Experience Greeks, Etruscans and Romans first hand in the Collections of Antiquities on Königsplatz. Works of art and everyday objects from ancient times made of quite diverse materials such as ceramic, metal and stone allow visitors to immerse themselves in the ancient world.
The time scale begins with the Cycladic Culture of the Aegean region in the 3rd century BC and leads up into the Late Antiquity in the 5th century AD. Passionate about Classical antiquity, the Bavarian King Ludwig I. (1786-1868) had even as Crown Prince begun to expand the collection of the dynasty. He instructed his art dealer in Rome to purchase only works of outstanding quality, for he knew that his collection would never be able to vie in the sheer number of items with the museums in Rome, Paris or London. So the Collections of Antiquities are quite distinct in all fields due to a wealth of unique, rare objects of highest quality.
In order to differentiate it from "major" art – architecture, sculpture, painting – art history coined the term "minor arts" for the many variations of small-scale artwork and decorated objects. In line with this, the State Collections of Antiquities used to be known as the "Museum of Ancient Minor Arts".
The State Collections of Antiquities are housed in the building built by Georg Friedrich Ziebland (1800-1873) on the south side of Königsplatz. Together with St. Bonifaces's abbey and basilica that were also planned by Ziebland the building was constructed between 1838 and 1848.
Collecting ancient works of art is an old European tradition. This way, kings and princes made reference both to classical culture and also to the claim to power of the Roman Empire.
The two buildings on Königsplatz in Munich rank among the leading international museums for antique art. Here Greek, Roman and Etruscan masterpieces can be encountered in a quality and abundance that can otherwise be found in only very few places in the world – in Berlin, Paris, London or New York.