Private Arts Center in Grünwald
What was it again – opposites attract? In the South of Germany, a city pulsates tensely between tradition and modernity, nature and urbanity, luxury and alternative life, poor and rich: Munich.
South of the metropolis lies, perhaps, the most exclusive community in Bavaria, measured by millionaire density even in the entire Federal Republic. Grünwald holds many titles: „Bavarian Hollywood“, for example. Between the Isar, Grünwalder Forst and Bavaria Filmstadt, many people have made history. One of them takes place underground. In the bunker on Zeillerstrasse, contemporary art and cultural events put a new emphasis on a place marked by upheaval.
Stable buildings last forever – this has been the credo of rulers worldwide for centuries. The bunker under Zeillerstraße in Grünwald was also constructed according to this guiding principle. The Luftwaffe (air force) of the German Wehrmacht built it out of reinforced concrete in the early 1940s. For security reasons, it had two entrances: one on Zeillerstraße, only a few meters from Grünwald Castle, the other on the slope of the Isar – in the forest – and thus invisible from the air.1
The deep bunker, which was fully electrified and equipped with a ventilation system, provided space for more than 350 people. In just under 300sqm there were about 15 rooms, including toilets separated by gender.
Bombproof, fire-resistant, inconspicuous – the ideal place to house a command center, a space to control military formations. In 1944, a large unit of the German Luftwaffe, the 26th Flak Division, moved into its headquarters. It defended the airspace over Southern Bavaria, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. With the capture of Munich by American allies, the Nazi division disbanded at the end of April 1945. The meter thick walls of the control bunker survived. What remained was a silent relic from a dark time, buried deeply in the Grünwald soil.
In 1985, during the Cold War, the bunker was modernized as an NBC shelter against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Supplies, beds, and blankets were provided for the civilian population.
For a long time, the underground building stood empty: the wartime danger had been averted for the time being, and demolition was too expensive. Finally, the Federal Republic of Germany sold the bunker along with land in 2015. Since then, it has been privately owned.
1 cf. Hella Neusiedl-Hub, Spuren der Grünwalder Vergangenheit 1933–1945, 2nd extended edition, 2020.
The current owners of the former Luftwaffe bunker are opening a new chapter after this eventful history. In the underground shelters, Dr. Filipp & Betty Goldscheider show selected works from their art collection in private every summer. Following the motto „Fake & Facts. The Illusion of Possession“, both are carrying together positions of contemporary art that question not only the established thinking about value, quality, authenticity, and genius but also shed light on the mechanisms of the art market.
To promote art and culture, the Goldscheider couple also makes their bunker available to befriended artists, musicians, dancers, actors, sculptors, painters, galleries and curators between September and May. With the joint realization of exhibition projects, concerts, lectures, performances, they strengthen the focused examination of art and culture in a special place – in an exclusive private setting.
Image: Works by Lavely Miller