-monacho-symmetechei-stoys-eortasmoys-tis-ethnikis-mas-epeteioy/ (27/2/2022)
Picture source: https://pixabay.com/el/photos/%ce%bc%cf%8c%ce%bd%ce%b1%cf%87%ce%bf-%ce%b1%cf%81%cf%87%ce%b9%cf%84%ce%b5%ce%ba%cf%84%ce%bf%ce%bd%ce%b9%ce%ba%ce%ae-%ce%b4%ce%b9%ce%ba%ce%b1%cf%83%cf%84%ce%ae%cf%81%ce%b9%ce%bf-3385958/