Bavaria is the name given to a monumental, bronze sand-cast 19th-century statue in Munich, southern Germany. It is a female personification of the Bavarian homeland, and by extension its strength and glory.
The statue is part of an ensemble which also includes a hall of fame (Ruhmeshalle) and a stairway. It was commissioned by Ludwig I of Bavaria, with the specific design being chosen by competition. It was cast at the Munich foundry of J.B. Stiglmair between 1844 and 1850 and is the first colossal statue since Classical Antiquity to consist entirely of cast bronze. It was and is up to the present day considered a technological masterpiece. Because of its size it had to be produced in several parts; it is 18.52 metres high and weighs about 87.36 tons. It rests on a stone base which is 8.92 metres high.An internal circular staircase leads up to a platform in the head, where four openings in the helmet provide a view of the Theresienwiese and downtown Munich.
An investigation of the Bavaria statue by experts revealed such serious damage that the statue had to be closed to visitors in 2001. In all, over 2,000 separate flaws were detected.In the course of the renovation work which was immediately initiated and cost some one million euro, the raised arm was stabilized and the entire outside surface was cleaned, polished and sealed. A completely new inner circular stairway was built.
In order to help finance the renovation work, replicas in various scales were made based on the one model which had been produced by Schwanthaler, the tip of the small finger, including one that could be used as a drinking vessel, as well as other objects of craftsmanship, all of which, as well as a publication, were sold. Work on the statue continued until the beginning of the Oktoberfest in September 2002.During the entire period of repair the statue was hidden under a scaffold, whose outside surfaces were made available for advertising. The base of the statue was not renovated at the time and continues to be in need of repair.
In 1907, Oskar von Miller, son of Ferdinand von Millers and founder of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, arranged to have a full-size casting made of the right hand of the Bavaria statue.It was produced at the Royal Metal Foundry Ferdinand von Miller, consists of the same material as the original (92 % copper, 5 % zinc, 2 % tin, 1 % lead), has a wall thickness of 4-8 millimeters, and weighs 420 kilograms.This copy has been on display ever since in the metallurgy collection of the Deutsches Museum.