Munich Greeter

18 April 2016
by Insa
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This is not Mozart!

20160410_142020When I do a greet in the city centre, very often the Promenadeplatz is part of my walk. Because it is so elegant and so many stories are connected with it. Take for example the shining silver statue on its eastern side. This is the count of Montgelas. Nowadays you would call him a “superminister”, as he was (with interruptions) from 1799 to 1817 foreign minister, minister of finance and Home Secretary under the king of Bavaria Max I Joseph. In these functions he set up a far-reaching transformation and modernisation of Bavarian politics and administration which enclosed all areas of social life. A character to be remembered. Therefore, the noble reformer´s statue was set up in April, 2005 at the head of Promenadeplatz and is at first sight easily mistaken for Mozart.

20160410_142715Originally, the urban salt depots stood on the square – Munich was since its foundation a commercial place for the “white gold” of the Middle Ages. The salt depots were demolished in 1778 and the square was used first as a parade ground. Only in 1804, the square was turned into a green on which citizens could take a walk . Hence its current name. Since that time you can stroll along the green and think about the square´s other curiosities.

20160410_141915Such as the statue of the Renaissance composer and Bavarian court conductor Orlando di Lasso (1532 – 1594). He has to share his monument, or rather the pedestal, with another hero of music – Michael Jackson. The pop music icon looks at the viewer from countless pictures. In front you will always find fresh flowers and numerous decorative items. The Ministry of Education and the Arts tolerates the memorial since it was set up by fans seven years ago. According to newspaper reports, two of them quarreled last year about the “right of possession”, i.e. the right way to decorate the memorial. According to a report of Süddeutsche Zeitung from July, 2015, the ministry asked both sides for a “peaceful coexistence”, because otherwise, “unfortunately, the memorial will have to be removed permanently”. As a result, the situation returned to normal…

20160410_141942Yes, blessed quiet! One finds that with a rest on one of the numerous benches along the sides of the square or in the “Blue Spa” – the wellness retreat of the five-star hotel “Bayerischer Hof”, high above Munich´s roof-tops. Maybe Mr. Jackson had a facial there or did a couple of laps in the radiantly blue pool and later had a cocktail in the hotel´s elegant roof-top bar. And maybe he had once dinner with Keith Richards or Bruce Springsteen or another one of the numerous personalities from politics, economy and culture who spent a night at this hotel. According to the visitors’ book of the noble hostel which opened in 1841, almost every VIP you can think of has been their guest. . . For details, please go to the website of the hotel www.bayerischerhof.de.

As an alternative to a night in the hotel, you can buy a day ticket for the Blue Spa and recover from the whirl of the town. Moreover, there are several restaurants and bars open to the public, e.g. Falk’s bar in the hall of mirrors – the only historical room in the hotel which survived the nights of bombing of the Second World War unscathed. Personally, I prefer the bar Tabacco (www.bartabacco.com) in Hartmannstrasse which is located right across Promenadeplatz. They serve all classical cocktails, tasty barfood and have a good selection of whisky.

20160410_142254The bar´s classy ambiance of an English gentlemen’s club gives you an excellent atmosphere to think about the more dangerous perils of politics. Some paid with their life for a political office – like Kurt Eisner. The pacifistic USPD politician was the first Prime Minister of Bavaria after the fall of the monarchy. Less than 150 yards away from the statue of the count of Montgelas, in the “Kardinal-Faulhaber-Straße”, on the 21st of February, 1919, Eisner was shot by lieutenant Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley from immediate proximity. He was murdered on the way to parliament where he wanted to offer his resignation after the lost re-election. Today, exactly at the place he was assassinated, you find a steel plate on the ground showing the outlines of Eisner´s body marked with chalk by the police. Above you find an inscription referring to that historical incident:

KURT EISNER, DER AM 8. NOVEMBER 1918 DIE BAYERISCHE REPUBLIK AUSRIEF, NACHMALIGER MINISTERPRÄSIDENT DES VOLKSSTAATES BAYERN, WURDE AN DIESER STELLE AM 21. FEBRUAR 1919 ERMORDET.

30 January 2016
by Insa
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Travel guides about Munich: Polyglott on tour München

20160130_165009If I knew nothing about Munich and had decided spontaneously to go on a trip there, the only thing I needed would be the travel guide “Polyglott on tour München”. The handy booklet for about € 13 provides all the necessary information.

Core of the book are 12 tours in and around Munich, which lead through the old town, a couple of inner city neighborhoods like Lehel and Schwabing, palaces and castles in the town (Nymphenburg palace, Blutenburg castle, Schleißheim palace) and the Olympic Park. In addition you find some nice trips to the countryside. When you have done all the tours, you know Munich pretty well. All tours start and end at a public transport stop and are designed as pedestrian tours. Descriptions are supplemented with tips for coffee shops, shopping adresses and other attractions. You can also mark your own highlights and tours on the inside folding map which comes with 80 stickers.

Of special interest is the list of “50 things” – it tells you about what you should try, take home as a souvenir or not do at all. My personal favorite for “take home” is to a chestnut, which reminds you on cold winter days of a sunny autumn afternoon spent in your favorite beer garden.

More helpful tips can be found in the category “First class” – there, you find a variety of suggestions, for example the most beautiful places for a swim or things you can do for free.

All the necessary travel informations is summarized in the section “Travel Planning & Addresses” – climate & travel time, arrival, urban transport, accommodation and even a “Do not forget before departure”-checklist: tick all items off and head off to your trip to Munich!

6 September 2015
by Yvonne
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Let’s go to Octoberfest – with a Dirndl

20150225_182842Many guests think Octoberfest is Carnival the Bavarian way. Everyone runs out dressed up and goes to his neck. But far from it. In Bavaria, beer is an element of comfort and tradition and Dirndl costumes are just traditional dresses, fortunately very popular again for some years now. Learn interesting facts about the Dirndl! Continue Reading →

26 August 2015
by Andy
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Sporty Sightseeing in Munich (part 2)

IMGP4294The Olympic park is indeed the main area where you find the sprty heart of Munich, but there are more sights. Continue Reading →

28 April 2015
by Insa
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A quaint alternative to the Oktoberfest: The Auer Dult

2015-04-26 18.38.00At the end of September the Oktoberfest starts. World-famous not only for the beer, but also for the masses of people and a lot of pushing. If you´re looking for something smaller, more “gemütlich” and more original, you find it at the “Auer Dult” three times a year: Maidult in April / May, Jakobidult in July / August and Kirchweihdult in October. Continue Reading →

Olympic Park

7 April 2015
by Andy
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Sporty sightseeing in Munich (part 1)

As a tourist, you maybe have read a lot about culture, tradition and the history of Munich. But maybe you’re quite sporty or at least a sports fan and asking yourself if there are things to see and do which are sport related. And yes, Munich has a big sports culture. Follow the Greeters to a sporty sightseeing trip…
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26 March 2015
by Yvonne
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Typical Munich Gifts

In Munich, there are many souvenir shops all around the city. But the gifts sold there – would somebody living in Munich really would give them as a present to his friends? What is a typical Munich gift? What would Munich people bring along for their friends they visit in Berlin, Paris or New York? In Munich there are some really good places to find Munich gifts! We tell you where to go. Continue Reading →

17 February 2015
by Andy
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What is…? – Krapfen

During carnival (Fasching) time in Germany you’ll find a specific sweet pastry nearly everywhere. The “Krapfen”.
Yeah… another hard-to-spell word. But the harder to spell the better what you get… well at least here. Read on to get to know what a “Krapfen” is, how to pronounce it correct and why you should try one.
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