MUNICH

Munich (München), the capital of Bavaria Land, in southern Germany, is Bavaria’s largest city and the third largest city in Germany (after Berlin and Hamburg). Munich lies about 30 miles (50 km) north of the edge of the Alps and along the Isar River, which flows through the middle of the city. The population in 2015 was estimated at 1.4 million.

München (“Home of the Monks”), traces its origins to the Benedictine monastery at Tegernsee, which was probably founded in 750 CE. In 1157 Henry the Lion, duke of Bavaria, granted the monks the right to establish a market where the road from Salzburg met the Isar River. A bridge was built across the Isar the following year, and the marketplace was fortified.

In 1255 Munich became the home of the Wittelsbach family, which had succeeded to the duchy of Bavaria in 1180. For more than 700 years the Wittelsbachs would be closely connected with the town’s destiny. In the early 14th century the first of the Wittelsbach line of Holy Roman emperors, Louis IV (Louis the Bavarian), expanded the town to the size at which it remained up to the end of the 18th century. Under the Bavarian elector Maximilian I (1597–1651), Munich increased in wealth and size and prospered until the Thirty Years’ War. During this war, Munich was occupied by the Swedes under Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) in 1632, and in 1634 a plague epidemic resulted in the death of about one third of its population.

In 1806 the city was made capital of the kingdom of Bavaria. The third Wittelsbach who left his mark on the community was Louis I, king of Bavaria from 1825 to 1848. He expand Munich beyond the old town in a magnificent building program. Louis planned and created modern Munich, and his architects established the city’s characteristic appearance in the public buildings they designed. Louis’s son Maximilian II, who reigned from 1848–1864, built the broad Maximilienstrasse and the Maximilianeum, which now houses the Bavarian parliament (Landtag).

The 19th century was Munich’s greatest period of growth and development. Protestants became citizens for the first time in what had been until then a purely Roman Catholic town. The city’s population of 100,000 in 1854 grew to 500,000 by 1900. Munich’s cultural importance in Europe was enhanced when Louis II, by his championing of the composer Richard Wagner, revived its fame as a city of music and the stage.

The rule of the Wittelsbach dynasty finally ended with the self-imposed exile of Louis III in November 1918, and, in the aftermath of World War I, Munich became a hotbed of right wing political disorder. It was in Munich that Adolf Hitler joined the Nazi Party and became its leader. The beer cellar where he held meetings that led to the Beer Hall Putsch (“rising”) against the Bavarian authorities in November 1923, can still be seen.

Adolf Hitler failed in his attempted coup aimed at the Bavarian government. Despite this fiasco, Hitler made Munich the headquarters of the Nazi party, which in 1933 took control of the German national government.

In World War II Munich suffered heavily from Allied bombing raids, which destroyed more than 40 percent of its buildings, but after 1945 it was extensively rebuilt and many modern buildings were constructed.

Generally the sky line of Munich is not very high for the reason that the height limit on buildings was limited to the height of the fire engines of the day. As you look across the Munich skyline, church spires dominate. In 1973 it hosted the Olympic Games.

Munich suffered economically in the past, because of its distance from seaports and from the coal mines of the Ruhr region. But this situation improved when fuels other than coal came into general use. Munich shifted from heavy to light industry, to the manufacture, for example, of precision instruments, optical, electrical appliances, aerospace and other high technology products. It also shifted towards the production of food, cosmetics and clothing.

The city has several of the largest breweries in Germany. It is famous for its beer and its annual Oktoberfest celebration. Munich is a major tourist destination and a convention centre. Book publishing and printing and television production are also important. The city is a centre of the banking and financial industry. It also has one of the largest wholesale markets in Europe for fruit, vegetables, and animal produce.

Munich is connected by rail to all the main cities of Germany and Austria. It is a major hub for the German and European high speed passenger rail system. Autobahnen (expressways) from Stuttgart, Nürnberg, and Salzburg converge on the city. Franz Josef Strauss Airport, located 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Munich, opened in 1992. A modern subway was also built in the city.

The old town, clustered around the ancient crossroads of the marketplace in the Marienplatz, has increasingly become a business centre and has lost much of its ancient character. Among the old buildings that still stand are three of the seven town gates, Karls, Sendlinger, and Isar, all dating from the 14th century. Other medieval buildings include Munich’s cathedral, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), whose massive towers are prominent landmarks; and the Old Town Hall in the Marienplatz.

Munich is a glorious city that shrugs off the coldness and sternness of buildings that are so prevalent elsewhere in Germany. Sure, it has a few of these buildings, but in the old city visitors will find attractive historic buildings and monuments. Munich has a good public transportation system that makes it convenient to move around the city. Munich makes a good base for day trips to outlying areas, such as the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau or scenic Salzburg, but there is plenty to keep visitors in the city too.

