Beautiful German towns: Munich

White-blue sky over Munich´s quiet backyards

(Zur deutschen Version geht es hier entlang.)

For two days I am in Munich, following an invitation from the German tour operator Studiosus, who makes study trips all over the world.

Bavarian colors / Bayrische Farben
Bavarian colors / Bayrische Farben

We have a look at the headquarter in Munich, eat a typical Bavarian lunch and get a guided tour of Munich that not many tourists get to see.

From the Leonardo City Hotel, which is only a stone´s throw away from the main train station we board a tram and get on our way. We won´t go far, we exit at Schumann´s Tagesbar (a very popular kind of bistro or day bar) and go some steps back to the famous Hotel Bayrischer Hof. It´s very nice to look at and very traditional.

Monument of Orlando di Lasso / oder Denkmal für Michael Jackson in München
Monument of Orlando di Lasso / oder Denkmal für Michael Jackson in München

But what fascinates me more is the “Michael Jackson” memorial. It´s not really his memorial, but originally it is for the great composer Orlando di Lasso, but this doesn´t bother the fans of “Jacko” in the least. Not only the many blooming flowers but also many colorful pictures on the normally grey monument give the Promenandenplatz (that´s how the place is called) a bit of color.  Apart from that it´s quiet here.

Susanna, our Studiosus guide goes with us through the backyard of H´ugos Pizza Bar and Lounge, a good choice to see some VIP´s sipping their cocktails.

Miniature of the Frauenekirche in Munich /Miniatur der Münchner Frauenkirche
Miniature of the Frauenekirche in Munich /Miniatur der Münchner Frauenkirche

With this shortcut, we´re right in the front of the Frauenkirche. One of the towers is under construction at the moment; water has penetrated the brick stone. That happens from time to time with these old buildings.

At the metal miniature of Munich´s city center Susanna explains to us how Munich was built “uphill”, so that the river Isar won´t get into the houses when it overflows from time to time.

Certainly we look into the Frauenkirche. The church is not only for women as the name might make you think, but was named after “our lovely woman”.

Devilskick /Teufelstritt in der Frauenkirche in München
Devilskick /Teufelstritt in der Frauenkirche in München

We get to know what the “Devilskick” means, which is a stone with a footprint in the church. We can imagine how the master builder of the church looked like. Their heads can be seen at the top of the columns. Even one woman can be seen as well!

an architect of the Frauenkirche /Abbild eines Baumeisters in der Frauenkirche in München
an architect of the Frauenkirche /Abbild eines Baumeisters in der Frauenkirche in München

These big churches are really masterpieces of architecture, even if most of them were nearly totally destroyed during World War 2 and they were rebuilt afterwards.

Through some side roads we get to the “Fünf Höfen”, which is a roof covered shopping mall with nice little shops, also with well known labels and the Hypo-Kulturstiftung (you´ll find changing exhibitions here). Real plants hang down from the roof and we find the metal “World Wide Web” hanging from the roof. It´s a gigantic metal construction, looking like a big web.

in den Fünf Höfen in München
in den Fünf Höfen in München

Outside we get a glimpse from the Greek-Orthodox Salvator church, which looks from the outside like any other catholic church. And like nothing at all we are again in a quiet and huge backyard with strange looking sculptures. In former times it used to be a cloister, you can still see some features.

Susanna doesn´t tell us for the first time to be curious, to look and walk through the archways. Mostly all backyards are open to the public and you´ll be out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre in a second. Behind the luxurious buildings and in-between the houses are lots of quiet places that invite you to relax. Often you´ll find little cafés or restaurants there.

on a building in Munich
on a building in Munich

Be curious she tells us again and again! She is so right!

Quick we are on the bustling Odeonsplatz. After a historic explanation of this square and the surrounding buildings we go again through a big archway and we find us in a huge deserted yard of the Staatliche Münzsammlung (Coin Museum). The next archway brings us to an even quieter and huger yard. It´s unbelievable, how silent it can be in a city as big as Munich. From here you can have a look into some rooms of the Residenz.

Residence of Munich /Residenz München
Residence of Munich /Residenz München

Than we stay in front of the Bayrische Staatsoper (the opera).

Bayrische Staatsoper
Bayrische Staatsoper

The sky is still white-blue but a cool wind is blowing. We are cold, so Susanna gives us a very welcome coffee break.

We are full of interesting impressions but now we are very happy about the break which we have in Schumann´s Tagesbar. We are really still in the surroundings of the  tram station where we exited and we already had some very interesting 2 hours. History can be very exciting, especially when you hear it humorously spoken and with enthusiasm told through your headset.

After this short break we get a warm welcome with delicious pralines from “Elly Seidl” a famous chocolate shop here at the Marienhof, where you can also find Dallmayr´s, which is a very famous deli as well. I could go from one deli to the other here. There are so many well known addresses here for getting a snack or more.

Dallmayr in München
Dallmayr in München

Now we follow the normal tourist way, we are keen on listening to the daily noon bells of the New Townhall. We wait there and thousands of other people as well…

We have a look at the Old Townhall with the golden clock, the fish fountain and then the first bells of a church start to ring. As soon as these are finished the next starts and when all are finished the bells of the New Townhall start. Here you will not only hear something but you´ll see something as well. (Look at the short video.)

After the show we walk to the Kaiserburg. Here at the “Alter Hof” you´ll find a multimedia explanation of Munich and Bavaria; and it´s even free of charge! Not only on a rainy day it is a pleasure to watch the show. This yard is quiet again and we see some women, looking as they have come from a former time. They fit perfectly to the setting.

Some ladies / Damen in München
Some ladies / Damen in München

Again Susanna leads us through a little archway and we´ll find us in Alfons Schubeck´s (a famous German cook) backyard.

Wooden stairs at / Innenhof bei Schuhbeck in München
Wooden stairs at / Innenhof bei Schuhbeck in München

It´s very pretty with nice wooden stairs, going further on, we are in the next small yard with an idyllic well.

Platzlgasse in München
Platzlgasse in München

We pass through the Platzlgasse and find us in front of the Hofbräuhaus (which I don’t need dot explain I suppose…).

We are very excited to get all these well known places of interest presented from the back not the front, which makes it kind of unique.

I admire the preciously decorated houses and make lots of photos from the many brewery signs,

Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München
Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München
Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München
Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München

I smile about a groom to be, who has to wear a dirndl on his stag party and as I look around I´ve lost my group. My headset makes static noises that tell me, that Susanna is nearly out of range. The last words I hear is “we go to this archway” and I´m only too happy to follow up.

Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München
Brewery sign / Nasenschild in München

We have our lunch break in a typical Bavarian beer brewery, with typical Bavarian dishes. If you order a “Russian” here, it´s not a Russian speaking interpreter, but a mixture of white beer and lemon soda.

Again a new Bavarian word that I learned today.

Frauenkirche in Munich
Frauenkirche in Munich

We really enjoyed this totally different guided tour through Munich. It was nice to get away from the noises of the streets into the quiet of the hidden yards. To have time enough to look around and still be able to listen to Susanna ´s explanations.

I would really love to do such a tour again!

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