Central Area, Munich
The central point of old Munich is the busy Marienplatz, with the Mariensäule (Virgin's Column; 1638) and the neo-Gothic Town Hall (Rathaus; 1867-1908). On the tower of the Town Hall can be seen a clock with mechanical figures; from the gallery their are fine panoramic views, with the Alps in the distance (best when the föhn, a warm dry wind from the Alps is blowing). On the east side of the square stands the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus; 15th century); the tower was rebuilt after 1945.
The New Town Hall in Munich is a striking building that has come to be one of the city's best landmarks. The front of the building is decorated with figures from Munich's history, and the Town Hall Tower allows for great views of the city.
The Old Town Hall, built in the 15th C, contains a fabulous medieval interior, with a barrel-vaulted timber roof.
The provision market which has been held in the square at the south end of the Old Town Hall since 1807 is a very characteristic feature of Munich life. In addition to numerous stalls selling fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, eggs, poultry, bread and cakes, there are also meat and fish halls. Particularly lively on Saturday mornings the Viktualienmarkt - much frequented, especially in the warmer months - and a gaily decorated maypole, a permanent fixture which adds further color to the scene.The market boasts several fountains with statues of celebrated Munich figures still remembered with affection - the legendary comic actor Karl Valentin, the actress Liesl Karlstadt (1892-1960) who played opposite him for many years, the folk-singer Weiss Ferdl (1883-1949), Elise Aulinger (1891-1965), Roider Jakl (1906-75) and Ida Schumacher (1895-1956).
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Marienplatz) U-Bahn: U3, U6 (Marienplatz).
Munich's oldest Parish Church, St.Peter's Church was almost entirely destroyed during the second World War. The Church was then reconstructed in a Gothic architectural style with a Baroque Choir.
The Cathedral Church of Our Lady in Munich was established in 1821. Munich's most prominent landmark, this Gothic style Church is a popular tourist attraction.
A large Renaissance style building, St Micheal Church was completed in 1597. The highlights of the Church include its Facade, interior and the Royal Crypt.
Asam Church, fashioned in a beautiful Rococo exterior, is dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk. The interior of the church is impressive with its high altar, cornices, frescoes and stucco figures.
Marien Square, located in the heart of Munich City, is the site for several department stores, restaurants and the prominent New Town Hall. The Square is a lively hangout filled with tourists, performers, vendors and locals alike.
The Munich City Museum is impressive both for the collection and the 15th C building in which it is housed.
The Church of the Holy Ghost is a mix of styles created by work done over the centuries. Portions of the original Gothic structure still remain and are combined with Roccoco, and Neo-Baroque elements.
The early 18th C Baroque Burghers' Hall was rebuilt after being severely damaged in the Second World War. Some impressive original elements remain.
The world famous Hofbräuhaus is one of Munich's top tourist attractions. It was completed in 1589.
Construction of Trinity Church began in 1711 after a prophecy stated a church would save the city from divine judgement. The church features impressive frescoes and a high altar.
The studio and home of the sculptor Ignaz Günther in Munich, was opened in 1977, after extensive restoration, as a memorial to the great 18th C. exponent of South German Roccoco.On the Oberanger frontage note the characteristic Munich-style "Ohrwaschl" gable and the Madonna figure (by Günther; copy). The interior preserves an old barrel-vaulted timber roof and a Jacob's ladder leading up through two floors. There is an exhibition illustrating Günther's work.The house is now in the care of Munich Stadtmuseum.
Transit: U-Bahn: U1, U2, U3, U6 (Sendlinger Tor).
The Isartor, the only one of Munich's town gates that has preserved its gate-tower, formed part of the fortifications erected by Ludwig the Bavarian in the first half of the 14th C.It consists of a tall main tower with the gateway itself in front flanked by smaller towers either side. The fresco (1835) by Caspar Neher above the gateway depicts Ludwig the Bavarian's triumphal entry following his victory over Friedrich the Handsome of Austria at the Battle of Ampfinger in 1322.
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Isartor); Tram: 18, 20.
The Valentin-Musäum - the spelling is deliberate, in keeping with the irreverent spirit of the place - commemorates, with the aid of pictures, curios and humorous documents etc., the popular actor-comedian Karl Valentin (1882-1948) and his comic partner Liesl Karlstadt. Very much a Munich "character", Valentin was particularly noted for his witty dialogues.In the north gate-tower there is a museum of folk music and a folk-singers' cafe in the style of a turn-of-the-century coffee house.
Address: Volkssängermuseum und Volkssängerlokal im Isartor, D-80331 München, Germany
Opening hours: 11:01am-5:29pm; Sun: 10:01am-5:59pm; Fri: 11:01am-5:59pm; Sat: 11:01am-5:59pm; Closed: Wed, Thu
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €1.99, Students €1.49, Child 6 & under FREE
Running between Karlsplatz (Stachus) and Marienplatz, Neuhauser Strasse and Kaufinger Strasse comprise the heart of Munich's pedestrian
zone created in the Old Town area after the completion of the U- and S-Bahn tunnels. Both are major shopping streets, with individual retailers and branches of large departmental stores. Neuhauser Strasse in particular also boasts several noteworthy buildings - Karlstor, the Bürgersaal, the Alte Akademie, the splendid old Michaelskirche and the Deutsche Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (Hunting and Fishing Museum).In fine weather the precinct takes on the character of a huge open-air stage, providing a venue for buskers of all nationalities and a colorful motley of street artists and performers of every kind.Richard-Strauss- BrunnenStanding in front of the Alte Akademie, the Richard-Strauss-Brunnen (1962, by the sculptor Hans Wimmer) makes a fitting memorial to the greatest Munich-born composer. The bronze column of the 6m/20ft-high fountain is decorated with scenes from Strauss's opera "Salome".BrunnenbuberlThe "Brunnenbuberl", a fountain by M. Gastiner which has a special place in the hearts of Munich people, is situated beside the Karstadt department store near Karlstor.
