Munich visit: architecture and Hofbrauhaus

Following on from last week’s post on Munich Museums, here are my reflections on some of the magnificent architecture in Munich. As you approach the famous Marienplatz, you pass St Michael’s Church with its magnificent façade and its expansive and ornate interior. The front of the church is shining white and the statues stood out on the sunny day when I took this photo.

St Michael's Church Munich

St Michael’s Church Munich

Not far from St Michael’s, you come across the astounding Rathaus – the town hall. The building is 100 metres in length and it takes quite a while to look at all the various aspects of this stunning piece of architecture. The photo below shows the main part of the façade with the clock tower at the top and the figures on different levels. There is a spectacular show involving these figures 3 times per day – a 12 minute extravaganza not to be missed.

The Rathaus in central Munich

The Rathaus in central Munich

Another eye-catching building in Marienplatz is the Spielzeugmuseum – the toy museum, which houses a huge range of toys, some which date back to the 19th century. We didn’t have time to visit this museum which is akin to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh but it would have been on our list in an extended stay.

Spielzeugmuseum Munich

Spielzeugmuseum Munich

You have to walk around Munich to get a sense of the architecture and you are constantly amazed e.g. when you turn the corner into the huge square which contains the magnificent Munich Residenz which contains a number of museums and art galleries. The interior – which we saw only briefly as it was closing – is ornately designed, with high, vaulted ceilings. Like the Deutsches Museum, the Munich Residenz cannot be done justice in one visit.

Munich Residenz

Munich Residenz

There are many more examples of breath-taking architecture in Munich and I’ve included some in my Photopeach slide show.

Munich of course is famous for its beer and its large and lively pubs. The most famous drinking establishment is the Hofbrauhaus. On the ground floor is the historic beer hall. This is a huge space and can take up to 1300 people. When it is full, the noise must be overwhelming. It was quieter on our visit in the late afternoon but the many waiters were constantly on the move, some carrying huge trays of litre sized beer glasses. A nearby table of about 16 people gave the waiter a round of applause as he presented his beer-laden tray. There is a highly decorated ceiling in the Hofbrauhaus, depicting the pleasures of eating and drinking and there are Oompah bands (Youtube video) which play regularly in the beer hall. There’s not much subtlety about the Hofbrauhaus – it’s a place of loud enjoyment for most visitors – but it’s certainly worth a visit.

Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Oompah band in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich

Oompah band in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich

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