Munich is the capital and largest city in the region of Bavaria. Once home to the wealthy monarchs of this region, it is loaded with attractions of interest to the traveler. It also makes a great base of operations for an exploration of the entire region, since there are numerous hotels and restaurants within its environs. Below is my list of Munich’s top sights. A photo album will follow.
1. Nymphenburg Palace – This ornate palace is reminiscent of the grand residences found elsewhere in Europe, such as, Versailles, Schonbrunn, Caserta, etc. It dates to the mid-1600’s and is noted for its beautiful frescoes and Baroque and Rococo accompaniments.
2. The Residenz – This palace complex dates to the late-1300’s and includes three main areas. Several especially distinctive rooms are the Cuvillies Theater, a Rococo masterpiece, and the Antiquarium, a barrel-vaulted Hall of Antiquities.
3. Marienplatz – This main gathering place is always crowded with people. It is anchored by the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), a rather quaint-looking wooden building which resembles a church, and the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), which looks to be much older since it was designed in Gothic style. Be sure to take in the hourly display of the Glockenspiel on the New Town Hall. The center of the square contains Mary’s Column, a tall stone cylinder which is topped with a golden statue of Mary and gives the square its name.
4. Deutches Museum – This is one of the oldest and largest science museums in the world and is celebrated for its interactive displays and its huge collection of memorabilia. Highlights include the History of Flight exhibit, the chemistry room where visitors are allowed to mix chemicals together, and the incredible display of musical instruments.
5. Englischer Garten – This huge park is one of Europe’s largest urban green areas. Besides the many walking and other trails, the park contains a nudist area and a beer garden.
6. Frauenkirche – This huge church is the symbol of the city, with its twin brick towers that rise above everything in the Altstadt. It dates to the 1400’s and is constructed in the late Gothic style. The interior can accomodate about 20,000 worshipers.
7. Dachau – This town, only 20 kilometers from Munich, is famous for the Nazi concentration camp which was located here during World War II. It was the first of its kind to be built in Germany and served as a model for other camps in the region. Now it serves as a memorial to the many groups who were imprisoned and exterminated here under the orders of Der Fuhrer.
8. Lunch or dinner at the Hofbrauhaus – The world’s most famous beer hall is a must-see attraction in the Old City. This legendary venue made Octoberfest, a tradition which began in Munich in 1810, a world-wide event. Now every tourist must sample the sausages and the beer, as well as listen to oom-pah band.
9. Alte Pinakothek – Collections here are centered around the 13th to the 18th centuries (the Neue Pinakotek contains works from the more recent eras). There are sections for German, Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French, and Spanish painters.
10. Isartor (Isar Gate) – this is one of the three Medieval gates still remaining of the original city fortifications. It is located at the eastern end of the Altstadt (Old City) and, as its name suggests, is found next to the Isar River.
Other sights considered: