Karlsplatz 8, 80335 München, Germany
As you can see, we are looking at a beautiful town square. This right here is called Karlsplatz. In Germany, Karlsplatz is a term used to describe a central square in many different cities across the country. This specific Karlsplatz goes by the name of "Stachus", referring to the gates that used to stand there. It connects many important streets, buildings and restaurants, making it the perfect starting point for our tour. Please walk through the Karlsplatz towards the city wall, Karlstor.
Karlsplatz 8, 80335 München, Germany
Karlstor, also known as the Karl Gate, is a historical gateway that offers a fascinating glimpse into Munich's medieval past. Constructed in the 14th century as part of the city's defensive fortifications, the gate was named after Emperor Charles VII, and it served as a crucial entrance to the old town. With motifs from both Baroque and Rocco architecture styles, Karlstor was truly a grand gate during its time in use. Karlstor was just one of many gates throughout the country that was used in defense, but also as checkpoints for trade and commerce.
While the Karlstor once featured a wooden drawbridge that was used to connect the old city to its outer defenses, its strategic location was instrumental in safeguarding Munich's fortifications and preserving its heritage. Today it welcomes visitors to connect to old Munich through its open space where the gate used to be.
Do you see three musician figures around Karlstor? Yes, right there against the wall of the gate as you walk through. Our three musical friends were saved and preserved from World War II. You'll get to find out exactly where from as you make your way down the street, just remember to keep them in mind! The Karlstor bears testament to the city's strategic importance and its architectural resilience over the centuries. Today, this well-preserved relic stands as a reminder of Munich's medieval origins, providing a unique connection to its rich history. As you walk down the road past many shops, on your left will be Bürgersaal.
Neuhauser Str. 10, 80331 München, Germany
Bürgersaal, or Citizens' Hall, holds a special place in Munich's cultural, historical, and religious heritage. Originally built in the 18th century, this elegant rococo-style hall has witnessed numerous significant events and gatherings. Its importance is most notably tied to the birth of the Schäfflertanz, a traditional dance performed every seven years to commemorate the end of the plague. The Schäfflertanz dance tradition is so important that it was even revived in 1945 after a hiatus due to World War II.
The Bürgersaal's intricate stucco decorations and ornate details reflect the opulence of its time, while its historical value endears it to both locals and visitors.
Bürgersaal is also known as Bürgersaalkirche since the consecration of the altar in the 1600s. Inside, are two churches, an upper and a lower. The prayer and meeting room is where the Marian Men’s congregation takes place. The Marian Men is a Catholic lay organization founded in 1610 by Munich citizens. Unfortunately, the destruction of 1944 occurred when allied air forces bombed Bürgersaal and other nearby buildings. Both the upper and lower churches were destroyed, only leaving the main facades standing. Bürgersaal was then restored in the upcoming years.
Today, the Bürgersaal continues to serve as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions, ensuring that its legacy remains alive and vibrant.
Neuhauser Str. 19, 80331 München, Germany
St. Michael's Church, or Michaelskirche, stands as one of Munich's most remarkable religious landmarks. Its origins date back to the late Renaissance period, and its striking façade blends both Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements. St. Michael’s is the largest Renaissance church north of the alps.
During the time of construction in 1590, the entirety of the church took up a whole one fifth of the city. It was supposed to be as royal as Escorial near Madrid. There were a couple design features that were desired for the church, but were never produced such as the construction of a dome overing the crossing of the nave and transept, as well as an extravagant tomb for the original founder Wilhelm V and his wife Renata von Lothringen.
Like Bürgersaal, St. Michael’s was also destroyed during World War II. Thankfully it was rebuilt in 1953, and has had multiple renovations since, even as recent as 2018, when the outer walls were redone. St. Michael's holds historical and artistic significance, housing splendid altars, intricate sculptures, and impressive frescoes that depict scenes from the Bible and Christian history. With its rich history intertwined with Bavaria's royal legacy, the church remains an emblem of faith and culture in Munich.
Kaufingerstraße 24, 80331 München, Germany
Quite magnificent isn't it? This isThe Church of Our Lady, or Frauenkirche, is an iconic symbol of Munich. Built in the late 15th century, this imposing Gothic cathedral is characterized by its twin onion-shaped domes, which dominate the city's skyline. The church has witnessed various historical events, including the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
Inside, visitors are greeted by a sense of grandeur, with intricate vaulted ceilings and captivating artworks. The Frauenkirche's central nave, with its 24-meter-wide (79-foot-wide) interior, has the unique distinction of being one of the widest Gothic halls in Europe. A climb up the south tower rewards visitors with panoramic views of Munich's historic heart.
Interestly legend says, the architect of the Frauenkirche made a pact with the devil to build the church without windows. However, upon completion, the devil was tricked, as the pillars inside prevented him from seeing the windows. Please make your way back down and we will continue on our tour! Next up is a central square with some important landmarks.
