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Inscriptions of Ingolstadt

From College to Brewery


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On a building situated in the historical center of Ingolstadt, diagonally opposite to the so-called High School, there are two inscriptions explaining the history of the building.

Photo Ingolstadt: Latin Inscription

Latin Inscription




Photo Ingolstadt: German Inscription

German Inscription


Photo Ingolstadt: house with two inscriptions

General view

Photos: Hans-Rudolf Hower, 2011

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Latin Inscription

Original Text (in Latin)

Georgius Dives
Sereni[ssi]mus Bav[ariae] Dux
hoc Collegium fundavit

Renovatum est


George the Rich,
most serene Duke of Bavaria,
founded this college
in 1494.

It was renovated
in 1718.

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In my transcription of the Latin inscription (see above) I extended the conventional abbreviations of the inscription to the full text, putting the added letters in brackets.

The Latin word "dives" may effectively be translated by "rich", and according to the Bavarian duke George's German surname "der Reiche", this translation seems to be correct because the German word is the original one and the Latin word is merely its translation, but in fact the Latin word could also have the less precise meaning of "marvellous, splendid, wonderful" or so.

Caution, Terminologic Confusion!

The numbers we now usually call „Arab numbers”, are those belonging to the modern Latin script and having come from India to Europe via Arab countries. Though Romans spoke Latin, they did not use the present Latin numbers (which were Indian-Arab ones and still unknown in Europe at that time) but the Roman ones. The Arab script traditionally uses the Indian numbers. These although are on the retreat even in the Arab languages – in favor of the „Arab numbers” in our sense.

What a mess!

Roman numbers have been evolving for two thousand years and have not always been used in the same way during the same period, especially in public epigraphy. For the evolution and the formal rules of Roman numbers, see Wikipedia. The inscription described here gives a good justification of why the Roman numeral system was finally replaced by the (better) Arab one. Compare the Roman and Arab representation of the following calculation, which answers the question of for how many years the building was not renovated notably (contrarily to modern glass and ferro-concrete buildings, which rarely last more than a hundred years, in spite of constant renovation work).

Roman Numbers

Arab Numbers





The Arab system allows you to systematically proceed step by step without any other considerations than the purely mathematical ones whereas the Roman "system" forces you to reconsider the formal aspects of every number apart, without offering simple mathematical rules leading from the initial numbers to the result of the subtraction. If this rather chaotic Roman system had not been replaced by the clearly organized Arab one, many successes in modern science and technology, such as mathematics, physics, statistics, information technology, would have been impossible or at least much more difficult to be made. That is why Roman numbers have only survived in certain niches, such as epigraphy and typography.

Nowadays, if you ask German - or even Bavarian - people who was George the Rich (Georg der Reiche), you are likely to have no answer in most cases. But almost everybody - at least in Bavaria - knows the famous Landshut wedding (Landshuter Hochzeit), which is a modern pseudo-medieval re-celebration of George the Rich's wedding with the Polish princess Hedwig (= Jadwiga) Jagiellon, in 1475. If the real wedding was one of the greatest medieval festivals, its commemoration, which takes place every four years, is one of the greatest modern festivals, with about 2 000 medievally-clothed amateur actors.

In 1475, George's marriage with Jadwiga was considered as an event of great European importance because its intention was the reinforcement of the Roman Empire in its struggle against the expanding Turkish Empire.

For the chronology of this Ingolstadt building and its neighbors, see my comment on the German Inscription.

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German Inscription

Original Text (in German)

Dieses Gebäude wurde
im Jahre MDCCCXVII in
eine Brauerei umgewandelt
und im Jahre MDCCCXXXIII
wieder renoviert.


This building was
transformed into a brewery
in 1817
and renovated once more
in 1833.

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This more recent inscription tries to have an older aspect by using the so-called "long s" in "Dieses" as well as Roman numbers. But in vain! The whole rest of the inscription clearly offers a rather modern view.

Obviously the building was renovated again in very recent times but this is mentioned nowhere.

To get an idea of the history of the three very old buildings that are situated very close to one another in the historical center of Ingolstadt, see the following table.


College / Brewery

High School

Asam Church



Construction of the building.




The "High School" is established here.




The "High School" becomes the State University of Bavaria.



Construction of the building.
















Renovation of the building.



1732 to 1735



Construction of the building.



The State University of Bavaria is transferred to Landshut.



Transformation into a brewery.




Renovation of the building.













See also High School

See also Asam Church.

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Author / Title / Subject


Info / Purchase

Munich, Bavaria and the Black Forest
(Lonely Planet Country & Regional Guides)

A guide to southern Germany. English. English. English. English.

(Cadogan Guides)

A specialized guide to Bavaria. English. English. English. English.

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Please be aware of our legal reservation concerning any Internet reference.

Address / Owner

Content / Subjects

Municipality of Ingolstadt

Official site (German language).


In the English Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedic article on the city of Ingolstadt.

City map of Ingolstadt

By Google Maps.

Zoomable city map of Ingolstadt.

Latin Inscription

Georg (Bayern)

In the German Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedic article on Georg der Reiche (George the Rich).

George, Duke of Bavaria

In the English Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedic article on George the Rich (Georg der Reiche).

Landshut Wedding

In the English Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedic article on George the Rich's famous wedding with the Polish princess Hedwig Jagiellon.

German Inscription

Roman numerals

In the English Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedic article on Roman numbers. If you want a complete explanation, you should additionally consult the German Wikipedia under Römische Zahlendarstellung because the English and the German articles partly stress different problems.

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Arrival by Public Transport

For the arrival in Ingolstadt, see Inscriptions of Ingolstadt.

Looking at the front of the Old Cityhall (Altes Rathaus), take the Moritzstraße on the left of the cityhall. Then turn left into the Dollstraße and continue till the end of this street. Then successively turn right and left into the Hohe-Schul-Straße, where you will find the High School (Hohe Schule) on the left corner of the Goldknopfgasse. The former college is diagonally opposite on the right corner.

Indications concerning the arrival correspond to our personal knowledge or even experience, but we cannot assume any responsibility for their rightness. When you are reading this page, things may have changed in reality.

Hans-Rudolf Hower, 2012

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Last updated: April 4, 2016