The Löwenbräukeller – History & tradition
Welcome to the history page of Löwenbräukeller
We are happy to accompany you on a visual & informative tour of our history. We have tried to preserve these old photographs and informative texts as well as possible. This is an on-going job. That is, this page never ceases to change and grow as we fill in missing knowledge, like a puzzle. The difference here is that we are talking about our own history. Your hosts, the Reinbold family, hope you have lots of fun.
1861 – Groundbreaking ceremony
Generally considered the birth of the Löwenbräukeller. The former so-called “Riesenfeldwirt,” Ludwig Brey (also the owner of the Löwenbräu brewery), bought this plot of land on Stiglmaierplatz. Only over the course of time would it later be baptized “Löwenbräukeller.”
1882 – The first plan
Another groundbreaking ceremony followed in 1882; in just one year, the Löwenbräukeller was built according to the plans of the famous architect Albert Schmidt. Of course, records say that the foundations already stood, so this was essentially a beautification of the existing structure.
1883 – Grand opening
Because the public showed great interest in the construction project, the onslaught of visitors to the grand opening on June 14, 1883 was accordingly large. At what was a very opulent inauguration ceremony for the time, an incredible number of Munich resident flocked to the big event in the new halls of the Löwenbräu brewery.
1894 – The first tower
One thing was missing from the Löwenbräukeller. It was not possible to construct the magnificent tower in Albert Schmidt’s blueprint back then. Now came the time to make up for this, and the owners specifically hired the builder of Munich’s Palace of Justice for the job. Friedrich von Thiersch himself lent the Löwenbräukeller its current landmark – the Tower.
1895 – Napkins & electric light
The second renovation was soon followed by another sensation. For the first time in Munich, guests did not have to rinse out their beer glasses themselves, and tablecloths and napkins suddenly decorated the tables. But by far the biggest sensation was the equipping of the building with electric lighting. That was not very common at the time.
1900 – Early events
Slowly but surely, the Löwenbräukeller developed and grew. It became the event center in the Bavarian state capital. Artists from all over the world gave performances, such as the musicians of the Kappelle Wiener Deutschmeister or even the American composer John Philip Sousa. In those days, this was a highlight for the city in the Alps. Events such as these of course constantly increased the popularity of the Löwenbräukeller among the locals.
1911 – The lion at rest
Finally, the Löwenbräukeller was really picking up steam. In those days, it was necessary to have an emblem. There was no doubt that the building itself was already a landmark – but even then, recognition value began to play an important role. During a third reconstruction phase, the sculptor Wilhelm von Rümann had a “lion couchant” placed directly on the terrace above the main entrance. To this day, this guardian keeps watch over the Löwenbräukeller.
1944 – Air raid
At this point, air raids on Munich sometimes affected the Löwenbräukeller. On December 17, the old building was badly damaged and the ballroom was even completely destroyed. Only after the end of the war could the first reconstruction work in the state capital begin. A very heavy blow for everyone, especially the inhabitants of Munich.
1950 – Reconstruction
When the war and the bombing finally came to an end, it took another 6 years until any reconstruction work around the Löwenbräukeller could begin. As part of this, all of the halls and smaller event rooms were redesigned and the large stage in the ballroom was relocated to the west for the first time.
1955 – Reopening
After a long construction phase, the ballroom of the Löwenbräukeller finally reopened, bringing joy to the people along with a few initial events. Even back then, celebrations ranged from parties from external organizations to the Löwenbräukeller’s own festivities, organized by the brewery or the Löwenbräukeller’s management. Incidentally, almost every event was completely sold out, as can be seen very clearly in the picture.
1958 – Renovation
The time had come for yet another renovation in the long architectural history of the Löwenbräukeller. This time, the entire exterior façade and the tower were redesigned. By the way, the Löwenbräukeller did not close down during this time. The Bräustüberl and most of the halls were open during the façade work – except for a few times a year.