There is so much to write, many photographs to post and several anecdotes to share and I have no idea where to begin. I’ve decided to start with the pictures as I collected my thoughts .
Munchen was our last port of halt in Germany .The first big city that we visited . After a long journey from Freiburg , it was midnight when we landed. Tired, sleepy, hungry with a hotel in the outskirts ,we tottered our way through as the rains came tumbling down . Morning brought more rains , but that did not dampen our mood .
We were too early for Oktoberfest , but the festive spirit was already in the air. Munich is a city where even a week is too less to get a feel of the city We had a few hours and we felt that we had just flipped through a book . There was history, art, sports, beer to choose from . We chose history and beer . Armed with a map and an umbrella , off we went to walk down the Middle Ages, to get a glimpse of Bavarian way of life .
We started with Marienplatz or Mary’s Square ,the city centre which dates back to the 12th century . Bordered by the old and new town halls called Altes Rathaus and Neus Rathaus and the Marien’s column in the centre , it was earlier called Schrannen and was once a trade route between countries like Italy and Austria .
We had no tourist guides, nor did we go with any city tour..our doses of history came from local people we met in trains and in hotels and even some on the road who paused to answer most of our queries
In the Middle Ages markets and tournaments were held in this city square. The Glockenspiel in the new city hall was inspired by these tournaments, and draws millions of tourists a year.The “performances” here are quite amazing .
We posed at the Fish Fountain for a picture – I believe this was an erstwhile market and you can get a feel of that today in Viktualienmarkt . Its lively , colourful and full of energy..From ripe red strawberries to bright yellow flowers, this market is a great place to relax. The Frauenkirche or Church of Our Lady is the landmark of Marienplatz, built in the 15th century .Other attractions here are the three city gates, St Peter’s church among other monuments .
Walk further and you come to Odeonplatz . a beautiful square bordered by the Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshal’s Hall), the Italianesque Theatinerkirche and the Hofgarten, a former court garden. From this square the Ludwigstrasse – one of Munich’s most monumental streets – leads to the Siegestor, a large triumphal arch.
As we walked towards Hofgarten, looking for the palace, we saw a majestic monument. We stopped by to ask a German how to get to the palace when he smiled at us and said you are right there . We were at the Residenz Palace , home to the Bavarian kings and queens from the 14th century. We were standing at the Festsaalbau , or the banquetting hall .
We were guided to the entrance and the two main areas – the Alte Residenz or the Old Residence and the Konigsbau or the King’s tract . There are 135 ornate rooms here filled with roich taopestry and mirrors , including the bedrooms of the king and queen .My favourites are the Hall of Antiquities where there are frescos from the 16th century and the Ancestor’s Gallery . There is a treasury as well , which has some unique jewellery and gems along with some statues and sculptures .
It was late evening and it was time to gulp down all that history with some refreshing beer . We had heard about a 16th century beer hall which was set up by Duke Wilhelm V to satisfy his thirst , With just a “X” mark on a map, we went looking for it . we lost our way and when we finally did find it – it was almost like discovering a treasure – what a place ! The less said, the better…Im going to leave you with some pictures- too bad we didnt have some music and beer to serve you as well…