I left off with my first full day in Munich, which had been cloudy and drizzly. I had spent most of the day visiting indoor places. But the following day, last Friday, was gloriously sunny and perfect for exploring the city.
I started by heading back to the "Rathaus", the city hall.
As I already mentioned, this structure appears medieval, but in fact it was built in the late 1800s in an extravagant, neo-Gothic style.
The city's coat of arms appears above the entrance to the city hall.
Notice the monk in the center of the emblem. Munich's name in German is actually "München" which means "monks". The first settlement in the area was a Benedictine monastery in the 11th century. The lion above the monk is a reference to Henry the Lion, the Duke of Saxony, who built a bridge across the Isar River next to the monastery.
The spire of the city hall provides the best panoramic view of the city. Fortunately there is an elevator which takes you to the top.
Munich's Old Town is in the foreground. In the distance, on the horizon you can make out the Olympic Tower, a communications tower and observation deck that marks Olympic Park where the 1972 summer Olympics were held.
The view to the west is dominated by the twin towers of Munich's 15th century Cathedral.
The Cathedral was my next stop. The original design called for Gothic spires, but lack of money left the towers unfinished until 1525 when they were topped with more economical domes.
A few of the original stained glass windows survived the war.
Retracing my steps I passed by the city hall again and came to the "Old City Hall".
If the "Old City Hall" looks newer that the "new one", it is because this building was destroyed during World War II bombings and was completely rebuilt.
Nearby is the oldest church in Munich, St. Peter's. It probably stands on the site of the old monastery whose monks founded the city.
The present church dates back to 1368, but the interior was redone in baroque style with the typical white and gold color scheme found in Bavaria.
In the shadow of St. Peter's tower is the "Victualienmarkt", the outdoor food market. Here are booths selling fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, and sausages.
Beeren - Berries
Himbeeren - Raspberries
Brombeeren - Blackberries
Obst Standl - Fruit stand
Those big things next to the fellow are mushrooms! I have never seen such gigantic mushrooms in my life!
A Maypole in the center of the market is typical of Bavarian towns.
Next stop on my sightseeing list was the tiny Asam Church. Although now it is a place of worship, this building was originally the showroom (for lack of a better word) of two architects, the Asam brothers. They filled the space with every baroque decoration in their catalogue, and clients could come here and pick out what they wanted for their building project. It is baroque taken to "the nth degree".
Typical architecture in the Old Town...
I had visited the "Residenz", the palace of the Wittelsbach dynasty, the previous day. Behind the palace is the "Hofgarten", the Palace Garden.
A short walk beyond the "Hofgarten" is the "Englischer Garten" (the English Garden). It stretches for three miles from the center of the city, and is one of the largest urban parks in the world.
On a late Friday afternoon, thousands of locals were beginning their weekend by enjoying the sunshine in the park.
At one point along the stream going through the park artificial rapids have been built where people can go surfing.
I walked through a portion of the park until I reached the Chinese Tower and the adjacent Beer Garden.
While people enjoyed their beer, up in the tower a German band was playing "oom-pah" music, an appropriate ending to my day of sightseeing.