Excavations prove that settlement in our area goes back to 800 BC. Then, during the migration period, Bajuvars settled the region. The area of today’s Schleißheim back then was overgrown with thick forest. Only here and there, the pine forests were interrupted by clearings where bailiffs ran solitary farmsteads and inn yards.
The oldest surviving document mentioning Schleißheim dates from the year 785. It states that Riphalt von Slivesheim (Schleißheim) donated his estate to the diocese of Freising. This was the occasion for Oberschleißheim to celebrate its 1200th anniversary with many festivities in 1985.
Another land-shift is documented to have happened in 1183. Then, in 1260, according to a papal brief by Pope Alexander IV, Schleißheim’s church became part of the Weihenstephan monastery. Furthermore, the “Konradinische Matrikel”, a 1315 register of all churches in the diocese of Freising, cites the church of “Sleizheim” as a branch of the Feldmoching parish. Pastorally, the village was part of Feldmoching, then. This is also where the deceased were brought, until, in 1790, the Franciscan parish, based in Mittenheim, was established. During the Middle Ages, the homesteads and farms were still part of the monastery’s estate; Duke Wilhelm V, called “the Pious”, (1579-1596) was able to acquire them through exchange and purchase and established a model farmstead estate.
He also commissioned several churches and chapels in the vicinity. Elector Max I was able to enlarge the farmstead estate significantly by purchasing adjacent property. During his reign, the estate flourished; it suffered great losses, however, during the commotion of the Thirty Years’ War. Schleißheim was the Elector Ferdinand Maria’s and especially his merry wife Adelheid’s preferred place for recreation and hunting. The elector died here at the age of 43. A memorial plaque at the palace’s inn still commemorates this today.
The place is most indebted, however, to Elector Max Emanuel, who aspired to the king’s crown and wanted to establish a second Versailles here. For this, he commissioned a 200 acre park and had water diverted from the Isar through a canal. He also had Schleißheim and Dachau connected by a canal for brick transportation, commissioned magnificent linden alleys as well as the small Lustheim Palace with its two pavilions and the New Palace, which was based on plans by the royal constructor, Zucalli. During the time of the Elector’s exile in Brussels, construction stalled.
It was not until 1716 that construction was recommenced by Josef Effner from Dachau. The palace’s inauguration took place in 1722 in the form of a country wedding. The 330-meter-long palace once was home to Europe’s largest picture-gallery, the collection of the House of Wittelsbach. Still today, as the most important branch gallery of the Bavarian State Collection of Paintings, the palace’s gallery contains a large number of works from the late renaissance and baroque periods from the Italian, Dutch, Flemish, French and German schools.
In 1810, the hitherto royal estate Schleißheim was converted to state property and proclaimed royal holdings. The village of Lustheim developed from 1830 onwards out of workers’ settlements at the Eastern wall of the palace garden.
In 1855, the “Marienkirchlein” (a small church dedicated to Saint Mary) was built in neo-Gothic style. According to a 1869 parish report, Schleißheim consisted of 60 houses in those days, most of which were located alongside the canal to Dachau, comprising 583 souls (of which 533 catholic) in all. The entire court parish incorporated 110 houses and 1.160 souls.
It was also during those times that the Munich-Landshut railway line, with a railway station in Schleißheim, was built. Initially, the line was single-tracked and was served three times a day.
in 1883, the school building followed, and,
in 1914, construction on a new school was begun.
In 1933, the catholic parish church was built, after the old church on the palace premises had become too small.
ITurn-of-the-century Schleißheim was a paradise for the painters’ community. The tranquility, simplicity and unspoiltness of the surrounding countryside – the wide mossy plains, the romantic heath – inspired their work time and time again. Among the many painters who created their works in Oberschleißheim and its vicinity were the renowned heraldist and graphic artist, Professor Otto Hupp, and the painters Frank Behrens, Hein Neufeld, Heinz Katzenberger, Haymann, and Schwabmayr.
In 1912, Oberschleißheim became a garrison town. Barracks and large halls were erected for the 1st Bavarian Airborne Regiment; the road to Milbertshofen was closed off, and the vast linden alley cleared. In 1918, the airbase was closed. Only the civilian carrier Lufthansa retained a few halls, and the aircraft hangar buildings were used by the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German school for commercial aviation). The school as well as the airbase were taken over by the German army in 1935. The sad fact that Oberschleißheim after World War II was the municipality in the Munich administrative district that suffered the highest level of destruction is owed to the fact that, during the war, headquarters of German air defenses were located here.
