The Propylaea is a city gate in Munich at the west side of Koenigsplatz. The building constructed in Doric order was completed by Leo von Klenze in 1862 and evokes the monumental entrance of the Propylaea for the Athenian Acropolis. The gate was created as a memorial for the accession to the throne of Otto of Greece, a son of the principal King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
As early as 1816 it was already considered to build the Propylaea, but it took 30 years until the order was issued for this purpose. Klenze painted a picture before the construction of the Propylaea, to promote its project. As King Ludwig I had resigned in 1848, the project was called into question because Munich at that time did not need a gate anymore. Finally Ludwig I financed the building from his private resources as a sign of the friendship between Greece and Bavaria as well as a monument to the Greek War of Independence.
The Propylaea was opened shortly before King Otto was forced to resign. While on a visit to the Peloponnese in 1862 a coup was launched in Greece, a provisional Government was set up and summoned a National Convention. Ambassadors of the Great Powers urged King Otto not to resist, and the king and queen took refuge on a British warship and returned to Bavaria. So the Propylaea have also become a monument for the failed secundogeniture of the Wittelsbach.
Each of the two towers of the gate is a powerful block with a large portal and an open room upstairs. The two portals of the towers served to freight transport, the driving (as seen from the city) leaving the city was operated through the left gate, in the downtown of freight passed through the right gate. The monumental gate in the middle of the Propylaea was reserved for riders and city cars. The underside of the roofs of the towers was designed as a coffered ceiling. If somebody wanted to move the upper floor between the towers, one would have to climb over the railing on the flat roof.
While the exterior shows Doric columns in the interior Ionic columns can be found to bear the rafters of the Propylaea. In addition, the floor plan shows as well as the section of the gatehouse, that the basement of the building could be traversed by stairs, platforms and passageways.
The neo-classical architects of that time knew already that Greek temples were colored. But unfortunately, it was unknown how they succeeded in ancient Greece, marble surfaces to be provided with bright colors. Leo von Klenze would give the building a magnificent colors jewelry, but he also found a solution for the application of the paint. So he planned instead the plastic decoration of the Propylaea. The reliefs and sculptures celebrating the Bavarian prince and the Greek War of Independence were created by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.