You can still follow the lines of Munich's medieval walls in a ring of curving streets and see three of its impressive old city gates. The focal point of Munich's historic inner city is the large, open square, the Marienplatz, where visitors and locals pause to watch the animated clock play out its legend two or three times daily. Munich is a fun loving city, known for its seasonal festivals and rich cultural calendar, so along with visiting the beautiful churches and outstanding museums and palaces, you should spend some time enjoying life with the locals at a festival, a colorful market, or over a slice of one of Munich's famous cakes in a konditorei. Munich residents also enjoy their many public parks and gardens, in particular the lovely 900 acre English Garden (Englischer Garten). 

1. Marienplatz

Marienplatz is the most famous square in Munich, drawing thousands of tourists every day who come to see the New Town Hall that dates back to 1874. The city hall was built in the Gothic Revival style, and features most of the Wittelsbach rulers on the main façade while statues of four Bavarian kings are on a lower level. This highly ornate building is a tourist magnet in itself, but what really draws the tourists to Marienplatz is the thrice daily performance of the Glockenspiel. The famous Ratskeller restaurant is in the basement.

The Marienplatz Glockenspiel times for its performance are at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m. every day (the 5 p.m. performance does not occur from November through February). The performance includes motorized figurines that dance, joust, and twirl around the inside of the tower. The performance lasts 12 minutes and ends with the chirp of a cuckoo bird coming out above the display. 

Marienplatz

Marienplatz Glockenspiel

2. St. Peter's Church

Peterskirche, or St. Peter’s Church, is a Catholic church located in Munich’s city center, or Altstadt. St. Peter’s Church was started in the 12th century and is the city’s oldest church, although fires and lighting strikes have damaged part of the structure over the centuries. Interior highlights include the font by Hans Krumper, the red marble monuments by Erasmus Grasser, and the 15th century Schrenk Altar with its sculptures of the Crucifixion and the Last Judgment. Also of note is the 20 meter tall 18th century high altar with its figures of the Four Fathers of the Church and St. Peter. The panel paintings on the choir walls by Jan Polack are also worth seeing, as is the highly regarded Altar of the Virgin of Mercy from 1756.  

The Romanesque style church hosts services several times each day, and it is well worth attending one to admire the interior of the building. You can also climb Alte Peter, a tower accessible via more than 300 steps. The climb is worth the effort, however, because you will get a stunning view over Munich from the top.

St. Peter's Church

3. Munich Frauenkirche

The Munich Frauenkirche is another famous Munich landmark that towers over the rest of the city. It dates back to the 15th century when it was built in an astounding 20 years’ time, though completion of some features was postponed due to lack of money. The Munich Frauenkirche serves as the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Munich and is home to the archbishop. The Gothic cathedral is capable of holding 20,000 worshipers. The cathedral was damaged during World War II, but has been restored. It is famous for its bells and as the final resting place for the Dukes of Bavaria.

Munich Frauenkirche

4. Odeonsplatz

If you are planning to spend any time in the Altstadt, then you will want to visit the Odeonsplatz. This central plaza is a major landmark in the city, and it is packed with interesting and historically significant attractions. Both Ludwigstraße and Briennerstraße, two major thoroughfares through Munich, begin at the Odeonsplatz. The plaza is also home to the Theatinerkirche, a beautiful Italian-Baroque church, and the Field Marshals’ Hall, also known as the Feldherrnhalle. The highlight of the Odeonsplatz is the Residenz, a palace that is now open to the public and home to a collection of royal jewels, crowns and family portraits.

Odeonsplatz

5. Hofgarten

Located between the famed Residenz and the Englischer Garten is the Hofgarten, a beautiful garden built at the beginning of the 17th century in the style of an Italian Renaissance garden. The Hofgarten is open to the public from dawn to dusk, and it is the perfect spot for a stroll. Check out the gazebo in the center of the garden, or just admire the beautifully manicured gardens. Many visitors grab some food and enjoy a picnic in the Hofgarten, and there are plenty of benches throughout the area where you can sit, rest and enjoy the view.

Hofgarten

6. Munich Residenz

The Munich Residenz was home to Bavarian rulers, the Wittelsbachs, for centuries before it was opened to the public in 1920. Its art collections and various architectural styles became symbols of the royal family’s power. The residence sustained heavy damage in World War II, but has since been restored as much as possible. Today, it is considered one of the finest palace museums in Europe. The Wittelsbachs collected fine art and objects for centuries, so visitors will be able to see outstanding collections of porcelain, paintings, silver objects, rare furniture, chandeliers and sculptures.

