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Saturday, August 31, 2019

A First Glimpse of Munich

After checking into my hotel on Wednesday and getting settled into my room, I ventured out for an early evening stroll in Munich.

Just a few blocks from the hotel is the Karlstor... Karls Gate... one of the medieval entrances to the city.



The gate leads to Kauffingerstrasse, one of the city's main shopping streets. In 1972 for the Summer Olympics it was turned into one Europe's first pedestrian streets.  The street is a mixture of modern and old, although no skyscrapers are allowed in the Old Town.





Just a short walk down the street I came to this 18th century church which is called the Bürgersaalkirche (Citizens' Hall Church).  It is the worship and meeting place for a men's religious organization.



The door was open, so I went inside to see how Munich's church interiors compare with those of Vienna.  The baroque interior was very impressive, but there is a noticeable difference in style.  The Bavarian churches tend to be white with gold decoration.  They have an lighter, airier feel to them.




Just down the street is another church, St. Michael's.  It was built by the Jesuits in the 1500s at the height of the Protestant Reformation, and it was a bastion of the Counter-Reformation.



Once again, white and gold are the predominant colors in the baroque interior.



In the crypts beneath the church are the tombs of the royal family of Wittelsbach, the rulers of Bavaria when it was a separate kingdom.


This commercial building was built in the early 20th century in typical Bavarian style with window boxes full of flowers.




Along the street there are stands selling fresh fruits and vegetables.  The fruits and berries all looked very appealing.





I came to the city's main square, the Marienplatz.  The spectacular building dominating the plaza is not a church, but the Rathaus, City Hall.  It is a fantasy of neo-Gothic architecture that was built in late 1800s.



After having a brief sample of the glories of Munich, it was time for some supper.  I ate at one of the many sidewalk cafes along the Kaufingerstrasse.  The service was very pleasant although the meal was so-so.  Then it was back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep to begin serious sightseeing the next day.

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