MUNICH — Odeonsplatz to Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz and Karlstor (Karl’s Gate) are the entrances to the historic city centre as well as to the pedestrian precinct. Karlsplatz lies half way between the Hauptbahnhof (main station) and Marienplatz (city centre). It is known locally as ‘Stachus’ after the pub Beim Stachus that was there until construction work for Karlsplatz began. The Karlsplatz which is one of the busiest squares in Europe takes its name from the Elector Karl Theodor, who had the square laid out in 1791. In summer locals and tourists find respite from the heat under the spray from the large fountain found in the square. In the winter an open-air ice rink is installed. Underneath the square there is a shopping centre.

The sights found here are:
Fünf Höfe
Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung
Frauenkirche
Deutsches Jagd-und Fischereimuseum
Michaelskirche
Richard Strauss Brunnen
Bürgersaalkirche

Fünf Höfe
The Fünf Höfe is a shopping arcade located in the very heart of the city between Theatinerstrasse, Salvatorstrasse, Maffeistrasse, and Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse. It is built around five courtyards called Amirahof, Maffeihof, Perusahof, Portiahof, and Viscadihof. It is full of character with its inner walls made of steel and glass and the outside street-facing walls of the original 19th century stone. The shopping centre is a maze of passageways containing some of the big-name fashion shops such as Armani and Dolce & Gabbana as well as a host of other shops. There are also bars and art galleries found here.

Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung
This exhibition hall is found in the Fünf Höfe. A series of rotating exhibitions are displayed here and have included such artists as Monet, Chagall and Picasso.
For more information visit the website at: http://www.hypo-kunsthalle.de

Frauenkirche

Frauenkirche
The twin domes of this cathedral found on Frauenplatz are possibly Munich’s most famous landmark and they dominate the skyline. This is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Munich and Freising and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian State Capital. The exterior is of red brick and built in the gothic style but designed very plainly. Inside it is just magnificent with its soaring ceilings. It is huge and holds about 20,000 people. Standing at the front of the church and looking down into the interior there seems to be rows of columns and walls between the vaults through which a beautiful light shines. The church has a legend which is connected with a footprint in a square base plate at the entrance. Local legend says that the builder struck a deal with the devil that if he built the church without windows he would be lent money. The builder tricked the devil by having him view the church from a place where the windows could not be seen and when the the devil found out the truth he got so mad that he stamped his foot and left an imprint in the floor. The imprint you see today doesn’t really look like hoofed footprint but the legend is still interesting.

Traveller's Tip

Make sure you look at the choir stall where you will find the tomb of Ludwig the Barvarian guarded by knights and noblemen.
  • Climb the south tower for great views of the city.

    Deutsches Jagd-und Fischereimuseum
    This is a museum with objects showing the history of hunting and fishing in Germany. It is fairly unusual and you will find lots of stuffed animals but there are a few displays that are unexpected such as Stone Age fishing tackle and Chines scroll paintings. The building which is richly decorated is a former church (Augustinerkirche) which was part of a large Augustinian monastery between the 13th century and 1803.
    For more information visit the website at: http://www.jagd-fischerei-museum.de

    Traveller's Tip

    Look for the displays of Wolpertinger creatures which are Bavarian fictional animals that have a body made from various animal parts such as wings, antlers and fangs attached to the body of a small mammal and they look a bit like a horned rabbit or squirrel. You can buy souvenirs of this fictional creature in lots of places.
    Michaelskirche

    Michaelskirche
    The church was built by William V, Duke of Bavaria between 1583 and 1597 and shows the transition from Renaissance to Baroque. During construction the tower collapsed and when it was rebuilt the church was made bigger than before making it the largest one north of the Alps. The facade is impressive and contains standing bronze statues of Duke Wilhelm and earlier rulers of the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty, in the form of a family tree. The large bronze statue between the two entrances shows the Archangel Michael fighting Evil in the shape of a humanoid demon. Inside the church there is a magnificent barrel-vaulted ceiling which is unsupported by pillars and is the second largest in the world after St Peters in Rome. In the crypt are the bodies of Duke Wilhelm and more than 40 Wittelsbachs, including ‘Mad’ King Ludwig II.
    For more information visit the website at: http://www.st-michael-muenchen.de

    Richard Strauss Brunnen

    Richard Strauss Brunnen
    This fountain is found outside Michaelskirche and was built to honour the composer Richard Strauss.

    Bürgersaalkirche
    This church is found at number 48 Neuhauserstrasse. It was built in the late 18th century and includes both an upper and lower church. The statues and frescoes found in the upper church are very impressive.