Munich Residenz

7. Hofbrauhaus

Munich residents do love their beer, celebrating it annually at Oktoberfest. Travelers who are not visiting in September and October, can still sip the suds at the Hofbrauhaus, one of the oldest breweries in town. The Hofbrauhaus dates back to 1589 when it was founded by Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, when it served as the official brewery for Munich’s royalty. Even back then, the beer had an international reputation, with Swedish invaders agreeing not to sack Munich in exchange for 600,000 barrels of beer. The brewery and the beer hall are among the most popular tourist attraction in Munich today.

Hofbrauhaus

8. Englischer Garten

The size of New York City’s Central Park pales in comparison to Munich’s Englischer Garten, one of the world’s largest urban parks. The park, which stretches from the city center to northeast Munich, was established in 1789, but has been enlarged over the centuries. It takes its name from the traditional English gardens that were popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was built by soldiers during times of peace to teach them agricultural skills. The garden contains a Japanese teahouse, a meadow where nude sunbathing is permitted and an artificial wave used by surfboarders.

The Eisbach Wave is one of the more unexpected attractions located in the heart of Munich. It is part of the Eisbach River, a man-made body of water that is just over a mile long. The Eisbach River flows through the Englischer Garten. At one point in the river, there is a standing wave that is just three feet high. It is here that city dwellers have the chance to go surfing or even kayaking right in the heart of Munich. It is common to see visitors standing next to the Eisbach Wave and watching surfers try to maintain their balance on the wave for as long as possible.

Englischer Garten

Eisbach Wave (Man made Eisbach River)

9. Neues Rathaus

If you are a fan of architecture, then do not miss a chance to see the Neues Rathaus in Munich. The New City Hall was built in the neo-Gothic style, and it is a major attraction in the Marienplatz. The building is enormous and boasts six courtyards, a beautiful spiral staircase and plenty of stained glass windows. Many people come to see the Neues Rathaus just for its clock, which has 43 bells and goes off three times each day. Carved figures emerge from the Glockenspiel and revolve around the clock in time with the bells, and it is well worth seeing for yourself in person.

Neues Rathaus

10. Nymphenburg Palace

The Nymphenburg Palace celebrates the birth of an heir to the Bavarian throne, ordered built by the parents of Maximillian II Emanuel in 1664. The palace served as the summer residence of Bavarian rulers. When he inherited the throne, Max Emanuel significantly enlarged the palace. Today this baroque palace is one of Munich’s more popular tourist attractions, even though sections are closed to the public since it also serves as the home for the current Duke of Bavaria. Original baroque ceilings, some with frescoes, survive to this day, as do King Ludwig I’s Galleries of Beauties that portray 36 beautiful Munich women.

Nymphenburg Palace

11. Olympiapark

The 1972 Olympic Games were held in Munich, and many of the venues created for the event are located in what is now known as the Olympiapark. Munich is recognized globally for its success in turning the Olympic venues into spaces that continue to be used and generate income for the city. If you are visiting Munich, you might watch a concert or attend a festival in the Olympic Stadium. At the Olympic Lake, you can rent a boat and paddle around. If you want to soak in the views of the Olympiapark, grab a meal at the revolving restaurant at the top of the Olympic Tower.

Olympiapark

12. BMW Welt & Museum

BMW is known for its fast cars and motorcycles; what better place to learn more about them than BMW Welt and the BMW museum. BMW Welt is a place to see and gain knowledge of the company’s latest product offerings. BMW Welt also sells auxiliary accessories and parts for their vehicles, and hosts exhibitions of their latest models. It is located near Olympic Park; park ticket holders can get a discount on BMW Welt admission. The nearby BMW Museum has exhibits tracing the history of these famous two and four wheeled vehicles. Many old cars and motorcycles are on display along a spiral ramp that curls along the inside of the bowl shaped building.

BMW Welt & Museum

13. Viktualienmarkt

Next to the Marienplatz in the city center of Munich is the Viktualienmarkt, a large outdoor market with generations of history. Many of the vendors at the market have a family history at the Viktualienmarkt, making it a longstanding tradition to shop there. Many locals head to the market on the way to or from work and pick up fresh produce. You can also find some homemade baked goods, premade soups, nuts and herbs for sale. It is a popular place for foodies, because many of the items for sale are upscale, gourmet or otherwise exotic ingredients. You will also find a few restaurants and a biergarten where you can stay for a drink or two.

Viktualienmarkt

On this 9 hour tour from Munich, your expert local guide will take you on a 2 hour journey through the stunning Bavarian countryside to the charming village of Hohenschwangau and the world famous, Neuschwanstein Castle. On the way back to Munich you will stop in Füssen, home to medieval festivals. Nestled in the town is the Hohes Schloss and below sits the Monastery of St. Mang.

