November 18


Blutenburg Castle – a cultural and historical jewel

By Frank

November 18, 2023

The Würm flows idyllically around the late Gothic building and the associated castle chapel. The medieval castle complex in the west of Munich was mentioned for the first time in 1432. Under Albrecht III, who used the Blutenburg as a hunting lodge , gates with defensive walls, a gate tower and an economic building were built.

AHA, cool...

blutenburg_bird's eye view with Würm and walking path

Blutenburg Castle_bird's eye view

Wittelsbach moated castle

The Blutenburg is a late Gothic moated castle of the Wittelsbach family , which may have been built over a previous castle from the 13th century. The outer castle and the main castle were once separated by a moat. Blutenburg Castle is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and is located in a picturesque setting on the outskirts of Munich.


International Jugendbibliothek (IJB)

The International Youth Library has had its headquarters in Blutenburg Castle in Munich since 1983. The library, opened in 1949 by Jella Lepman and initially located at Kaulbachstrasse 11a in Munich's Maxvorstadt, is the world's largest library for international children's and young adult literature. It includes a collection of over 650,000 books in around 250 languages from six centuries. The International Youth Library is the world's largest library for international children's and youth literature .

The stacks of the International Youth Library are hidden directly under the large linden tree in the inner courtyard. The majority of the 650,000 books from the International Youth Library's reference collection are stored in the underground stacks. Of the 250 languages in the books, Germany dominates, followed by the USA, France, England and Spain.

All books come exclusively from donations and are checked by editors in the respective national language before being sorted. If you want to take a closer look at a book, you must pre-order it. You can also take a closer look at the selected books in the study hall, but you are not allowed to take them home .

The Erich Kästner room

A small, fine room with a few personal pieces of furniture and around 500 books from Kästner's private collection . Due to the close friendship between Jela Lepman and Erich Kästner, the International Youth Library can now list Kästner's personal furniture , including his original desk and a round solid wood table and armchair , which still have the heavy smell of cigarettes, which Kästner loved to indulge in.

The portrait of Erich Kästner on the wall would make you think he was still present in the room.

In the display cases opposite you can marvel at not only some first editions of Kästner's works and his very personal readings, but also the list of books that were given to librarians and commissioners who were in charge of the cleanup in 1933 as part of the book burning or " cleaning up of public libraries ". the hand was given.

Kästner's works were also to be burned in this context. The only exception was probably his work Emil and the Detectives .

Dachau Concentration Camp Death March Memorial

In 2001, one of the now numerous identically designed memorials by the artist Hubertus von Pilgrim was erected directly on the large lake, which is intended to commemorate and admonish the horrific death march of the prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp in the last days of the Second World War.

On April 26, 1945, the SS rounded up thousands of Dachau prisoners on the concentration camp roll call area: Jews, so-called "Reich Germans", but above all prisoners from the Soviet Union. Men, women and children had to embark on a deadly journey.

It was the last journey for at least 1,000 prisoners . The march was supposedly supposed to lead to an ominous Nazi "Alpine fortress" in the Tyrolean Ötztal, although the prisoners did not necessarily know that it did not exist.

Blutenburg_Death March Monument in front of the lake


What's exciting to see?

Castle church

Blutenburg Chapel interior with altar

Blutenburg Chapel interior

The outstanding and most famous component is the new castle chapel of the Holy Trinity, which Duke Sigismund probably built from 1488. What is particularly noteworthy today is the chapel, which is almost completely in a medieval state of preservation. A sacred ensemble was created here at the highest artistic level, whose iconography repeatedly refers to rule and which, like no other in Old Bavaria, allows you to experience the interplay of late Gothic art in space.

When you enter the chapel as a visitor, you are immediately surrounded by the tranquility of the sacred interior . As was common in the Bavarian late Gothic period (one-hall building), the choir and the community room merge into one another and merge into one large hall building . The architectural space independently encompasses the entire furnishings and fits them into a religiously and artistically prescribed order.

Castle garden

Blutenburg Castle beer garden at dusk

Beer garden (Source: Flickr)

Blutenburg Castle has beautiful castle gardens that are open to the public. The castle garden offers wonderful views of the castle and is a popular destination for walks and picnics.

Schloss Blutenburg

Seldweg 15

81247 Munich

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).

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