Things to see and do - Munich
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Traditional Munich :
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Traditional MunichPedestrian, 4 km, 2 days
The second most popular tourist destination in Germany after Berlin, Munich offers travelers an opulent appearance, the legacy of the kings of Bavaria. As evidenced by its fabulous museums, baroque churches and grand avenues (be warned compulsive buyers) that mimic an idealized antiquity...Customise this route and add it to My travel book
Nearly all the best-known symbols of Munich can be found in the Altstadt starting with the red-brick towers of Frauenkirche and the mausoleum of Ludwig of Bavaria. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the first Renaissance church built north of the Alps, Michaelskirche. Savour the lively bustle of Marienplatz, listening out for the carillon of the new town hall (1867-1908), and have a look at the trophies of the Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (Hunting and Fishing Museum). Finish the tour of Munich in the town's oldest beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus.
This is where the heart of Munich beats hardest. In the centre of the square, admire the Column of Mary and the chime of the new neo-Gothic town hall. The town hall is an attraction in its own right - the coopers' dance and princes' marriage tournament (1568) are reconstructed by automata. From the top of the town hall's tower, you will have a lovely view over Munich. To the east of the square stands the old town hall, where the Toy Museum is now housed in its tower.
This Gothic basilica (13C) was given a Baroque facelift in the 17 and 18C. A statue of St Peter (1492) stands on the main altar. Underneath stand the statues of the four fathers of the Church (1732). The belltower (1386) is called «Old Peter». Climb the 306 steps up and you will be rewarded with a lovely view of the town.
Built in the late Gothic style (15C), this church is particularly sober. Inside, ancient and modern meet with a choir made up of 32 sculpted wooden busts by Erasmus Grasser (1500) and some modern stalls, and 15C and modern stained-glass windows. Admire the mausoleum of Emperor Louis of Bavaria. Visit the crypt of bishops and princes. The southern tower gives some lovely views over the city.
An ideal place to browse on a walk through Munich, this village-style market has been in existence since 1807 and remains popular with gourmets because of its excellent farm and more exotic produce. Its Biergarten is also a popular meeting point - the perfect spot for a thirst-quenching beer and a portion of obazda, a cheese-based dish eaten with pretzels. The market is surrounded by six fountains, two portraying the comedian Karl Valentin (1882-1948) and his partner Liesl Karlstadt.
In 1385, the Wittelsbachs began construction of a new residence that eventually became a much larger complex. The larger part of the work was undertaken during the Renaissance (Antiquarium, Kaiserhof, façade on Residenzstrasse) and Classical period (Königsbau). Today, the Residence is a museum with 130 rooms giving an overview of four centuries of princely rule. As well as a treasury, the building contains a collection of Egyptian art and coins.
You will not grow tired of these magnificent pieces of goldsmith's work, enamels and crystal work (crowns, diadems, etc.). Do not miss the chiseled cross of the Queen of Hungary (11C) and the statuette of St George on horseback (16C). The royal insignia of Bavaria created in Paris also deserve your attention.
The gallery of the Ancestors of the Wittelsbachs and the function rooms are luxuriously decorated. The Antiquarium is the oldest part of the palace (1570), and has an impressive vault with frescos and a number of antique busts. The porcelain rooms and the chamber of Relics contain several masterpieces and jewels. Also see the silver rooms and the stone chambers covered in marble and magnificent stucco of the Imperial Room. The building suffered greatly during the Second World War but restoration lasted until 1980 and has returned the Residence to its former glory.
This large Baroque building was built from 1663 to 1688. The 71 metre-high cupola is richly decorated with stucco and gives a grandiose feeling of space. The dark wood of the pulpit, made in 1661, contrasts with the white and grey tones that dominate elsewhere. In the crypt, you will find the graves of the princes of the Wittelsbach family.
This immense Venetian Renaissance style building was built between 1826 and 1836 to house the collections of paintings of the Wittelsbachs that had been made since the 16th C by Duke William IV. Masterpieces of European painting from the 14th-18th C are spread over two floors and presented in various rooms and cabinets. Among the early Dutch painting, see the works by Rogier van der Weyden (Retable of the Three Kings) and Hans Memling, the Seven Joys of Mary, a painting with many pictorial layers. Dürer is the most fascinating artist here, with Holbein Senior and Cranach the Elder among the Early Germans. Among the Italian Renaissance painters, you will see the works of Fra Angelico, Botticelli, and Raphael, including his Madone Tempi. Leonardo da Vinci, Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto are also represented here with some excellent works. Then there is French painting from the 17th and 18th C, with the works of Lorrain, Poussin (Les Métamorphoses d'Ovide), Boucher and his sensual images, Hubert Robert and his views of ruins. A visit to the Dutch and Flemish painters of the 17th C rediscovers Van Dyck, Rembrandt (Self-portrait), Frans Halz and Rubens (Hélène Fourment Putting on a Glove). A separate section is devoted to the Brueghels and the Cologne school represented by the work of Stephan Lochner among others.
Housed in a building with a corinthian colonnade porch, a large collection of ceramics shows the development of pottery and painting on vases in Ancient Greece. There are examples of successive styles (geometric décor, black faces, red faces) presented on vases for different purposes. The bronzes and Etruscan jewels show great skill in fashioning materials and all these objects show great finesse and elegance.
A thousand years of Greek and Roman sculpture are gathered in this classical building by Klenze. You should prioritise the Apollo of Tenea (6C BC) among the kouroi (large half-human, half-god figures), the Barberini Faun (Hellenistic period), the bas-relief by Mnesarete, a Roman copy of a Greek work. Also see the Aegina Marbles, original sculptures from the front of the Temple of Aphaia in Aegina.
This immense classical style gate by Klenze was inspired by the Propylaea on the Acropolis. The frieze represents the struggle for liberation against the Turks. The sculptures on the pediment show Otton I of Wittelsbach, king of Greece from 1832 to 1862. This gate is one of the three classical monuments surrounding Königsplatz.