Oktoberfest – History, Background, Highlights

"Beer, chicken, traditional costume and fun" – but the Oktoberfest has much more to offer!

A horse race was organised in 1810 in honour of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The Munich Oktoberfest has taken place every year since then. The "Wiesn", as the locals call it, is a stage for Bavarian tradition, politics and endless pleasure.

In this virtual exhibition, bavarikon looks at the world’s largest folk festival’s history and highlights. Nine chapters and an in-depth section show how the 19th century national, monarchical festival developed into today’s world-famous mega-event. Highlights from different decades illustrate that the Oktoberfest has been subject to constant change, but has at the same time remained a Bavarian and above all Munich festival.

Over 200 digital exhibits from archives, libraries and museums show you the continuity and change over the course of the festival’s 200-year history because social and political changes as well as technical progress have had a lasting impact on the face of the Oktoberfest.

bavarikon presents unique written sources, historical plans and posters in the exhibition. Artistically designed festival postcards and paintings illustrate the celebrations on the Theresienwiese in colour. Photographs, audio and film recordings let you really immerse yourself in the events and portray personalities who make (or made) the Oktoberfest what it is today.

About the exhibition