MUNICH — Marienplatz

This large square is found in the centre of the old part of the city and is bordered by several famous buildings. It is a popular meeting place with its many cafes and restaurants and is always crowded and noisy.

The sights found here are:
Mariensäule
Neues Rathaus
St Peterskirche
Fischbrunnen
Altes Rathaus
Heiliggeistkirche

Mariensaule

Mariensäule
The Mariensäule is the large column known as the column of St. Mary found in the centre of the Marienplatz. It was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of the Swedish invasion during the Thirty Year’s War. At the top of the column is a golden statue of the Virgin Mary which was scupltured in 1590 by Hubert Gerhard. The figure was originally located in the Frauenkirche.

Munich 7

Neues Rathaus
This building is the New Town Hall and it dominates Marienplatz. It houses the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration. This building took over from the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in 1874. The highlight of this building would have to be the glockenspiel which has three levels. Two of the levels show the Schäfflertanz or cooper’s dance and the other level shows the Ritterturnier which is a knight’s tournament held in 1568 to celebrate a royal marriage. The glockenspiel plays at 11am, 12pm and 5pm.

Traveller's Tip

Make sure you look at the facade of the building carefully. There are lots of interesting gargoyles as well as the wonderful dragon climbing the turrets.
St Peterskirche

St Peterskirche
This mostly Gothic church was built on the site of an earlier 8th century monastery. It has been destroyed by fire several times over its history and has been altered as well which explains its different styles of architecture. Inside you will find a beautiful high altar built in 1517 by Erasmus Grasser and the statues of the four church fathers are also worth a look.

Traveller's Tip

You will find a rather creepy attraction in the second chapel on the left. It contains the skeletal remains of St. Mundita. The skeleton is gold and covered with precious stones. Jewels adorn its rotted teeth and two false eyes stare out at visitors.
  • The church also has a tall steeple which you can climb to reach a viewing platform. It’s a great place to take a photo of Munich on a clear day. When you reach the lower platform, colour-coded flags will let you know whether or not it’s worth it to complete the climb to the top. A white flag means visibility is at its best and you may be able to see all the way to the Alps.
    Fischbrunnen

    Fischbrunnen
    This fountain is found on the Marienplatz and is named after the famous fish market that was once held here. It was also the fountain where traditionally butcher’s apprentices made their dive headfirst into the fountain when they finished their apprenticeship.

    Traveller's Tip

    A local legend for this fountain is that if you put an empty purse into it on Ash Wednesday it is guaranteed to be always full.
    Altes Rathaus

    Altes Rathaus
    This building was built between 1470 and 1480 in a Gothic design. The building has been changed over the years and the facade you see today is rather plain due to a rebuild after WW11. The interior is beautiful with its barrel-vaulted timber roof. Today the Old Town Hall houses a toy museum (Spielzeugmuseum) in four rooms inside the tower, each on a different level. The museum traces the history of toys from the early 19th century up to modern ones.

    Traveller's Tip

    The 55m tall tower is visible from a number of areas in the city and it’s possible to climb to the very top to get a wonderful view of the city.
  • When you walk out of the tower look on its southern side for a bronze statue of Juliet (as in Romeo and Juliet) which was a gift from Munich’s sister city, Verona.
    Heiliggeistkirche

    Heiliggeistkirche
    The Heiliggeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit) is a 14th century Gothic church found next to the Viktualienmarkt. Inside you will find a pair of Adoring Angels adorning the high altar. Like a lot of buildings in Munich the church was damaged in WW11 but has been very well restored.