- After various plans had been drawn up, including the Königsplatz, Ludwig I commissioned Friedrich von Gärtner to build the National Library on Ludwigstraße. The original draft envisaged an elaborate facade, but this was simplified by Ludwig I who favoured the formal unity of the street as a whole. The building was modelled on the style of the early Italian Renaissance and was completed in 1842, although the impressive stairwell - based on the design of the Scala dei Giganti in Venice's Doge Palace - was not built until later. The monumental structure with its 25 axes, is the largest brick building in Germany (155m wide, 24m high). The building can only be entered by climbing the open staircase in front of the portal, which features sculptures of Aristotle, Hippokrates, Homer and Thukydides (which were added in the post-war period, based on plans by Ludwig von Schwanthaler). The library ranks, together with Berlin, as the largest in Germany, with some 7 million volumes. It also houses important collections of prints, manuscripts and rare editions.
- © wcities.com 2013
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