It was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years' War, to be precise, following a respective vow by Duke Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria if the ducal residential cities of Munich and Landshut would be spared from war destruction. The column is topped by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon as the Queen of Heaven, created in 1590. The figure was originally located in the Frauenkirche. Mariensäule in Munich was the first column of this type built north of the Alps and inspired erecting other Marian columns in this part of Europe.
At each corner of the column's pedestal is a statue of a putto, created by Ferdinand Murmann. The four putti are each depicted fighting a different beast, symbolizing the city's overcoming of adversities: war represented by the lion, pestilence by the cockatrice, hunger or famine by the dragon and heresy by the serpent.
The full inscription is as follows (with a translation)
DEO OPTIMO MAXIMO
TO GOD THE BEST AND GREATEST
- For more and detailed pictures of the column see the respective German language article on wikipedia.de.
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