In the Fall, after visiting Spain, we continued through Europe to München (which means “Munich”). It is the capital of Bavaria and located in Southeastern Germany.
Munich was a stop along the way as we continued to our next destination, so we spent all of our time there trying to experience the city as much as possible.
The Catholic church took nearly 30 years to build and was completed in 1690. It was built by Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, in thanks to God after the birth of their long awaited heir to the Bavarian crown, Prince Max Emanuel, who was born in 1662.
Leaving the church we continued to a large square in the middle of Munich called Max-Joseph-Platz, named after Maximilian I Joseph (1756-1825).
Behind the statue of Max I Joseph was the The National Theatre: a historical opera house.
These shops with apartments above them were to the right of the Max-Joseph-Platz and, as Americans, we found their style and quaintness intriguing.
Surprisingly, the most memorable part of our tour was a single pedestrian only street called the Viscardigasse alley which has a path of bronze bricks down the center of it.
During WWII, Germans were required to pass by a statue on a nearby street and give the Nazi salute. Many did not support the Nazi party or Hilter, so to demonstrate a passive protest, many Germans took a detour down the Viscardigasse alley to avoid saluting the statue.
Maneuvering through the heart of Munich, we visited the Hofbräuhaus beer hall, which has been a special place in the city since the 16th century.
Through the years, many people have frequented this beer hall. Mozart, for instance, lived just up the street and apparently completed some of his musical work after several inspirational visits to the beer hall. Hitler also held several meetings here during the 1920’s.
Nearing the end of our tour, we walked past the Frauenkirche, which is also known as the “Cathedral of Our Dear Lady”. It was built in the 12th century.
Our tour ended in the Marienplatz, the central square in the center of Munich (it’s been the main city square since the 1100’s).
The reason for gathering here was to see the The Rathaus-Glockenspiel which is a clock that reenacts two old and famous stories from the 1500’s.
The top half of the Glockenspiel reenacts the honorary fight (that took place after the marriage of a local Duke) between knights on horseback who represent Bavaria (red and white) and Lothringen (white and blue). Naturally, the Bavarian knights always win.
The lower half of the Glockenspiel shows Schäfflertanz (the coopers’ dance). Apparently there was a plague in Munich in 1517 and it is said that coopers danced through the streets to encourage and strengthen anyone who was fearful. The dance now symbolizes perseverance and loyalty to authority during hard times.
The show ended with 3 crows from the golden rooster at the top of the Glockenspiel.
On the following days after the tour, we explored outside of downtown Munich to visit some local parks.
On one morning, we happened upon several surfers who were taking turns riding waves in a river.
We also re-visited many of the places we were shown on our tour (as we were still reminiscing over the memories we’d made), and found a few new places as well, such as the local markets.
For all of the historical and memorable experiences, thank you, Munich.