Walking Man Munich White Sculpture

Walking Man Munich: Who Is He?

At a MASSIVE five stories in height, the White Walking Man in Munich is an unmissable piece of new-age street art set against the historical landscape of this ancient city.

But who is the Walking Man Munich and how did he get here? What does he symbolise and why is he white?

Your questions about the Munich Walking Man are all answered here, we hope you enjoy this (brief) read.

Where is the Walking Man of Munich Located?

Striding beside Leopoldstrasse in the suburb of Schwabing, the Walking Man statue presides purposefully over the immediate area. The statue almost appears to be walking towards the entrance of the adjacent Munich Re Foundation Building.

Just a couple of minute’s walk north up Leopoldstraße from the Munich Siegestor, and only minutes to the West of the famous English Gardens, the Walking Man seems right at home here in Schwabing where the modern part of the Munich shines in this upmarket suburb of the city.

The sculpture stands at the Munich Re Entrance West 5, Leopoldstraße 36, 80802 München, Germany

History of the Walking Man Munich

The Walking Man is the work of American sculptor artist Jonathan Borofsky that he created in 1995 on commission from Munich Re and the City of Munich.

Actually sculptured by Borofsky over a period of 12 months in Sun Valley, California in the USA, the statue of the Walking Man was transported to Munich in pieces where the statue then took a further five weeks to reassemble.

Borofsky is a prolific sculpture artist and has installations all over the world, many depicting people and the human form. His most famous statues are the Hammering Men which he has placed as permanent street art installations in Frankfurt, Seattle, Seoul, and Lillestrøm to name just a few locations.

Design and Symbolism of the Walking Man Munich

The Walking Man Munich design was inspired by the hectic life of humankind and features progress, purposefulness, and pace as part of its underlying message and symbolism. Certainly when one views the Walking Man sculpture you get the impression of human progression and the hunger for knowledge. Well, the absolute Munich team did anyway!

Whilst we don’t actually know why the sculpture was cast in white (better ask Jonathon) it likely goes back to the symbolism of progression and modernism.

The imposing sculpture itself is hard to miss in the area and maintains the following design aspects:

  • 17 Metres (56 feet) in height
  • 16 Tonnes (35,000 pounds) in weight
  • Constructed of a steel inner structure encased by a fiberglass shell
  • Inside there is a very narrow staircase that had to be included for the final construction
  • Also inside is a time-capsule placed internally and filled with commentary of the workers who assembled the statue and by some Munich Re Staff
  • Is the second highest statue in Munich surpassed only by the Bavaria Statue which stands at 18 meters tall
  • The statue actually has an alternate name, that being “A man walking to the sky” and is often jokingly referred to as the “running away man” – maybe from the insurance company, who knows!

What to do Nearby the Munich Walking Man

After checking out the Walking Man of Munich nearby you could spend hours roaming the nearby English Gardens, marvel at the wonderful Bavarian Victory Gate (Siegestor), or perhaps visit the museum district of Munich (the Kunstareal) where you can immerse yourself in much more art, both modern and historical!

There are plenty of eateries in this area offering fare from Asian to traditional Bavarian and this is also a very popular shopping district in the city as well with retailers such as Woolworths, Flying Tiger and Zara, all based on Leopoldstraße nearby.

The Walking Man Munich: A Schwabing Icon

The faceless giant figure that is the Walking Man of Munich is very popular with kids as they walk past and was received very well by both critics and by the Munich public who, after 20 years, has now adopted the walking man as one of their own.

A Münchner through and through, some might say. Have you visited the Walking Man? What did you think of the sculpture?

We hope you enjoyed the article and as always, we’d love to hear from you – just drop us an email via our contacts page.

Cheers Everyone – Have a fantastic day!

Walking Man Munich Imagery courtesy of Guido Radig, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons