Murnau am Staffelsee

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Murnau in 2007
Murnau in 2007
Coat of arms of Murnau
Coat of arms
Murnau  is located in Germany
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Oberbayern
District Garmisch-Partenkirchen
 • Mayor Rolf Beuting (ÖDP)
 • Governing parties ödp / Bürgerforum Murnau
 • Total 38.05 km2 (14.69 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 11,652
 • Density 310/km2 (790/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 82418
Dialling codes 0 8841
Vehicle registration GAP

Murnau am Staffelsee is a market town in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the region called Oberbayern in Bavaria, Germany. The market originated from the 12th century around the castle Murnau. Murnau is situated on the edge of the Bavarian alps, approx. 70 km south of Munich. Directly to its west is the Staffelsee lake and to the south are the summits and burrs of the Ammergauer Alps beginning with the Hörnle up to the Ettaler Manndl which is located in the southwest of the Wettersteingebirge. This mountain range is formed by the Zugspitze and the Alpspitze in the south as well as the Estergebirge with its striking Kistenkar and the Walchensee mountains including Heimgarten and Herzogstand in the southeast. During the last ice age (Würmeiszeit) Murnau was covered by an almost 600 m thick icecap. The Staffelsee borders directly on the western edge of the town. In the south, the Murnauer Moos is the largest closed moorland/wetland of its kind in Central Europe.


Murnau was first documented in 1150. It received the right to hold markets from Louis V, Duke of Bavaria, in 1350 and retains the title of "Markt" ("market") until today.

11th century and before

The area around Murnau was already settled in pre-Christian time. From the reign of Septimius Severus there was a Roman road called via Raetia which led above the Brennerpass and Seefelder Sattel through the upper Isar- Loisachtal all the way to Augsburg. The Road had continuance under the name via Imperii as an imperial street and trade route until the 19th century. Even signs of Celtic and Romans[2] settlements have been found on the meanwhile outworn moss area around the Moosberg in the Murnauer Moos. At that time Murnau was not more than a postal station with the name Murau or Mureau. The name from which late Murnau has been formed referred to the current Murnauer moss (land slide) and the Loisachtal (meadow).

From the 12th to the 16th century

Murnau has been mentioned documentary at the first time in 1150 . The church Saint Nikolaus appeared about 1300 in an official document. The first naming of the castle Murnau (Schlossmuseum) occurs in 1324. In 1350 Ludwig the Brandenburger confirms the blood spell, the defeat right, the weekly market on Wednesday and the Michaelimarkt to the market Murnau.

17th and 18th century

1632–1648: Murnau is occupied by Sweden and French. Also the quartering of imperial troops during the Thirty Years' War takes place. In 1634 the plague breaks out. The church Saint Nikolaus gets rebuild from 1717 to 1734. In 1722 the Leonhardi and the Skapuliermarkt is granted.

19 century

In 1803 the cloister of Ettal is secularized, the healt care office (Pflegeamt Murnau) is forced to close and Murnau gets assigned to the district court of Weilheim. The town suffered a major fire in the year of 1835 and was subsequently almost completely rebuilt. The subsequent rebuilding led to a closed townscape as Murnau is presented today. During World War II a Nazi POW camp for Polish officers was located there. In 1879 the railway line Weilheim-Murnau opened. Ten years later in 1889 the connection Murnau-Garmisch follows. And so does the line Murnau-Oberammergau in 1900.

20 century [treatment]

Münter house Murnau Avenue Kottmüller Initiated by Emanuel von Seidls, the site of Murnau has changed completely in beginning of the 20th century,. In 1908 both artist pairs Gabriele Münter[3] / Vassily Kandinsky[4] and Marianne von Werefkin[5] / Alexej Jawlensky[6] stayed in Murnau at the same time to paint together.[7] Through these until 1914 resulting pictures of Murnau and its scenery, the market town became famous to an international art audience all over the world. In Art History this time period before the First World War is called „Murnauer Zeit“.

