The Bavarian National Museum (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum) in Munich is one of the most important museums of decorative arts in Europe. The museum was founded by king Maximilian II of Bavaria in 1855. It houses a large collection of European artifacts from the late antiquity until early 20th century with particular strengths in the medieval through early modern periods.
The building, erected in the style of historism by Gabriel von Seidl 1894-1900, is one of the most original and significant museum buildings of its time. It is situated in the Prinzregentenstrasse, one of the city's four royal avenues. The house replaced an older building which houses today the State Museum of Ethnology. Already in 1905/06, the museum was expanded to the north by a few rooms and a workshop wing. German Bestelmeyer added a wing at the southeast corner in 1937.
The main building of the Bavarian National Museum includes on three floors exhibition rooms with in total about 13,000 square meters. The core of the collection dates from the art collection of the Wittelsbach family. This gives the National Museum an importance far beyond the local area. Diversity and breadth of the collections, however, were particularly motivated by the new additions to the subsequent period. To date, the inventory is updated continuously.
The art collection displays artworks in a tour through more than forty rooms from the hall for late antiquity and Romanesque art via the rooms for Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo art to the exhibits of Neoclassicism and Art Nouveau. The western side wing of the museum houses The Bollert Collection with late medieval sculptures.