Munich, or München in German, is the capital of Bavaria in Germany. Stroll through the Old City, or Altstadt, on a warm sunny day and you’ll see people sitting outside enjoying life. Munich is a major European center of culture, art, innovation, business and tourism.
Created in 1789, the English Garden is a large public park in the centre of Munich. It is one of Europe's largest urban public parks, larger than New York's Central Park. The name refers to its English garden form of informal landscape, a style popular in England from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century. The park's many attractions include a Japanese teahouse that was a gift to Bavaria from Kyoto, the Schönfeldwiese (Schönfeld meadow) where nude sunbathing has been permitted, artificial streams where swimming and surfing take place, a Greek style temple named Monopteros, the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) that was supposed to resemble a porcelain pagoda in the gardens of a Chinese emperor, the Kleinhesseloher See (Kleinhesseloher Lake), and many more. It can be reached by subway U 3,4,5, and 6 at Marienplatz Station or Tram 17 at Tivolistraße Stop.
The Alte Pinakothek is one of the oldest galleries in the world and houses one of the most famous collections of Old Master paintings. The name Alte (Old) Pinakothek refers to the time period covered by the collection—from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. The neo-renaissance exterior of the Pinakothek clearly stands out from the castle-like museum type usual in the early 19th Century. Very modern in its day, the building became exemplary for museum buildings in Germany and all of Europe after its inauguration in 1836, and thus became a model for new galleries in Rome, St Petersburg, Brussels and Kassel. Its collection of Early Italian, Old German, Old Dutch and Flemish paintings is one of the most important in the world.
Königsplatz (King's Square) is a square built in the style of European Neo-Classicism in the 19th century and it was a center of cultural life. The area around Königsplatz is today the home to the Kunstareal, Munich's gallery and museum quarter. The Königsplatz was It was modeled on the Acropolis in Athens. The concept was classical rigor embedded in living green, and so an expression of urban ideas of Ludwig I. of Bavaria who wanted to see cultural life, civic ideals, Catholic Christianity, royal administration and the military all together and embedded in green. It was used during the Third Reich as a square for the Nazi Party's mass rallies. After the war the Königsplatz was restored to its pre-war appearance.
The Odeonsplatz is a large square in the Old Town developed in the early 19th century. The square is named for the former concert hall, the Odeon, on its southwestern side. The square was the scene of a fatal gun battle which ended the march on the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals' Hall) during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. The Feldherrnhalle is a copy of the famous Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. The Odeonsplatz has traditionally been an important site of parades, public events, funeral processions and victory parades. The annual parade to the famous Oktoberfest still passes through the square.
The Hofbräuhaus is a beer hall originally built in 1589 by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I as an extension of the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München brewery. The restaurant comprises most of the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, which also includes a ballroom and outdoor Wirtsgarten. Its menu features traditional favorites of Bavarian cuisine such as Brezn (soft pretzel), Obatzda (cheese dip), and sausages such as Bratwurst and Weisswurst. Brews include Helles and Dunkles served in a Maß, Weißbier, and wine. As Munich's largest tourist attraction after the Oktoberfest, the Hofbräuhaus is also frequented by locals, many of whom keep their personal steins stored there.
The Munich Residenz (Münchner Residenz) is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs of the House of Wittelsbach and it is the largest city palace in Germany. The three main parts are the Königsbau, the Alte Residenz, and the Festsaalbau. It also houses the Herkulessaal (Hercules Hall), the primary concert venue for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The first buildings at this site were erected in the year 1385. The Residenz's development over the centuries didn't only take place out of its main centre, the Neuveste, but in addition grew out of several single parts and extensions. Finally, after more than four centuries of development, the giant palace had practically replaced a whole former city quarter with barracks, a monastery, houses and gardens. It assembles the styles of the late Renaissance, as well as of Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classicism. Located at the northern side of the Residenz opposite to the Festsaalbau is the Hofgarten (Court Garden), a 17th-century Italian Renaissance garden. The site can be reached by subway U 3,4,5, and 6 at Odeonsplatz Station.
The Frauenkirche, aka Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady) is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city. Although called "Münchner Dom" (Munich Cathedral), the church is always referred to as "Frauenkirche" by locals. The south tower offers a unique view of Munich and the nearby Alps. The two towers were completed in 1488 and the church was consecrated in 1494. The Frauenkirche was constructed from red brick in the late Gothic style. The building is designed very plainly, without rich Gothic ornaments and its buttresses moved into and hidden in the interior. This, together with the two tower's special design (battered upwards), lets the construction look even more enormous and gives it a near-modern appearance according to the principle of "less is more". A rich collection of 14th to 18th century artwork of notable artists decorates the interior of the cathedral.