In art history, this time is directly connected to these four artists and marks stylistically the development from the expressionism to the abstract art. Today, the Münter-Haus ("Russian House"),[8] where she moved in 1909 with Kandinsky is one of the most prominent cultural attractions of Murnau. So is the Schlossmuseum (castle museum) with its art collection.[9] In 1923 numerous citizens of Murnau took part in the Hitler's putsch in Munich and received the blood order. At the Reichstag elections in 1924 the National Socialists, which are usually bound to lose in Germany, reached nearly 33 percent of the Murnauer voices. From 1923 to 1933 the author Ödön von Horváth lives and works in Murnau. In 1924 a private higher girl's school (late high school) is founded. The new hospital, donated by Dr. h. c. James Loeb got build in 1932. At the Reichstags elections in March 1933, 55. 8% of the Murnauer population voted for the NSDAP. In times of the national socialism (1938), Murnau receives a garrison (mountain troop) for the first time.[10] Christoph Probst, born and raised in Murnau gets executed 1943 in Munich. During the Second World War, Polish officers were arrested in the Werdenfelser barracks (Oflag VII A).

1953 the famous accident clinic opened in the southeast of the town which extended since then constantly. The Goethe-Institute opens its gates in 1954 and in 1956 and 1971 the barracks are occupied by the army again. Numerous country houses, amongst it some villas and a sports hall, which was built by Emanuel von Seidl, were torn off in the 1960s and '70s. The Staffelsee high school gets extended to the full school in 1967. On 1 July 1972 Murnau gets separated from the administrative district Weilheim and assigned to the administrative district Garmisch-Partenkirchen. On 12 March 1979 the name of the municipality Murnau gets changed officially in Murnau am Staffelsee.[11] In 1979 a youth centre gets created, which in 2006 got an own house named after its founder, the Erlhaus. In 1980 The Murnauer moss becomes a nature reserve. In 1993 the Schlossmuseum opened. From 1998 to 2000 the historical local core gets redeveloped. The redesigned Münterhaus reopened in 1999. In 2000 the pedestrian zone and the underground car park were inaugurated.

Besides that, Murnau is a garrison location of the German army; it was a location of the Mountain Infantryman's Brigade 22, from 1981 armoured infantryman brigade 22, later Tank Brigade 22 which was subordinated of the 1st Mountain Infantryman's Division in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. On the 21st of March 1993 this association was dissolved. Since 1966 Murnau also accommodates a distance registration battalion. Fist founded as the mountain distant registration company 8 (1956) in Mittenwald, the mountain distant registration battalion 8 (later renamed as Gebirgsfernmeldelehrbataillon 8, afterwards Gebirgsstabsfernmeldelehrbataillon 8) moved to Murnau, where it has been stationed until 31 March 1994 in the former Kemmel barracks (named after a mountain in Belgium). On the 1st of April 1994 they moved to the substantially smaller but more modern Werdenfelser barracks in the northern edge of Murnau. Since the 1st of January 1996 Murnauer soldiers are represented regularly in international missions of the German army (IFOR, SFOR, EUFOR, FOX TERRIER TF, KFOR, ISAF). Initially, referring to the structural plans of the army, the base Murnau should have been dissolved completely. In the end, just the driving school company was disbanded. Since the publication of the stationing concept in November 2004 a stabile structure for the Werdenfelser barracks exists. In addition the 5th company of the military policeman's battalion 451 and the Sanitätsstaffel Murnau are stationed in the Werdenfelser barracks.

21 century [treatment]

In 2001 the new health resort park (Kurpark), the Münter-Platz and further more the new Staffelsee high school were inaugurated. In 2002 Murnau acquired the area of the former Kemmel barracks, which is now called Kemmelpark. At the moment the area transforms to a trade park and residential park. In 2006 Goethe-Institute has closed and got torn off. Since autumn 2009 three semidetached houses were built on this place. Since 9 December 2008, the assembly hall of the Staffelsee high school wears the name of the famous writer Ödön von Horvath.

Incorporations [treatment]

On 1 July 1974 the independent municipality Weindorf was integrated. In January 1978 parts of the municipalities called Riegsee and Seehausen were added. On 1 May 1978 the incorporation of the village Hechendorf forms the final point.[12]

Residential development

Year 1840 1871 1900 1925 1939 1950 1961 1970 1987 2000 2005
Residents[13] 1.565 1.735 2.436 3.223 5.189 6.474 7.366 8.233 9.913 11.671 12.048

Blazon [treatments]

The coat of arms shows a green dragon with a red tongue and claws on silver background. It´s body is turned to the right but it´s head is pointing backwards to the left. When the dragon first appears in the Murnauer blazon can't be said exactly. The first local seal tuns up in 1374.