Marienplatz 22, 80331 München, Germany
Marienplatz, the central square of Munich, pulsates with history and activity. Named after the Marian Column that stands at its center, the square has been a focal point for public gatherings and celebrations for centuries.
To your right stands the Fischbrunnen fountain. This historical fountain tracing back to the Middle Ages has gone through many rebuilds over its lifetime. Vague recollections of different fountains being mentioned in the area, but no hard evidence to give much detail until 1862 when Konrad Knoll designed the predecessor of today's Fischbrunnen. But, after World War II, majority of buildings and other features were destroyed, and this fountain experienced the same fate.
In 1954, Joseph Henselmann recreated the fountain using the remaining 3 butcher figures you see today. Remember those three musician figures we saw at Karlstor? They too were preserved from Knoll's version of Fischbrunnen. As you can also see that a bronze fish was added by Henselmann, this was done to represent the time when Marienplatz was a market place and the fishmonger hung their fish and other goods in the fresh fountain water to keep them alive for customers.
A fountain with a long and unique story stands in front of the New Town Hall, or Neues Rathaus, is the square's crown jewel.
Built in the late 19th century in neo-Gothic style, the New Town Hall boasts an intricately designed facade adorned with sculptures and ornate details. Marienplatz, including the New Town Hall, played a significant role during the World Wars. The square and its landmarks were not immune to bombings and damage, with the New Town Hall's clock tower bearing scars of war. The area's post-war reconstruction symbolizes Munich's determination to rise anew.
Its famous Glockenspiel delights visitors daily with a charming mechanical performance that portrays historical events. The Glockenspiel on the New Town Hall features 43 bells and showcases two different scenes: the Wedding Dance and the Coopers' Dance. Marienplatz is a dynamic hub where locals and visitors come together to appreciate Munich's heritage and enjoy its vibrant atmosphere. It performs a captivating show daily at 11 AM, 12 PM, and 5 PM.
Viktualienmarkt 2, 80331 München, Germany
Please go ahead and turn down Rindermarkt street. Once you past the cross street of Peterspl. St. Peter Church will be on your left. Once you have taken in this magnificent piece of history, make your way back to Marienplatz.
Marienplatz 17, 80331 München, Germany
St. Peter's Church, or Peterskirche, is Munich's oldest parish church and a testament to the city's enduring religious heritage. The church's origins trace back to the 12th century, and it has witnessed multiple reconstructions and renovations over the centuries. Okay, ready? Look up! The “Alter Peter” or Old Peter, is the inspirational and iconic 91 meter, or 298 feet tall tower. It stands tall just as the church itself has for all these years.
There are also many historical bells, some gifted to the church, or bells that have been with the church since the very beginning. In total there are 8 bells, all with their own name. The Jubilee Bell was the lowest pitched church bell in Bavaria for a very long time. If you make your way to the official website of St. Peter’s Church, there you can listen to the specific ring of each bell. The church is also home to an impressive altarpiece, a celebrated work by Erasmus Grasser.
Visitors can ascend the tower of Alter Peter to enjoy panoramic views of Munich's skyline, and the climb is rewarded with a massive and wonderful view of the Alps if you are lucky enough to have clear weather. You should definitely make your way up there sometime during your trip!
Marienplatz 16, 80331 München, Germany
Munich's Old Town Hall, or Altes Rathaus, serves as a captivating link to the city's medieval history. Constructed in the late 14th century, the building showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Gothic and Renaissance elements. The tower's clock, with its charming figures reenacting historical scenes, offers a delightful display for passersby.
The Old Town Hall has borne witness to significant historical events and continues to be a central point for municipal affairs. Its rich history and distinctive architecture make it a cherished landmark in Munich's historic core. The Old Town Hall's glockenspiel features figures enacting scenes from Munich's history and a jousting tournament.
Here you will cross the street to Tal and make your way around a few blocks. This should be a perfect stroll to our next stop, a staple to German culture, beer!
Tal 7, 80331 München, Germany
Do you want to try real Bavarian cuisine? I know I do! Stop in at Schneider Brauhaus Munchen for traditional food filled with history. The staple here is Munich Kronfleisch cuisine, the art of using and cooking every part of the animal, especially the innards like kindeys and spleens, are prepared as a true Bavarian delicacy. If you would like the full experience here at Schneider Brauhaus Munchen, come between 8:00am and 12:00pm for their traditional white sausage breakfast. This meal comes with a perfectly golden soft pretzel and a very specific mustard. The different types of mustard is a very important aspect of Bavarian cuisine, these opinions can of course vary from person to person so if you'd like to strike up conversation, I recommend asking about mustard.
