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Munich Coat of Arms

Aug 2015

munichen (by the) monks + alt old + stadt German town lit. historic centre within the city wall.

Population - 1,388,000.

Munich Coat of Arms

The monk in 'monk-yen' is down to some old, bell-ringing Benedictines who used to live near here but the only thing being rung now is the historic city centre by a rather ugly ring road.

Think of the shabby end of London's Oxford Street only wider because this one's got trams in it. You'll have to watch your  Green Cross Code™s and first impressions aren't great. Oh dear, six nights have only gone and been accidentally[1] got here! What to do?

Sonnenstrasse, Munich, Germany Near Munich Altstadt - River Isar

Here's what to do, start by walking up to the centre by the River Isar.

[1] Sure it was just three nights but booking.com™ are having none of it.

 
Bella Italia (Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße)

No, not the branded one that can be found in most UK town centres. This one's better than it sounds with an outdoor area for all your usual Italian fayre paired with a Pilsner.

This is only a mile-or-so out of the centre but could be the Bavarian countryside. The unseasonably sizzling weather also had the bathers out and yes, this being Germany, some of them were in the nuddy.

If the nudity offends, there's plenty of architecture to divert your gaze. This Lutheran offering is Lukaskirche or, St Lukes if you'd rather. Built in the late 1890s, permission was given to the Protestants to build just far enough away from the centre to preserve its then Catholic character.

Near Munich Altstadt - Lukaskirche

The shapely, Romanesque form has a lovely apse and there's an equally impressive organ but enough of the nudists, eyes back on the church now!

Enter the centre from the north and you'll hit the reasonably well known Hofgarten just one of the many  public parks in Munich. Down and to the left is Odeonsplatz and Die Feldherrnhalle or, the 'Field Marshals' Hall' if you'd rather.

Hofgartentempel in Munich, Germany Munich Altstadt - Die Feldherrnhalle

A mid-19th-century monument to the Bavarian Army, Hitler thought this as good a place as any to stage an attempted  coup of Munich. Two thousand paid-up members of his fan club marched with him in 1923 from the local Wetterlöffel where it all, rather expectedly, kicked off a bit here.

16 Nazis were shot dead by the state police with Adolf and Hermann Göring both injured[1]. Hitler's resulting trial saw him gain some free, and ultimately invaluable, PR together with a 5-stretch during which he had a bit of time to put  pen to paper.

[1] How different things might have been? If only Siem de Jong hadn't missed that sitter against  Villa in late 2015 preventing Newcastle United from having to travel to Burton Albion to play in the Championship, probably[2].
[2] Recently amended to definitely.

 
Residenz München (Residenzstraße)

Former, sprawling Royal Palace that's handy for the Hofgarten although it's no Wimbledon with just the 10 outside court(yard)s.

Munich Altstadt - Residenz München

It houses a museum and the clock tower dates from 1615 although it was showing 1445 today.

Downtown now and what's this magnificent, flower-laden edifice? Former palace? Administrative headquarters? Luxury hotel?

Munich Altstadt - Hirmer

Why it's only  Hirmer™, the largest, mens department store in the world. 'Everything a man can possibly need' although they don't do pies or old football stickers, which is why there's no need to linger.

Just peeping over the top there is one of the domes of the towers of  Die Frauenkirche or, the ' Cathedral of our Dear Lady' if you'd rather.

Frauenkirche im München, Frauenplatz 1

You can see the Alps from up there on a good day or at least you will be able to again when they've finished with the scaffolding. The fabric cladding didn't make for a great pic and it doesn't look due to come down until late 2016 when they'll only go on to restore the rest of the main building.

The centre's remarkably well preserved given you-know-who had their party headquarters here during you-know-when.

Some of the furniture in  Das Neues Rathaus or, the ' New Town Hall' if you'd rather, was lost after a large hole appeared in the roof one night in 1945 but the exterior remained largely intact.

Munich Altstadt - Das Neues Rathaus

Just as well, where else can you now find out the opening times to the admittedly disappointing toy museum? Where else can you now dine in a cellar on a variety of largely processed pork all washed down with an unfeasibly large glass of lager?

Turns out there are quite a few places, actually.

The Glockenspiel puts on a  bit of a show three times a day.

Munich Altstadt - Das Neues Rathaus Glockenspiel

Jousting knights, barrel makers with a grudge against the Plague and a chirpy chicken will entertain for up to 15 minutes depending on which button they decide to press that day.

 
Hofbräuhaus (Platzl 9)

Munich's best-known beer hall but don't be fooled by the facade, it was rebuilt in 1958 after being bombed in World War II. If you're not in the mood for a pig's foot, you can just wander in for a look.

Phew, what a scorcher today's been! If only there was some kind of vending machine serving up something cold, like ice cream?

Eier, Eier, here's one but what's that? Eier translates as 'Eggs'? I said Eis! Eis man! A Strawberry Mivvi each is needed, not an omelette!

Munich Altstadt - Egg Vending Machine Munich Altstadt - Post Yomp

Sweatily skidding around in all that heat, you might also want to check your sandal straps. You really don't want to end up seeking out a Fußpfleger with a foot looking like that!

Still, looking forward to supper. There are eggs, some Babybel™s have been picked up to crack out that omelette... on the metal table on the balcony that's been out in the sun all day.

It's reckoned to still be hot enough!