Zechmeisterlehen – just unwind

in the heart of the Berchtesgaden mountains

Munich – an outing to the state capital

With its approx 1,35 million inhabitants, the state capital is the largest city in the free state of Bavaria and the third-largest in Germany. Since the Olympics in 1972, Munich has a well-developped public transport system. Since parking place in the city centre are rare and expensve, it is highly recommended to use these public transport facilities. Munich is a shopping paradise, from large department stores to small boutiques and from interesting markets with food or art to souvenir shops, everything is offered. The first stop is the pedestrian zone in the  Neuhauser Straße / Kaufinger Straße between the Marienplatz and Stachus (Karlsplatz).

The Marienplatz is the central of square of Munich. The centerpiece is the statue of Virgin Mary (Marienstatue), with behind it the neo-Gothic New Munich Town Hall, with its tower in which the beloved carillon plays every day at 11 and 12 am (from March 1 to October at 5 pm as well) . The Karlsplatz/Stachus (laid out in 1791)  in front of the Karlstor is the beginning of the pedestrian zone. In formerdays, the Karlsplatz was the busiest traffic square in Europe. The fountain in the centre was built in 1972 and is a popular spot for locals and tourist in summer. From the city fortification of the early 14th century, only the Karlstor with its two towers in the west of Munich has been prescered, Gabriel van Seidl rebuilt it  around the year 1900.

The original park has many old trees, stream  and lakes and several smaller park castles like the the Pageodenburg or the Magdalenenklause. At the Nymphenburg castle you also find the interesting Marstallmuseum, the porcelain collection, the museum “Mensch und Natur” and right behind the castle park the botanical garden. For art lovers, a visit to the Alten Pinakotek, one of the oldest and major collections of paintings in the world with over 800 masterpieces of European artists from the Middle Ages to the end of the rococo, is recommendable, as well as a vitit to the Neuen Pinakothek with European paintings and sculptures form teh 18th, 19th and 20st century as well as modern art and a large design department.

The English Garden is a perfect place to relax and go for a walk. The major attractions of the English Garden are: the Chinese Tower (1789/90, inspired by a pagoda in the Kew Gardens near London, destroyed in 1944, reconstructed in 1951/52), the Kleinhesseloher See, laid out in 1802 (enlarged in 1813), in 1837 King Ludwig I. asked Leo von Klenze to build the Monopteros on an artifical hill. From the Monopteros you have a wonderful view of the park. On the Kleinhesseloher See you can rent a boat and both beer garderns invite you to relax.

The Isartor is the only nearly completely preserved medieval city gate in Munich, which opened the way to the East (to Isar).

The restored gate shows the entry of Emperor  Ludwig (“the Bavarian”) after the Battle of Ampfing in 1322 on a fresco. Today the Isator accommodates the Valentin-Karlstadt Museum and a café. Munich’s landmark is the Frauenkirche with its two 99 m high towers. The foundation stone of the church was laid in 1469 and the construction was finished in 1488. The famous  “Welsche Hauben” were first built in 1525. In 1944 the cahterdral got seriously damaged the hall vault partly collapsed and the church was plundered. After the war the cathedral was renovated in several stages.

The Church of St. Peter (“alte Peter”) provides a beautiful view over the Marienplatz from an altitude of 57 m.

The Viktualienmarkt – a piece of Munich’s way of life that is definitely worth a visit. Finest food of all kinds, colourful market activities many gastronomic establishments and the most centrally situated beer garden of the city: the  Viktualienmarkt unites city life with Munich tradition and Bavarian hospitality.  If you have some time left,  you should visit the Nymphenburg castle. The baroque castle with its collection of paintings and the spacious park was the former summer residence of the Bavarian rulers. With its artistic interior and the much-admired beauty gallery of King Ludwig I it’s one of the most popular sights of Munich.