Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Day in Munich

On my first day in Munich I decided to go on a free walking tour of the city hosted by New Europe Tours. I usually don't like tours but I was recommended the tour by a nice young couple from Australia. I'd have to say they were correct about the tour group. The tour guides were charismatic, knowledgeable and fun. The free tour is based on tips, so you can tip them whatever you want at the end or none if you wish. Their free city tour is really just a way to advertise for other tours they offer. In Munich they offered tours of Dachou, a Beer Tour, a Third Reich Tour and others.

Anyway, the tour itself gave me a pretty good feel for the city so I'd know where I would want to go back and visit on my own. Here's what I saw on my city tour.

Neus Rathaus at Marienplatz. Marienplatz has been the center of square of Munich since 1158. Neus Rathaus houses the famous glockenspiel and also the New Town Hall.

Neus Rathaus, or New Town Hall was build between 1867 and 1908.

Neus Rathaus
Neus Rathaus

The Old Town Hall, which is actually newer than the New Town Hall. The original building was damaged quite badly during World War 2 and so what you see today was reconstructed in 1971-1974. The original building was first documented in 1310.

At the center of Marienplatz is the Virgin Mary. I believe she is cast in gold. There's a camera which watches this 24/7.

The famous Glockenspiel. You can see this awesome display at 11:00 AM everyday at Marienplatz.

The look of disappointment after the crowd realizes that's all the glockenspiel did.

Frauenkirche Church. This was the current Pope's (Benedict) church before he became the Pope. Construction started in 1468.
On version of the legend is the devil made a deal with the builder: no windows were to be built in the church. The clever builder, however, tricked the devil by positioning columns so that the windows were not visible from the spot where the devil stood in the foyer. When the devil discovered that he had been tricked, he could not enter the already consecrated church. The devil could only stand in the foyer and stomp his foot furiously, which left the dark footprint that remains visible in the church's entrance today.
Legend also says the devil then rushed outside and manifested its evil spirit in the wind that furiously raged around the church.

Oddly, the tour guide said the story was made up by the church to draw interest.

Inside Frauenkirche.

The devil's footprint in Frauenkirche! Actually this is the footprint of the architect that built the church.

The Opera House.

As you walk past the Opera House you'll see four lion statues. You can touch three of them for good luck but avoid the fourth. If you touch this statue it will negate the luck from the previous three since you're being greedy.

Hitler once gave a speech here. There are two lions in his picture by the steps. They are basically identical except that one has its mouth open and the other has its mouth closed. The meaning behind this is that the lion with its mouth closed means you should never speak out against God, however the lion with its mouth open is that you can and should speak out against your leaders. It's a rather ironic place Hitler choose to speak. During the Third Reich if you walked past this plaza you had to salute.

If you wanted to avoid saluting you had to walk around the plaza on Viscardigasse street. This commemorates those that choose to walk around rather than salute.

This plaque honors those that fell during the Third Reich. The people that live here have grown up learning about the mistakes that Nazi Germany made and are tired of having it shoved down their throats. They know it was a mistake and so the way they honor things like this are subtle. It's there but not in your face. They wish to go on with their lives rather than being stuck in a horrible past.

Theatie Church. My camera couldn't fit it all in.

The top of Theatie Church.

A better view of Theatie Church.

Inside Theatie Church.

Inside Theatie Church.

A statue of Juliet. This was a gift from Munich's sister city Verona in Italy. As you can see people have rubbed her breast for good luck. I am told the Italians that visit do this. The locals give her roses.

fro St. Peter's Church. This picture is from Wikipedia since my pictures of this church are awful. This church has 8 clocks on it. You may climb the tower to get a fantastic view of Marienplatz. I got quite a few pictures on this entry from my view here.
The tour ended at this open air market.

A quick bite to eat, this is bratwurst polnische.

A taxi.

Dudes in Bavarian outfits.

Pimp Juice!

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