February 9th


Müller'sches Volksbad – swim in a stylish ambience

By Frank

February 9, 2024

The institution was named Karl Müllersches Volksbad in memory of its founder.

Construction of the public baths began in July 1897 and the institution was opened for business in May 1901. The costs of the construction, including furnishings, amounted to 1,970,000 marks. The construction was based on a donation from the Munich engineer Karl Müller to the city of Munich, combined with the requirement to build a bath for the “poor people”.

Today, the Müllersche Volksbad is not only a landmark of Munich, but also one of the best-preserved Art Nouveau buildings in the world. Carl Hocheder designed the Volksbad as a neo-baroque Art Nouveau building. Sources of inspiration for the architect were Roman baths, religious buildings, hammams and mosques. At that time it was said to have been the most expensive and modern bathing establishment in the world.


Clever navigation in the article - just click...

AHA! cool...

Karl Müller was a wealthy Munich resident with a generous idea: Because he had no children at the age of 73, the civil engineer donated real estate worth 1.5 million marks to the city in 1894. In return, Müller received a life annuity of 32,000 marks per year (today 215,000 euros) - and Munich, at the time, was supposedly the largest swimming pool in the world, right on the banks of the Isar, with 86 tubs and 22 shower baths, the Müllersche Volksbad.

But the donation also came with a condition: Müller wanted to ensure that the bathroom was available to the poor. People should be able to swim here, because private households with their own bathroom were still a rare luxury back then.

During the struggle over the shape of the Müllersche Volksbad, a religious war broke out over every small detail decision - almost every single statue, even the location of the already strictly separated areas for men and women. The architect and “Royal Professor Carl Hocheder the Elder” demonstrated extraordinary patience and diplomatic skills. In order not to endanger the inauguration, his notorious adversary Karl Müller was quickly knighted at the last minute.

The bathroom has two swimming pools. The two pools were once strictly separated between female and male bathers. Today they only differ in their water temperature: the former women's pool invites you to swim and relax at 30 degrees. The "men's pool", which is around 3 degrees cooler, meets sporting needs.

Roman-Irish sweat bath

Since its construction and opening in 1901, the bath has also included a Roman-Irish steam bath with an open-air courtyard. Experience an old tradition in the original Roman-Irish sweat bath of the Müller'schen Volksbad. She was founded by the Irish doctor Dr. Richard Barter invented it in the 19th century and combines Irish and ancient Roman bathing culture into a beneficial combination

In the Roman-Irish sweat bath, unlike in the sauna, you slowly warm up your body in warm air rooms with different temperatures at 45, 60 and 80°. There is also a steam room with a cascade fountain (45°C, almost 100% humidity) and a Finnish sauna (approx. 90°C) with colored lights, cold pools, warm pools (approx. 34°C) and relaxation areas.


The “ Müller'sche Volksbad ” is located on the so-called “lime kiln island” - where suitable Isar stones were previously burned into lime in several kilns.The location of the Müllersche Volksbad was originally examined by Gottfried Semper around 1863 for the construction of a festival hall for Richard Wagner, but was rejected as unfavorable due to the traffic development requirements.

What's exciting to see?

About the author

It is more valuable to experience a place in detail than many small impressions of an incomprehensible whole.

Genius Loci - discovering, capturing and experiencing the spirit of a place. Perceive - understand - enjoy!

As a graduate industrial engineer with an additional MBA degree from a renowned university in England (EMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited), I have been showing other, often surprising, paths to success for more than 30 years at C-Level (Head of Marketing and Sales worldwide).

You might also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss a good story!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!