Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mid-Europe, Day 6 & 7: Munich

Munich, or München, was a fascinating city. It was mostly destroyed during the world wars, so most of it was rebuilt in the mid 1900s. But they found the plans for the city, and before the war people took pictures of many of the facades of buildings, knowing that they would be destroyed and someday the rebuilding should include all the original touches.

This is for Sarah and her collection. Sadly, I didn't actually buy one. 

An old entrance to the city (rebuilt, of course).

The old Munchen Rathaus, or city hall. 

Alexandra and I joined a free walking tour around the city. The guy was really funny, but I honestly have no idea how much he made up about the buildings and how much was true. So I'll tell the stories he told, as best as I remember them. Just take each with a grain of salt.

The white building in the middle is the new Munchen Rathaus. 
Because of all the rebuilds, the new Rathaus is actually older than the old Rathaus. 

The statue at the top is solid gold, but our tour guide informed us that pulling an Oceans' Eleven wasn't possible because the square is surrounded by surveillance cameras. 

The Rathaus has some sort of animated dance that happens at noon (I think). We missed it, but our tour guide had us all perform the dance and explained how horribly boring the real thing is. 

It may be impossible to see, but there is an iron ball in the frame around the large window on the right. Apparently, when all the rebuilds were being done, the Germans tried to stay as true to the original as possible. 
This building was hit by an Austrian cannon and that ball stuck. When the whole building was destroyed in the world wars, a resident took the ball. When this building was rebuilt, he brought the ball and told them where it went. It has fallen out once and the city put it right back where it belongs. 

The cross on the top of this church is actually facing the wrong direction. 
The story goes:
The devil was flying by one windy, dark night and hit the cross of the church right off the steeple. The clergy saw it but there was no one able to climb the steeple to put it back up (there's no ladder for that). They offered a reward and convinced the town drunk to put it back. He did and climbed back down, but he had put it on facing the wrong direction. The clergy told him he needed to go back up and fix it. He had sobered up at that point, and said, No way. So the cross remains as it was when it was put up incorrectly about fifty years ago. 

The architect of this building was trying to make a name for himself, so he built this church in ten years. While it was still under construction, the devil came in one night and saw that there were no windows. Now he liked a dark church where he could do lots of nasty things. So he made a deal with the architect. If the architect promised not to put in any more windows, he would make the architect's name known to everyone. 
The architect agreed. Ten years later, the devil came back during the day and saw that there was too much light coming in for a church with no windows. Angry, he demanded to know why the architect had put in more windows. 
But the architect fooled the devil that day ten years ago. From the entry, where the devil had stood, none of the windows could be seen. But the day of the deal, all of the windows you see in the picture above were already in place, so the architect had kept his end of the deal. 

The devil was angry for being fooled and left his mark in the entryway of the church. 
Or this may just be the architect's signature touch. Your choice on what to believe. 

A pretty street. 

The golden stones here tell a story from World War II. 
At that time, there was a plaque dedicated to false heroes of the Nazi army. The men that were "honored" by the plaque were actually against Hitler and were killed in cold blood in the street behind where this picture was taken. 
When Hitler was in power, soldiers were posted at the plaque and anyone who walked by had to salute like the Nazis to honor the dead's dedication to the Nazi Party. The Germans hated this because they knew it was wrong, so they started turning down this side street in defiance, where they wouldn't have to salute the Nazi Party. 
The soldiers figured it out and started posting soldiers halfway down this alley and would beat the people who walked down there. The Germans continued to walk this side street in defiance. 

The left side of this building is where that plaque is located. 


A cute waterfall in the park. 

Chinesischer Turm
A brewery in the park. 

A pretty church we found while looking for the metro entrance. 

The BMW offices. 

The Olympic tower from the 1972 Olympics. 
These Olympic games are probably most known for the massacre that occurred. 

The Olympic stadium. 

Hofbrauhaus brewery. 

Hofbrau Original
"refreshing, fine bitter - a beer with character" 7.30 euro per liter
I got half a liter because I don't really like beer. But this was excellent. I actually liked a beer!!

If you're curious about some of their other beers, here's part of the menu:


Munich was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. Although there aren't many true historical buildings left, the rebuild is amazing and the stories are wonderful. If you go, I hope you get a tour guide with as much flair for entertainment as ours did.

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