Transit: U-Bahn: U4, U5 (Karlsplatz), U3, U6 (Marienplatz); Tram: 18, 19, 20, 25, 27.
After completion of the U-Bahn and S-Bahn tunnel in the Old Town of Munich, the municipal authorities resolved to limit the volume of traffic
in the city center by establishing an extensive pedestrian precinct in which people could walk about and do their shopping or window-shopping at leisure. In the center of the zone is the Marienplatz, with the Altes and Neues Rathaus (Old and New Town Halls). From there it extends westward along Kaufinger Strasse and Neuhauser Strasse to the Karlsplatz. In this section are a number of department stores belonging to the major chains. In Neuhauser Strasse are the Karlstor, Bürgersaal, Alte Akademie, Michaelskirche and the Deutsche Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (German Hunting and Fishing Museum).Immediately left of the Town Hall the zone extends northwards along Weinstrasse and Theatinerstrasse to the Odeonsplatz. In Theatinerstrasse, with its elegant and fashionable shops, are the Preysing-Palais and Theatinerkirche.The precinct also includes the Frauenplatz (around the Frauenkirche) and some adjoining lanes, the Petersplatz (round St Peter's Church) and the Viktualienmarkt in the southern part of the Old Town.
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Karls platz, Marienplatz) U-Bahn: U4, U5 (Karlsplatz), U3, U6 (Marienplatz).
The architectural unity of the rectangular Wittelsbacherplatz with its ensemble of Neo-Classical buildings, bears all the hallmarks of its designer Leo von Klenze. The square is bounded on the north side by the Alfons-Palais, built in 1825 as a home for von Klenze himself but later acquired by Prince Ludwig Ferdinand von Wittelsbach. Renovated in the 1960s, the palace is today the head office of the Siemens Corporation. On the west side stands the Neo-Classical Palais Arco-Zinneberg (1820), which was badly damaged in the last war. Since restored it is now given over to business premises, chiefly boutiques and suchlike. The famous Odeon, present home of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, bounds the square on the northeast side.An equestrian statue of the Elector Maximilian I, unveiled in 1839, adorns the center of the square. Modeled by Bertel Thorvaldsen, it was cast in bronze by Johann Baptist Stiglmaier.
Transit: U-Bahn: U3, U4, U5, U6 (Odeonsplatz).
Probably designed by Johann Michael Fischer and built in about 1740, this elegant burgher's house with its clearly articulated facade is typical of its period. Home of the Court Sculptor Johann Baptist Straub from 1741 to 1777, the house took its name from the delightful stucco relief by Roman Boos above the left-hand entrance, showing six dogs playing with a ball (the present relief is a copy).The Madonna figure (also a copy, the original being in the National Museum) is by Straub.Gaststätte zur HundskugelThe nearby "Zur Hundskugel" on the corner of Hackenstrasse and Hotterstrasse is the oldest inn in Munich, standing since 1440. A typical Old Munich half-gabled house with a high pent roof, it also boasts a shallow oriel over the main entrance and a beam for a hoist in the gable.
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Marienplatz) U-Bahn: U3, U6 (Marienplatz), U1, U2, U3, U6 (Sendlinger Tor).
Zur Hundskugel Inn
The "Zur Hundskugel" on the corner of Hackenstrasse and Hotterstrasse is the oldest inn in Munich, standing since 1440. A typical Old Munich half-gabled house with a high pent roof, it also boasts a shallow oriel over the main entrance and a beam for a hoist in the gable.
The Preysing-Palais, Munich's first Roccoco palace, was built by Joseph Effner in 1723-28 for Count Maximilian von Preysing, Master of the Electoral Hunt. The Feldherrnhalle was built against its north wall in 1841-44.During the Second World War the palace was so badly damaged that the outer walls, with the exception of the Residenzstrasse facade, had to be pulled down and rebuilt (1958-1975).The interior, including the banqueting hall and chapel, had already been destroyed in the 19th C. and is today traversed by shopping arcades. The beautiful grand staircase with its caryatides has, however, survived.
Hypo-Bank Art Gallery
A shrine to contemporary art amid the temples of mammon, the Hypo-Bank Gallery at Theatinerstrasse No 15 is one of Munich's more unusual attractions. Large numbers of visitors are frequently drawn to its temporary exhibitions, which usually highlight particular artists, periods or affinities in art.
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-9pm
In the heart of the Pedestrian Zone of Munich, adjoining Michaelskirche, is the Old Academy, a large complex surrounded by four courtyards. Now occupied by the Bavarian Statistical Office, this Renaissance building was erected between 1585 and 1597 for a Jesuit college and school. After the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1773 it housed the Court Library and Archives (1774-1885), a school of painting and sculpture (hence the designation Academy) and, from 1826 to 1840, the University. Destroyed during the Second World War it was rebuilt in 1954.
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Karlsplatz/Stachus)
Map of Munich Attractions