Marien Square, Munich Marienplatz
Marienplatz has been Munich's central square since the foundation of the town. For many centuries, until 1807, it was the market square, and during the Middle Ages it was frequently the venue of knightly tournaments. The present buildings date mainly from the 19th and 20th C.The dominant feature of the square is the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), a building of overpowering proportions which occupies the whole of the north side.
Marien Square Map
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Marienplatz) U-Bahn: U3, U6 (Marienplatz).
In the center of Marien Square rises the Mariensäule (Virgin's Column), erected in 1638 in thanksgiving for the preservation of Munich and Landshut during the Swedish occupation (1632). The red marble column bears a gilded figure of the Virgin as Patroness of Bavaria, with the infant Jesus and a crescent moon, originally carved by Hubert Gerhard for the high altar of the Frauenkirche. The four winged figures of children on the base (probably by Georg Petel) are respectively combating plague, war, famine and heresy.
At the northeast corner of Marienplatz square is the Fischbrunnen (Fish Fountain), recently erected here, with bronze figures from an earlier fountain of 1865. Until 1901 this was the scene, each year on Shrove Tuesday, of a light-hearted event known as the Metzgersprung (Butchers' Leap). Apprentice butchers, released with much ceremony from their indentures, were then required, wearing sheepskins, to jump into the fountain basin from where they threw nuts into the crowd and splashed the small boys who ran to get them.
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Map of Munich Attractions