The full day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle starts and finishes by bus and sometimes by train at Munich Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof). Meet at platform 11 in the train station, next to Starbucks.

Nestled in the stunning Bavarian Alps is the village of Hohenschwangau, where Neuschwanstein Castle sits next door. Leaving Munich Hauptbahnhof, you will enjoy a stunning 2 hour train or bus ride through the Bavarian countryside, before exploring Hohenschwangau with your expert local guide. See the Pöllat waterfall gorge, take in the views of the Hohenschwangau Castle, and in good weather, look out across the Alpsee lake.

As you stroll across the beautiful Marienbrücke, your picture perfect views of Neuschwanstein Castle will leave you with no doubt that it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s magic kingdom. As you walk into the castle’s courtyard, your local guide will tell you the stories of the soaring budgets and construction woes that plagued Neuschwanstein, and will give you 35 minutes to either take a tour of the inside of the castle (additional cost of €13.5) or explore the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.

The mad King Ludwig, King Ludwig II, who designed Neuschwanstein, earned himself a number of nicknames. One of these included the Swan King (Neuschwanstein literally means New Swan Stone). Your guide will tell you the unbelievable stories of this historical character, who wished to remain “an eternal enigma”, including his passions, his inspirations and his death, which remains a mystery today.

On the journey back to Munich the tour will stop at magical Füssen, home to fascinating rulers and Kings throughout the centuries. Here stands the Hohes Schloss (High Castle), once the summer residence of the Prince Bishops of Augsburg and considered one of the most important secular buildings in the German late Gothic period. Below the Castle is the Monastery of St. Mang which was founded in the 9th century. Fascinating art and archaeological findings have been discovered in the former cells of its Benedictine monks.

Füssen is also considered the cradle of European violin construction and as the building center of violins in the 18th century. This history of music is carried through into it’s, still celebrated today, medieval festivals.

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

 

The Neuschwanstein Castle Tour starts in front of Starbucks Coffee (Bayerstraße 10A) inside Munich Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof), beside platform 11.

Stroll across the beautiful Marienbrücke bridge.

Marvel at the Bavarian Alps, lakes, waterfall and countryside.

Hear about the unbelievable and mysterious tales of Mad King Ludwig.

Take stunning pictures of the Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Walt Disney’s magic kingdom.

See the exterior of the Hohenschwangau Castle.

Explore the medieval town of Füssen and learn about its history of festivals and lavish celebrations.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

Children under 3 are welcome on this tour for free.

Remember to wear decent footwear for the uphill walks.

Entrance for a 35 minute tour inside the castle is an additional €13.5.

This tour returns to Munich at 6.30pm in winter and 7.00pm during summer.

Not wheelchair accessible.

 

BOOKINGS

 

www.neweuropetours.eu

 

COST

 

Adult: € 55  (13 + years old). Transport incl.

Student: € 52  (valid student ID). Transport incl.

Child: € 25  (3 to 12 years old). Transport incl.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Pöllat waterfall gorge

Neuschwanstein Castle

Alpsee lake

Marienbrücke (views of Neuschwanstein Castle)

King Ludwig II

Town of Füssen

Hohes Schloss (High Castle) in Füssen

A feast for the senses.

Serves the finest gourmet food.

Famous delicatessen with its own gastronomy restaurant. It is also best known for its German brands of coffee.

Opening hours Monday - Wednesday, Saturday from 09.30 Uhr to 19.00 Uhr Thursday, Friday from 09.30 Uhr to 19.30 Uhr

Dienerstrasse 14-15, München

(Close to Marienplatz)

Dallmayr delicatessen, restaurant and cofe shop.

1. Sheraton Munich, Arabellapark

2. The Western Grand Munich, Arabellapark

Transport:

Munich Underground Train. (U)

Zum Franziskaner (German Restaurant)

 

This establishment has been associated with the Reinbold family name since 1966. The Reinbold family transformed a small tavern into a traditional restaurant that draws visitors from all around the world. With its successful blend of different styles, their establishment has become a meeting place for fans of gourmet cuisine, local and international VIPs, business people, and those who just love a hearty dinner. Their time honoured Bavarian cuisine, featuring world renowned Weisswurst and tantalizing Fraziskaner mustard, is complemented perfectly by their range of specialty beers. Stop by and see what surprises they have to offer.

Address:

Zum Franziskaner

Residenzstraße 9

D-80333

München

Phone: +49 89 / 23 18 12 0

Online reservation: www.zum-franziskaner.de

E-Mail: reservierung@zum-franziskaner.de

Zum Franziskaner German Restaurant