Murnau is a minor train hub, since it is the place where the Munich–Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Oberammergau lines intersect. The first electrical signal box of the Deutsche Bundesbahn was installed here. Also, the A95 motorway and the B 2 Bundesstrasse run through or near Murnau.

Schools [treatment]

Murnau has two elementary schools, the "James-Loeb-Grundschule" and the "Emmanuel-von-Seidl-Schule", the gymnasium "Staffelsee-Gymnasium" and the general school "Mittelschule Murnau". The last one was originally planned to be a boys-school but since 2013/14 it accepts girls as well. In the beginning, the pupils have been accommodated in temporary containers. In the end of 2014 the first section was finished and the classes finally could move into the new schoolhouse. The investment sum was 21 million €.[14] In 1964 the Camerloher music school Murnau was founded.

Hospitals [treatment]

Murnau has two hospitals: The Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik, a very renowned emergency and accident hospital specialized in trauma surgery. And the clinic Hohenried, a professional clinic for children- and youth medicine. Murnau is also used as a health resort by many guests and cure patients.

Notable people

For such a small town, Murnau has attracted quite a few noteworthy citizens over the years. Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky of the Blaue Reiter artistic collective lived there for several years. Ödön von Horvath spent a large part of his youth and young adulthood there and based some of his most well-known works (e.g. Jugend ohne Gott, Italienische Nacht) on happenings during the Third Reich in Murnau. Christoph Probst, executed by the Gestapo for being a member of the White Rose resistance group during the Third Reich, was born in Murnau. Filmmaker F.W. Murnau probably took his assumed name from the town, though there is no real factual evidence for this. Contemporary luthier Michael Koeberling lives and works in Murnau.


  1. "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Annegret Hoberg, Gabriele Münter in München und Murnau 1901–1914, in Ausst. Kat.: Gabriele Münter 1877–1962, Retrospektive, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, München 1992, S. 27 ff.
  4. Ausst. Kat.: Kandinsky, Absolut abstrakt, München 2008.
  5. Bernd Fäthke, Marianne Werefkin, München 2001.
  6. Bernd Fäthke, Jawlensky und seine Weggefährten in neuem Licht, München 2004.
  7. Brigitte Salmen (Hg.), Ausst. Kat.: 1908–2008, Vor 100 Jahren, Kandinsky, Münter, Jawlensky, Werefkin in Murnau, Murnau 2008.
  8. Helmut Friedel und Annegret Hoberg, Das Münterhaus in Murnau, München 2000.
  9. Brigitte Salmen, Museumsschätze. 15 Jahre Schloßmuseum Murnau, Murnau am Staffelsee 2008.
  10. Erwähnung der Kaserneneröffnung im Jahr 1938 auf Seite 10 in „Die Blaue Reiterei stürmt voran“, abgerufen am 13. Mai 2013.
  11. Statistisches Bundesamt (Hrsg.): Historisches Gemeindeverzeichnis für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Namens-, Grenz- und Schlüsselnummernänderungen bei Gemeinden, Kreisen und Regierungsbezirken vom 27. Mai 1970 bis 31. Dezember 1982. W. Kohlhammer GmbH, Stuttgart und Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1, S. 578.
  12. Statistisches Bundesamt (Hrsg.): Historisches Gemeindeverzeichnis für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Namens-, Grenz- und Schlüsselnummernänderungen bei Gemeinden, Kreisen und Regierungsbezirken vom 27. Mai 1970 bis 31. Dezember 1982. W. Kohlhammer GmbH, Stuttgart und Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-17-003263-1, S. 578.
  13. Kommunalstatistik von Murnau, abgerufen am 5. Januar 2011.
  14. Realschulbau in Murnau: 21 Millionen Euro für die Bildung. Merkur-Online, 14. Mai 2013, abgerufen am 14. Mai 2013.

External links