At this very same location is where the first middle class wheat beer was brewed 150 years ago. Wheat beer used to only be available for the nobels, but George I. Schneider was able to obtain the correct credentials to brew beer and he began doing just that! It is now one of the most well known breweries in all of Munich.
I don't know about you, but I am getting seriously hungry just thinking about all of this food. Can you smell it from outside? I think I can...maybe we should just stop in? A pretzel and a sausage sounds pretty good right now.
Sparkassenstraße 9, 80331 München, Germany
As we make our way to the next stop, you will be making a right past Bar Lux and will then make a quick left by the Souvenir store, Little Bavaria. As you go down this street you will be met with an intersection at the end. You will keep going straight towards the Platzl, another old town square, and Hofbräuhaus München will be on your right! Once we are finished, you will make your way back and cross that same road we already did and continue left towards our next point of interest!
Orlandostraße 8, 80331 München, Germany
The Hofbräuhaus München stands as a living testament to Munich's beer culture and social traditions. Founded in the 16th century, this historic beer hall has welcomed generations of locals and visitors seeking to experience Bavarian hospitality. Can't you just feel the friends you are going to make here?
The Hofbräuhaus once served as a royal brewery, and its beer was enjoyed by members of the Bavarian royal family. The lively atmosphere, traditional music, and hearty Bavarian cuisine create an unforgettable ambiance. The Hofbräuhaus's beer garden, with its communal tables and convivial spirit, invites people from all walks of life to gather, celebrate, and revel in the city's rich beer heritage.
A visit to the Hofbräuhaus is a genuine immersion into Munich's lively beer culture. Now, just around the corner and down the street is a space with a very unique and interesting history.
Sparkassenstraße 17, 80331 München, Germany
Please walk up the staircase in front of you as it will bring you to The Alter Hof Munchen. Once you have finished this point, you will make your way back down the same stairs. Alter Hof, or Old Court, is a historic complex dating back to the 12th century that offer's a glimpse into Munich's past. It was originally built as a medieval castle for the Wittelsbach dynasty, who ruled over Bavaria, but as the years went on, The Alter Hof went through many modifications, always changing to its residents' needs. Such as becoming the former imperial residence of Louis IV when he became Holy Roman Emperor in 1314. Louis IV used The Alter Hof to hold many imperial events and activities.
Due to the constant growth of The Alter Hof, the architecture blends many styles together creating a not only interesting look, but a wonderful architectural timeline. For example, the oldest parts of the complex reflect elements of Gothic architecture through the pointed arches and ribbed vaults, but as time passed, the Renaissance style began to flourish. You can see the Renaissance influences through the use of symmetry, pilasters, and copious detail.
Ledererstraße 3, 80331 München, Germany
So glad we got to stop at Alter Hof! What a unique courtyard with so much history. We will now continue straight down this street for a couple of blocks until we reach The Church of The Holy Spirit. We will arrive across the street from the church so we can witness the entire beauty of its whole being!
Viktualienmarkt 2, 80331 München, Germany
Across the street from us is The Church of the Holy Spirit, or Heiliggeistkirche. This church is a testament to Munich's religious heritage and architectural elegance. Founded in the 14th century, the church underwent multiple renovations and reconstructions.
The Church of the Holy Spirit was used by both Protestants and Catholics during the Reformation era, signifying a unique aspect of religious tolerance in Munich. Its stunning white facade, with its elaborate stucco decoration, exudes a sense of grace and refinement. Inside, visitors are treated to a serene ambience, with a delicate interplay of light and shadow enhancing the church's beauty.
When walking in, the high alter depicts The Last Supper, as well as many other paintings and sculptures throughout the building.
Approximately 1 to 3 million people visit Heiliggeistkirche every year, making it one of the most visited churches in all of Germany. The Heiliggeistkirche continues to serve as a place of worship, inviting both locals and visitors to discover the tranquility and spiritual resonance it offers. We have a light walk towards the next point of interest, a wonderful open-air market with so much to offer!
Viktualienmarkt 6, 80331 München, Germany
On your left is Viktualienmarkt, a vibrant open-air market that encapsulates the essence of Munich's culinary scene. With origins dating back to the early 19th century, it has been open to the public since 1807. The market offers a colorful array of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and specialty foods, can you smell it? I’m jealous! It's a haven for food enthusiasts and a testament to Bavaria's agricultural heritage. It started as a small farmer’s market model, but has expanded into a gourmet chef’s dream.
Viktualienmarkt is also a fantastic spot to purchase locally designed Munich souvenirs. You will find pieces that you will only be able to find here, such as hand made kitchen accessories or natural combs produced by the Munich community.
As you walk around you will notice many fountains, as well as the perfect viewing platform to take another look at our friend, Alter Peter.