Apart from military installations and many residences, the old school house and the southern and northern residence wings of the palace had fallen victim to bombardments. It was possible to erase the traces of the war, and the town is proud of this achievement. Restoration work on the palace’s middle section, which had also been greatly damaged, was begun already during the war. Thus, it was possible to reopen a number of its most magnificent halls and the baroque gallery as early as 1952. More restoration work followed and is still ongoing. The necessary renovation of the façade, which had been modified in neo-classical style in the early 19th century, is an opportunity to restore the design it was originally given by Effner. Many visitors will fondly remember the festive candle-lit concerts of exquisite chamber music in surroundings full of splendor.
Oberschleißheim is an important location for agricultural institutions of the region: In 1913, the Veterinärpolizeiliche Anstalt (veterinary police institute), which was later renamed to Landesanstalt für Tierseuchenbekämpfung (state office of animal disease control), was founded. Today, the Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Bavarian state office of health and food safety) occupies the premises. Also located here are the Landesanstalt für Moorwirtschaft (state office of marsh agriculture), which was founded in 1912 and had a major part in making 550 hectares of marshland around Oberschleißheim cultivatable, and the Livestock Center Oberschleissheim of the Veterinary Faculty, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, which traces its tradition to the model farmyard established by Wilhelm V.
The Mittenheim estate – a Franciscan monastery from 1718 to 1802 – earlier belonged to Prince Biron von Kurland, but has been the property of the Katholische Männerfürsorge (a catholic organization for the welfare of disadvantaged men) since 1953. The three major estates aside, Oberschleißheim only has a small number of larger agricultural properties. Most of them are located in Badersfeld, a settlement founded in 1925 that comprises about 25 farms. It was named after Assessor Bader of the Landesanstalt für Moorwirtschaft, who played a major role in the creation of the settlement. One man must not go unnoticed at this point: Max Schönleutner, who died in 1831 and was the First Director of the Landwirtschaftliche Zentralschule (central school for agriculture) in Schleißheim. On his headstone at the Hochmutting graveyard one can read: Ingenio segetes terra est subjecta recusans – His mastery made the barren soil yield abundant harvest.
After 1945, our community grew exponentially. In order to alleviate the rampant housing shortage, a housing cooperative was founded in 1951. The successful result was the construction of several apartment blocks and many privately owned homes. In this way, a new housing area, the Parksiedlung, was created during the 1960s. The increase in population continued, which resulted in the creation of additional housing areas. Between 1978 and 1996, the Ertl-Siedlung developed in Oberschleißheim’s West, and, later on, the new construction area “Am Moosweg” followed.
The newly built premises of the Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit as well as construction projects by the University of Munich necessitated the setting-up of more housing units for students and civil servants. The ever-increasing population also called for additional infrastructure installations. To satisfy this demand, two new elementary schools, an after school care center, a fire station, a modern indoor swimming pool and a state-of-the-art purification plant were built.
The capacity of the water works, a long-term joint operation with Unterschleißheim, was enlarged alongside the most recent technical specifications. Our community has always endeavored to create local jobs. Accordingly, a commercial area was created during the 1960s and ‘70s where only environmentally sound companies were allowed to locate. More highly qualified jobs are available at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health; the Bundesgesundheitsamt (federal health office); and the Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany’s National Meteorological Service.
Oberschleißheim has continued to develop in the areas of education and communal life. In cooperation with the authorities of the Munich administrative district and its neighboring town Unterschleißheim, Oberschleißheim has formed the “Weiterführende Schulen in Unterschleißheim” (secondary schools in Unterschleißheim) cooperative initiative. Extensive financial investments have led to the establishment of a Gymnasium (college-preparatory high school) and a Realschule (preparatory school for an apprenticeship). In order to provide assistance to physically and mentally challenged people, the Augustinum center for therapeutic pedagogy has launched the “Schleißheimer Werkstätten” (Schleißheim factories). Here, they can find a meaningful activity with expert support and supervision.
To foster community life, the local administration established a citizens’ center at Theodor-Heuss-Straße, which was inaugurated in the summer of 1982. One of the largest forward-looking projects Oberschleißheim has taken on is the construction of a complex of residential and nursing homes for the elderly with 50 apartments and 40 beds located at Prof.-Otto-Hupp-Straße. In addition to this, there is a geronto-psychiatric living group for twelve residents and several other facilities for senior citizens.
Oberschleißheim has a great past. Its cultural and historical significance has made it well-known far beyond the borders of Bavaria. Every year, a large number of tourists visit the palace, its magnificent park, and the aeronautics and space museum at Oberschleissheim Airfield. Those who direct their steps into the town itself will soon realize that the former "ducal settlement" has become a large residential community on the outskirts of a metropolis.