Munich, aka the Big Kahuna
We spent five days in Munich. There is so much to see in this city, and we barely tapped the surface, but we got to see the sights we were most interested in. We stayed in a Holiday Inn Courtyard, outside the city center, which meant lots of walking and train rides. The upside was the Lidl (a German chain of grocery stores) just a couple doors down from the hotel. (I really like eating breakfast in, and its much cheaper than dining out!)
Altstadt (old town)
Munich’s old town, called the Marienplatz, is all your Bavarian fantasies crammed into one. There’s the old glockenspiel (upper right hand in this photo) that puts on quite the show three times a day, the viktualienmarkt that serves enough pork and beer to satisfy even the most hardcore German food fan, and shops selling everything from the latest Jimmy Choos to cuckoo clocks. And, yes there are a plethora of hofbrauhaus including the original:
We stopped here our first night in the city. It was very chaotic in there and crowded. The food was not that great. We ate pork knuckle and snitzel. The beer was okay, but its the same stuff they serve all over the city. The novelty wore off quickly. (Ratskeller is a much, much better option for food, and the interior is beautiful! We went there twice!)
I’ll admit, I’ve seen some truly grand buildings, palaces, castles, and what have you. But nothing quite compares to the sheer opulence of the Munich Residence. The Munich Residence (Residenz in German) is the former royal palace of the Wittlesbach monarchs of Bavaria, and it is HUGE. We spent several hours there and didn’t see it all.
Hall of Antiques/Banqueting Hall
Petey, being a goofball
Understated elegance of the regency period. Many rooms in the palace are not decorated in the Baroque/Rocco style. This is to (I assume) drive home the fact that this palace was in use for several centuries.
Munich had enough beautiful churches to satisfy even me!
Cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV
Frauenkirche is stark compared to the other cathedrals in the city in terms of architecture and ornamentation, but nonetheless grand because of its height and exquisite gothic architecture. Worth the visit.
The high altar. Talk about ornate!
And then there’s the practically mandatory ceiling murals.
Hold onto your seat. Because Assamkirche is a whole nother beast. Built by brother artists as their private church, Assam is equal parts ornate-to-the-max, and well, creepy. The colors are dark, and most of the natural light comes in through the door. I imagine if Dracula had his own chapel, it would look like this one.
And these pictures were taken on a clear, sunny day. I can only imagine what this place looks like during the winter…creeptastic.
Last, but not least of things we saw in Munich, are the English Gardens. Bascially, Germany’s answer to Hyde Park. And let me say: hahahahaha. The English gardens don’t hold a candle to Hyde park. First off: zero flowers or flowering plants. Second: many areas of the park are run-down and unkempt. Lots of bottle caps and bits of trash. I did manage to get a few good shots, but these were definitely the high-lights. (And taken from far away)
Munich highlights: Residence, churches, tons of shopping
Munich lowlights: meh food, except for Ratskeller (and rude waiters), general run-down appearance, pollution
Have you read my last post about our trip to Baden-Baden? You can here!