The Marienplatz (Mary's Square) has been the city's main square since 1158. Marienplatz was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. The column is topped by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon as the Queen of Heaven, created in 1590. In the Middle Ages, markets and tournaments were held in this square. Today the pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz is a crowded area with numerous shops and restaurants.
The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), until 1874 the domicile of the municipality, serves today as a building for representative purposes for the city council. The building, documented for the first time in 1310, had its Grand Hall (Großer Saal) constructed in 1392. It was re-designed in late-gothic style in the 15th century. After alterations of the facade during the Renaissance and again in the Baroque the building was restored in neo-gothic style in the 19th century. In 1874 the municipality moved to the New Town Hall.
Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt) is a gournet food market containing 140 stalls and shops that offer flowers, exotic fruit, poultry, pastries, spices, cheese, seafood, and many more. The origin of the market dates back to the 1800's when a store selling agricultural products had become too small. Today the market is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to get fresh goods. It also hosts a number of traditional and folkloric events throughout the year.
The Asam Church (Asamkirche), aka St. Johann Nepomuk, is a Baroque church built from 1733 to 1746 by the brothers, sculptor Egid Quirin Asam, and painter Cosmas Damian Asam as their private church. It is considered to be one of the most important buildings of the southern German Late Baroque. The church was built without an order and the Baroque façade is integrated into the houses of the Sendlingerstraße and swings slightly convex outward. The ceiling fresco "Life of Saint Nepomuk" is considered one of the masterpieces by Cosmas Damian Asam. Compared to a usually very strictly divided baroque church the Asamkirche shows some peculiarities due to its status as a private chapel: The church altar is situated in the west, not the east as usual. In addition, the crucifix opposite the pulpit was hung lower too low. In Baroque churches it was to hang above the pulpit, so that the preacher had to look up to Jesus Christ.
The BMW Museum is an automobile museum of BMW history that was established in 1973, shortly after the Summer Olympics opened. Known as the salad bowl or white cauldron, the silver futuristic building was designed by an architect of the BMW Headquarters. The museum shows BMW's technical development throughout the company's history. It contains engines and turbines, aircraft, motorcycles, and vehicles in a plethora of possible variations. In addition to actual models there are futuristic-looking, even conceptual studies from the past 20 years. The use of headphones and clever, often indirect lighting, lend the exhibition a largely peaceful atmosphere. The emphasis is on technical development and benefits of modernity. The building blends in with the exhibition concept. Located next to the museum is the BMW Welt (BMW World), a multi-use exhibition center used for meetings and promotional events, and where buyers take delivery of BMW vehicles. The area is served by subway U3 and U8 at Olympiazentrum Station.
The Olympic Park was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics and it continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship. The park comprises four separate sub-areas: Olympic Area, Olympic Village, Olympia-Pressestadt, and Olympic Mountain and Lake. The park is dominated by the 291-metre tall Olympic Tower, which has an observation platform at 190 metres. Visitors get a panoramic view of Munich and, when the weather permits, a view of the Alps.
The Nymphenburg Palace (Schloss Nymphenburg), "Castle of the Nymph (or Nymphs)", is a Baroque palace and was the main summer residence of the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach. The central pavilion was completed in 1675. Starting in 1701, Max Emanuel, the heir to Bavaria, a sovereign electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, undertook a systematic extension of the palace. The palace, together with its park, is now one of the most famous sights of Munich. The baroque facades comprise an overall width of about 700 metres. Some rooms still show their original baroque decoration while others were later redesigned in rococo or neoclassical style. Within the park, there are also a number of pavilions, museums and a large garden.
The Deutsches Museum (German Museum) is the world's largest museum of science and technology, with approximately 1.5 million visitors per year and about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It was founded in 1903 at a meeting of the Association of German Engineers. Following the war the museum had to be closed for repairs. Not until 1965, more than twenty years after the end of the war in Germany, did the exhibit area match (and then exceed) pre-war size. Today its permanent exhibits emcompasses subjects from aerospace, marine navigation, chemistry to music, textile technology and pharmacy.