Das erste Pferderennen auf der Theresienwiese zu München am 17. Oktober 1810

Münchner Stadtmuseum


In honour of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1786-1868) to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (1792-1854), a horse race was organised by the Munich Civic Guard on 17 October 1810. Since then, the Munich Oktoberfest has been held annually at the same location.

Wilhelm von Kobell (1766-1853) captured the event in a painting commissioned by the Crown Prince. The event at the gates of the city of Munich is shown as a topography of the festival. Completed in 1811, the work is therefore similar in structure to the battles the artist also painted for Ludwig. In contrast to other depictions, Kobell makes the Munich landscape appear grand by using cool colours, thus placing the picture in his representation of great historical events in the spirit of his patron.

The view includes the action on the festival grounds with the different plots of land owned by the various landowners, the racing action on the oval, 11,565 Bavarian "foot" racecourse and the backdrop of spectators. In the right quarter of the picture, the royal pavilion is shown as a visible sign of the Bavarian dynasty’s presence at the folk festival.

It can be determined that the viewer of the picture is positioned at "Filserbräu Stadel", an inn that was located near Landsberger Straße on the site of the later Pschorr brewery cellar. The prominent building in the background is the newly built General Hospital on the road to Sendling.


Julia Misamer