Congratulations to
Polytechnic School of Munich

Collage of King Ludwig II and the Polytechnic School building

Picture: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München / Bildarchiv

In 1868, King Ludwig II of Bavaria – also known as the Fairytale King and famed for his love of technology – founded the “Königlich-bayerische Polytechnische Schule” or “Royal Bavarian Polytechnic School”. Later to become the Technical University of Munich (TUM), this institution not only paved the way for Bavaria’s transition from agriculture to industry, but gave rise to inventions that would change the world. Fast forward 150 years and TUM is now one of Europe’s top universities.

Dawn of the Technology Age

Heaters with humidity control, battery-operated bell systems and elevators that delivered meals as if by magic – the nineteenth-century palaces and castles of Ludwig II were bursting with imaginative and sophisticated technology. Bavaria’s King was extremely enthusiastic about the technical developments of his day. Indeed, when he visited Paris for the International Exposition of 1867, he was even said to be more interested in technical advances than in finding a princess to marry.

A year later, in 1868, Ludwig founded TUM’s predecessor – Munich’s polytechnic school. Its purpose was “to bring the igniting spark of science” to the commercial and industrial world and to provide his kingdom with a skilled workforce for railroad construction. Certainly, the new college played a key role in Bavaria’s transition to a high-tech hub – and has evolved from its modest beginnings to become a world-class university over the last 150 years.

Curious? More discoveries and inventions spanning 150 years of TUM

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