Ah Munich… the home of monks (they founded the city). Where Oktoberfest began, (as an out-of-control wedding party) , Jimmy Henricks smashed his first guitar and beer is a breakfast drink. Where Einstein worked as a beer hall electrician, BBW has its own zip code, and the oldest building is not the expected church or stately home but a toilet. 500-year-old purity laws still dictate the ingredients of beer, the tech university has a 4-story slide that helps students save time and escalators move faster during Oktoberfest… Freddy Mercury and Mark Twain called it home. Munich is so much more than beer…a few ideas…
Attend a Kocher ball… back in 1880 servants were only allowed to meet early on Sunday mornings. They had to be home to prepare breakfast for the master. This crack of dawn time was a chance to dance, relax and have fun. By 1904 these revelries had been banned for immoral behavior. Revived as an annual rather than weekly event, the ball now takes places the 3rd Sunday in July at 6 am! But get their before 5 and in 19thcentury costume to secure a good seat.
Surf the Eisbach…. the birth place of river surfing back in 1972, this standing wave is the Everest for enthusiasts. Everyone waits their turn, stay too long and you’ll lose respect from the crowds who watch this expert only event. The average ride is 30 seconds. For the less experienced try the wave near the Zum Flaucher. Board & wet suit rental are available
Shop the Viktualienmarkt… for anyone even remotely interested in food a visit to this former farmer’s market is a must. The over 140 stalls selling everything from Bavarian classic sausages to flowers to the most exotic fare. Established by King Max I Joseph in 1807 and located near the Marienplatz is a perfect snack stop.
Visit the Rezidenz museum… this former royal palace is the place to see how the truly wealth once live. While the treasury and the Cuvillies Theatre draw the biggest crowds, the Relic Room with its collection of ornately decorated bones is the most macabre and fascinating. Special permission was granted by the Pope to allow there collection. Fraud abounded, 4 museums, including this one, claim to have the head of John the Baptist.
Climb the towers of the Frauenkirche… the symbol of Munich and one of the tallest buildings for amazing views of the city. A 2004 referendum states no building can exceed its height. Step in the devil’s footprint… the wily architect out foxed the king of hell who had guaranteed funding of the Cathedral if it was built without windows. Jörg von Halsbach cleverly designed the interior so the devil couldn’t see the windows from where he stood. By the time he figured out the ruse, it was too late, and the church had been consecrated
Stroll the Marienplatz… the heart of the city. Pedestrianized, look for the neo-Gothic Town Hall, with its world-famous Glockenspiel (chimes) in the tower, the Fischbrunnen (fish fountain) and Mariensäule, a tall column topped with a golden statue of the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of Bavaria.