In the mid 19th C the Munich Municipal Council resolved to build a new Town Hall to provide much-needed additional office space. A site was cleared by the demolition of 24 older buildings, including the hall in which the Bavarian Estates had met from 1554 to 1807, and a new building was designed by Georg Hauberisser. It was erected in three stages - first the brick-built eastern part (1867-74), then the extension to the rear (1889-92), and finally the western half, in limestone, with the 85m/280ft-high tower, which vies with the towers of the Frauenkirche as Munich's best-known landmark.
8:30am-7pm; Sun: 10am-7pm; Sat: 10am-7pm
Useful tips: The public are admitted to council meetings by arrangement; contact the Besucherdienst (Visitor Service): Tel: 233-6577.
Transit: S-Bahn: S1-S7 (Marienplatz) U-Bahn: U3, U6 (Marienplatz).
The main front, looking onto the Marienplatz, is decorated with a profusion of figures and ornaments - Bavarian dukes, electors and kings, fabulous creatures, saints, Munich types and characters.
The world-famous carillon and display by mechanical figures is the fourth largest in Europe. Every day at 11 a.m. (and from May to October also at noon, 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.) the bells play folk-tunes and the figures enact scenes from the history of Munich - the wedding in 1568 of Duke William V and Renate (Renée) of Lorraine, with a jousting-match from which the Bavarian knight emerges the victor (upper figures), and the Schläfflertanz, performed every seven years in thanksgiving for the ending of the plague of 1515-17 (lower figures). In the evening (at 9 p.m. in summer and 7 p.m. in winter) there appear in the oriels on the seventh tier a night-watchman blowing his horn (left) and an angel of peace blessing the Münchner Kindl, emblem of the city of Munich (right).
There are extensive views over the city from the middle gallery of the tower.
The public are admitted to council meetings by arrangement; contact the Besucherdienst (Visitor Service): tel. 233-6577.