A stroll through Munich is best started at the Karlsplatz. But because there are many squares worldwide with this name, the inhabitants of Munich lovingly refer to it as “Stachus” – named after Eustachius Föderl who, around 1750, owned a tavern named Stachuswirt or Stachusgarten directly at this location. As soon as the fountains are put into action, the Stachus sparkles in all colours of the rainbow, the numerous droplets offering a fascinating play of colours. When you pass through the Karlstor, you reach Munich's shopping centre, the Neuhauser Straße. The shop windows on the left and right will most certainly tempt you to open your purse. Just a few minutes walk away, in the middle of the hectic crowd, you can see St. Michael's Church on the left. Since its restoration in 2013 it is shining in new splendour. A glance into the royal crypt is worthwhile for the culturally interested. Buried there is, among others, Ludwig II. of Bavaria, also referred to as the Swan or Fairy tale King. Perhaps one will also be able to enjoy listening to the organ – one of the city's most magnificent. Back on the Neuhauser Straße, between bargains and tourists, one's sight in the opposite direction falls on the tradition-rich Augustian pub. Whoever already needs refreshment will find exactly the right place in the restaurant's picturesque inner courtyard.
Walking further in the direction of the city centre soon leads to the Marienplatz – a square with the town hall on one side. In front of the town hall with the extremely well-known Munich chimes is the Mariensäule in the middle of the Marienplatz. What only a few know: the Mariensäule was erected because of an experience of faith by the ruler at that time. When the Swedes tried to destroy Munich in 1632 in the course of the Thirty Years' War, the prince-elector Maximilian I gave a vow to his God: if the city were spared, he would erect a magnificent column. His faith therefore sets an example up to today.
Hamburg has its fish market, Berlin the Gendarmenmarkt, and Munich the Viktualienmarkt. Formerly a vegetable and flower market, it is still a placid square today with delicacies from all over the world and boundless flair. As a second place to take a rest, the beer garden on the Viktualienmarkt is highly recommendable. Around the white and blue maypole you can sunbathe in the typical Munich manner. When the first signs of sunburn appear, move on in the direction of the valley, the street connecting the Marienplatz and the Isartor. Parallel to this you can find the probably most well-known landmark in Munich whose flair has also been emigrated to Las Vegas, Shanghai, and Chicago: the Hofbräuhaus. At this point, Munich is more international than at any other corner of the city simply because of the many tourists from all over the world.
Only a stone's throw away from beer and roast pork is Munich's famous Maximilianstraße with all its luxury boutiques and high-class restaurants. Following the window-shopping, one reaches the Max-Joseph-Platz. It is well worth while spending five minutes here to enjoy the view to the National Theatre and the Munich Residenz. King Maximilian I attempted during his time as ruler to make Munich into a true Athens on the Isar, and therefore many buildings resemble ancient Greece. Anyone interested in culture should not miss a guided tour through the Residenz. On the one hand, the treasure room is located there, and also the Herkulessaal in which the former leader of the New Apostolic Church, Chief Apostle Richard Fehr, held a service in 2001. From here one should walk on in the direction of the Odeonsplatz.
On this path, after a few minutes, one encounters two mighty lions on the right-hand side. Superstition aside, it is a tradition supposed to bring good fortune if one rubs the noses when walking past – the frequency is demonstrated by them being polished gold in the meantime. There are several attractions to be marvelled at the Odeonsplatz. On the one hand there is the impressive Feldherrenhalle built by Friedrich von Gärtner. If one looks to the left, one sees the Church of St. Cajetan, referred to commonly as the Theatine Church. For Munich's residents, its yellow together with a glorious blue sky is the city's most beautiful colour combination. Already when the first rays of sunshine appear in February, the first cups of cappuccino are ordered in the cult café "Tambosi" located in the middle of the square.
Directly next to the café begins Munich's probably most beautiful park – the Hofgarten. King Maximilian I had it laid out as a Renaissance garden in Italian style in 1613-1617. Whether you spend half an hour on one of the many park benches containing gold dedication labels or take a stroll through the park, the Hofgarten feels like a haven in the large city. The pavilion in the middle is attractive during the day, but turns in the evening into a magical ambience. Tango, twist, and swing are danced on balmy summer evenings – invited is anyone who feels like dancing.
The Hofgarten leads directly into the English Garden. With an area of 375 hectares, it is the largest downtown park worldwide. Again, the beer garden at the Chinese Tower invites you to take a short break and then enjoy the day's last rays of sunshine a few hundred meters further away at the sea house.
In addition to these few spots, there are many further sights which are worth visiting. The Pinacotheca, the BMW World, the Allianz Arena, and of course the Olympic Park belong to the most frequently visited city locations.
To fall in love with Munich is not at all difficult. And time for a stroll can most certainly be found at the Church Convention 2014. (n.z.)
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