Visit Munich, Germany By Mouse
( web site
for English speaking ex-pats in Munich) is 89 miles southeast of Nordlingen
and 102 miles north of the
Alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, where we intended to stop after our visit to Munich before driving the Brenner Pass into Italy.
Munich is the capitol of Bavaria, and with over one million population, the third largest city in Germany.
In its more recent history Munich has swung abruptly between at least two different sets of competing ideologies. During the 16th
and 17th centuries, when most of Germany was Protestant, Munich fought a Counter-Reformation, restoring Catholicism. And In the
1920's and 30's it swung from being the Bavarian Soviet Republic to right wing politics nurturing the rise to power of the Nazi Party
under Hitler. In 1923, Hitler staged the infamous Beer Hall Putsch
launching him and the Nazi movement into national prominence which
led eventually to the overthrow of the Weimar Republic
. During WW II it remained a Nazi stronghold and was heavily bombed. The Dachau
was north of the City.
The city was rebuilt after the war to the point that it was able to host the Summer Olympics in 1972. It was in that Olympics that
the Palestinian Black September
group caused the Munich Massacre
in which eleven Israeli athletes were murdered.
It is difficult to see any connection between this violent history and the Munich that exists today. The smiling, talkative and relaxed
people we saw on the street and in outdoor beer gardens seemed very different to us from the cold, unsmiling Germans we met in Berlin.
The city itself is pretty and spotless. And the population as a whole is far from the Aryan ideal
associated with the Nazi regime.
About 300,000 of the city's million plus population are not German citizens but foreign nationals, mainly from Turkey, but also from
other European states. Outlanders are certainly welcome here, and made to feel that way.
This is quite evident in the Marienplatz
, a huge square in front of the equally huge new city hall. That building contains a Glockenspiel
clock that puts on a display of moving mechanical knights jousting every hour. The displays attract large crowds of tourists who pack
the square to enjoy them throughout the day.
There are several great museums in Munich described in the Wikipedia link above. We went to three museums that we recommend to you
very highly. These are the Alte Pinakothek
, housing pre-19th century art, the Neue Pinakothek
with art from the 18th and 19th centuries,
and the Bavarian National Museum
containing European art and folklore of historical importance from antiquity to recent times.