The Palais Leuchtenberg, built in the early 19th century for Eugène de Beauharnais, first Duke of Leuchtenberg, is the largest palace in Munich. Located on the west side of the Odeonsplatz , where it forms an ensemble with the Odeon, it currently houses the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance. It was once home to the Leuchtenberg Gallery on the first floor.
Eugène de Beauharnais, the brother-in-law of the later King Ludwig I of Bavaria and the stepson of Napoleon, commissioned Leo von Klenze to build a "suburban city palace". Constructed between 1817 and 1821 at a cost of 770,000 guilders , it was the largest palace of the era, with more than 250 rooms including a ballroom, a theatre, a billiard room, an art gallery, and a chapel, plus a number of outbuildings extending for over 100 metres down what is now Kardinal-Döpfner-Straße. It was the first building on the Ludwigstraße. Klenze intended it to serve as a benchmark for the new boulevard. He chose the Italian neo-Renaissance style, modelling the building on the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. He placed eagles over the windows on the first floor as in one of Napoleon's palaces. He gave the building almost equally prominent façades on three sides, and a sufficiently adaptable interior layout for it to be repurposed in case Beauharnais was forced by Ludwig to leave Munich. It had two floors above the ground floor and each floor had 11 windows. Also notable was a small entrance porch or portico of Doric type with four columns. The concert hall or ball room was very large measuring 124 ft in length and 71 ft in width with a height of 50 ft.
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