Munich is the capital and the largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, behind Berlin and Hamburg.
In 1175, Munich was officially granted city status and received fortification. In 1180, with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria and Munich was handed over to the Bishop of Freising. (Wittelsbach's heirs, the Wittelsbach dynasty, would rule Bavaria until 1918.) In 1240, Munich was transferred to Otto II Wittelsbach and in 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria.
Duke Louis IV was elected German king in 1314 and crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 1328. He strengthened the city's position by granting it the salt monopoly, thus assuring it of additional income. In the late 15th century Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts—the Old Town Hall was enlarged, and a Munich's largest gothic church, now a cathedral—the Frauenkirche—constructed in only twenty years, starting in 1468.
|Marienplatz and the 'new' Town Hall|
At the centre of the city is the Marienplatz—a large open square named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column in its centre—with the Old and the New Town Hall. Its tower contains the Rathaus-Glockenspiel. Three gates of the demolished medieval fortification have survived to this day—the Isartor in the east, the Sendlinger Tor in the south and the Karlstorin the west of the inner city. The Karlstor leads up to the Stachus, a grand square dominated by the Justizpalast (Palace of Justice) and a fountain.
Popular as dessert is the Apfelstrudel (apple) strudel with vanilla sauce, the Millirahmstrudel a cream cheese strudel, Dampfnudeln (yeast dumplings served with custard) or Auszogene, a fried pastry shaped like a large donut but without a hole. And there is also the famous Prinzregententorte created in honour of the prince regent Luitpold.
Some specialities are typical cold dishes served in beergardens: Obatzda is a Bavarian cheese delicacy, a savoury blend of smashed mellow camembert prepared with cream cheese, cut onions and spicy paprika (and sometimes some butter). It's often served in the beer gardens along with Radi, white radish cut in thin slices and salted, and Münchner Wurstsalat, Munich's famous sausage salad with thinly sliced Knackwurst marinated in vinegar and oil with onions on a bed of lettuce. Popular grilled meals include Steckerlfisch which is usually Mackerel, but may also be a local fish, such as trout or whitefish, speared on a wooden stick, grilled and smoked on charcoal—the typical feature is the crispy skin. Another classic is A hoibs Hendl (half a grilled chicken). A Mass (die Maß) is a litre of beer, a Radler consists of half beer and half lemonade.
Munich is famous for its breweries and the Weissbier (or Weizenbier, wheat beer) is a speciality from Bavaria. Helles with its translucent gold colour is the most popular Munich beer today, although it’s not old (only introduced in 1895). Helles and Pils have almost ousted the Munich Dark Beer (Dunkles), which gets its dark colour from burnt malt, the most popular beer in Munich within the 19th century. Starkbier is the strongest Munich beer, containing 6–9 percent alcohol. It is dark amber and has a heavy malty taste. It is available and popular during the Lenten Starkbierzeit (strong beer season), which begins on or before St. Joseph’s Day (19 March). There are around 20 major beer gardens, with four of the most famous and popular being located in the Englischer Garten and the largest one in the Hirschgarten.
|The Munich Residenz|
- The Frauenkirche (full name Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau, "Cathedral of Our Dear Lady") is a church in the city that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city. The two towers were completed in 1488 and the church was consecrated in 1494. However, the building's famous domes atop each tower were not added until 1525. Their design was modelled on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which in turn took a lead from late Byzantine architecture. The cathedral suffered severe damage during World War II — the roof collapsed and one of the towers suffered severe damage. A major restoration effort began after the war and was carried out in several stages, the last of which coming to an end in 1994. The south tower is open to those wishing to climb the stairs and offers a unique view of Munich and the nearby Alps.
- Neues Rathaus. is the (new) town hall at the northern part of Marienplatz. It hosts the city government including the city council, offices of the mayors and part of the administration. In 1874 the municipality had left the Old Town Hall for its new domicile.
It was built between 1867 and 1908 by Georg von Hauberrisser in a Gothic Revival architecture style. It covers an area of 9159 m² having 400 rooms. The main facade is placed toward the plaza, while the back side is adjacent to a small park (Marienhof). The basement is almost completely occupied by a large restaurant calledRatskeller. On the ground floor, some rooms are rented for small businesses. Also located in the ground floor is the major official tourist information.
- The Victuals Market. only a few steps from the Marienplatz, is Munich's most popular open air market. A walk across the Victuals Market can be a sensual revelation. Stalls not only offer the freshest fruits and vegetables in Munich, but traditional Bavarian Schweinshax 'n and Speck, sea food, delicious cheeses from all over Europe, herbs, honey products, sushi and hand-made straw puppets are also for sale. Or would you prefer a freshly squeezed apple-carrot-ginger juice? For all those who appreciate culinary seduction of the senses, this is the perfect place to spend your lunch break, get inspired for new creations, and buy those rare and special herbs and spices that can't be found anywhere else in the region. However, although this is its main purpose, the Victuals Market is not only a place for buying and selling : the market also hosts a number of traditional and folkloric events, such as the colorful Fasching festivities and the masked dance of the market women on Shrove Tuesday.
- The Munich Residenz (Münchner Residenz, Munich Palace) is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs in the center of the city of Munich. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture and room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections. The complex of buildings contains ten courtyards and the museum displays 130 rooms. The three main parts are the Königsbau (near the Max-Joseph-Platz), the Alte Residenz (towards the Residenzstraße) and the Festsaalbau(towards the Hofgarten). The first buildings at this site were erected in the year 1385.
- The Maximilianeum. was built as the home of a gifted students' foundation and has housed the Bavarian Landtag (state parliament) since 1949. The principal was King Maximilian II of Bavaria, who started the project in 1857. The leading architect was Friedrich Bürklein. The building is situated on the bank of river Isar before the Maximilian Bridge and marks the eastern end of the Maximilianstrasse, one of Munich's royal avenues which is framed by neo-Gothic palaces influenced by the English Perpendicular style. Due to statical problems the construction was only completed in 1874 and the facade of the Maximilianeum which was originally planned also in neo-Gothic style had to be altered in renaissance style under the influence of Gottfried Semper. The building was extended on its back for new parliament offices, several modern wings were added in 1958, 1964 and 1992.