The market also has a central maypole, traditionally decorated with intricate and colorful motifs representing the market's goods and Bavarian culture. This adds a festive touch to the bustling atmosphere.
Viktualienmarkt is a beloved destination for both locals and tourists, providing an opportunity to savor authentic flavors and immerse oneself in Munich's gastronomic offerings. Our next stop is that of cultural importance, but religious as well.
Viktualienmarkt 23, 80331 München, Germany
As we past Starbucks, we are going to cross through a small section of Viktualienmarkt. As you walk this path you will be making your way between a small cafe and a small fruit and vegetable store. Once you pass those, you will turn the corner and make your way down the street where Löwen-Apotheke will be on your left. Once you reach the corner of a four way intersection with a street light, you will turn right towards the Synagogue and Jewish Museum.
St.-Jakobs-Platz 13, 80331 München, Germany
Straight ahead is The Ohel Jakob Synagogue and the Jewish Museum of Munich. Both landmarks are extremely important to the Jewish community in the city. The Ohel Jakob Synagogue, translating to "Tent of Jacob", referencing the biblical patriarch Jacob, is one of the main synagogues in Munich. It opened in 2006 and was built to replace Munich's main synagogue that was destroyed during the Holocaust. The design of the synagogue combines traditional Jewish art with a modern approach. The building is most known for its glass and metalwork.
The Jewish Museum of Munich, across from The Ohel Jakob Synagogue, promotes an intercultural dialogue to create awareness of Jewish heritage and culture through the Jewish history of Munich. Focusing on Jewish life in Munich and Bavaria, there are exhibitions covering art, history, and traditions.
Some installations are permanent, such as one installation that tells the story of Jewish families arriving in Munich, dating back to 200 years ago. There is also a study room that gives more in-depth information through showcase collections that are constantly being updated.
The Jewish Museum of Munich is a space created to celebrate the diversity of Jewish history, as well as sharing Jewish heritage.
Oberanger 21, 80331 München, Germany
The Ohel Jakob Synagogue and Jewish Museum are such important sites, I'm really glad we got to learn about them today. We will now head to another museum, but this one is regarding everything Munich! We will be going straight past St Jakobs Platz and then we will make a right pass the Film Museum. We will then make a left around the corner and will walk down the entire length of the street until we meet an intersection! The Munich City Museum will be in the building to your left. You will not need to cross the street.
Rosental 4, 80331 München, Germany
The Munich City Museum, or München Stadtmuseum, is a treasure trove of the city's history and cultural heritage. It was founded in 1888 by Ernst von Destouches and it is the largest municipal museum in the country of Germany.
The Munich City Museum's collection includes over 80,000 objects, and that number is continuously growing, spanning various aspects of the city's history and culture. Housed in the neo-Gothic former municipal arsenal building, the museum offers a comprehensive exploration of Munich's past through its diverse collections.
There is an exhibit by the name of Typical Munich, that illustrates the history of Munich, past, present and future.From artworks and historical artifacts to interactive exhibits, the museum provides insights into the city's evolution.
It's a place where visitors can delve into Munich's social, political, and artistic developments over the centuries. The Munich City Museum serves as a captivating window into the city's soul, fostering an understanding of its intricate narrative and dynamic character. Our last stop of the tour is coming up after we cross the street and walk down Sendlinger. An embellished church with a fascinating background.
Rosental 21, 80331 München, Germany
Now for our last point of interest for our tour! It has been so much fun, thanks for hanging out with me. We will just head straight until you meet the next cross street. We will turn left there and head down the road to The Asam Church.
Sendlinger Str. 29, 80331 München, Germany
The Asamikirche, known as The Asam Church is a small Baroque church built in the 18th century by the Asam brothers, Egid Quirin Asam and Cosmas Damian Asam. Both were talented and successful artists, Egid a sculptor and Cosmas a painter. The two purchased four houses on Sendlinger Strasse in 1733 and converted the two houses in the middle into the church.
Since this was a private church, they were able to work independently and create exactly what they had envisioned. They finished building in 1746 but were quickly bombarded with pressure to open their private church to the public and so not too long later they did just that.
The Asam Church is one of the best examples of baroque architecture in southern Germany, from dramatic lightning, extreme detail and gold leaf. But, the interior is truly what sets it apart. Covered head to toe in sculptures and paintings, it is dramatic and meaningful, all notes of the Baroque style.
For example, the pews are sat in darkness to represent the world crumbling, but as you make your way to the fresco, it becomes lighter as you enter ‘heaven’ with God and eternity. The Asam Church truly will take your breath away, and will leave you with no senses untouched.
This now completes the end of our walking tour. Thank you so much for spending this time with me, I hope you had as wonderful of an experience as I did! Munich is a history rich city, dense with stories of the people everywhere you turn. Please enjoy the rest of your day here and go grab a beer, why don’t you? You deserve it!