Saturday, December 06, 2008


I went to Munich last weekend to visit a friend. Here's the two-day tour.

On Saturday, we went to the center of town to see the Residenz. Right outside we saw the Theatinerkirche and Feldherrnhalle. The Residenz is a ginormous palace that housed Bavarian rulers from 1385 to 1918 (thanks Lonely Planet!). There are over 100 rooms open to the public. It's pretty ridiculous (and maze-like!) and we were tired of it way before we ran out of rooms to look at.

When we finally stumbled back out, we went to Marienplatz, the center of the Altstadt. Here's view of the Neues Rathaus from the Christmas market.

This being Germany in December, there was a Christmas market at the Residenz and another a few blocks away at Marienplatz. This one, however, was packed. Random aside: In Bonn, a Christmas market is called a Weihnachtsmarkt. In Munich, it's Christkindlmarkt.

We went to a late lunch at what Googling suggests was Weisses Brauhaus. They serve Schneider Bier (yum), and for what must be a very touristy place seemed remarkably German. We mostly wandered from Christmas market to Christmas market for the afternoon and had very yummy Indian food for dinner.

On Sunday, we had somewhat greater tourist aspirations. In the morning, we went to Nymphenburg. On the walk from the train, we saw this car and had to take a picture of it.

Schloss Nymphenburg is ginormous. Here's the front of the main building.

But turning around, you can see that the outer building (the yellow ones) are very very far away. Behind the main building, the grounds and gardens are also huge.

Unlike the Residenz, there are only something like 20 rooms to view. The most impressive is the first you see.

One of the most famous rooms currently houses the Gallery of Beauties, a collection of 36 portraits of women whom Ludwig I (1786-1868) considered beautiful. According to the sign in the room, the collection has always been open to the public (classy!) and includes portraits of a shoemaker's daughter and Lola Montez, Ludwig's mistress. There is an incredibly entertaining (but probably half apocryphal) bio of her in my friend's Lonely Planet.

In the afternoon, we went to Dachau. It's a 20 minute train ride from the center of town.

The gate:

Wall and guard tower:

One set of barracks has been reconstructed:

A museum has been installed in the maintenance building and in the back there are several churches and the crematorium.

After, we went back to Marienplatz and had some gl├╝hwein. It is remarkably good and good for keeping you warm even though you (and many, many others) are idiotically standing outside in the cold.