A walk around the old town
I will lead you down the narrow streets and lanes of the old town which are steeped in medieval history. Parts of the remains of the old city wall can still be viewed on foot today in the form of the three very well preserved and restored gates: the Isar Gate (Isartor), the Sendling Gate (Sendlinger Tor) and the Neuhauser Gate (Karlstor), all three of which have always served as important junctions leading to and from Munich.
Germany’s oldest pedestrian precinct, stretching from Marienplatz to Karlsplatz, houses buildings such as the former medieval Augustinian monastery (Augustinerkloster), the Church of St. Michael (St. Michaelskirche) – the largest Renaissance church north of Italy which boasts the second largest barrel vaulting in the world after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, as well as several traditional Bavarian restaurants, not to mention numerous shops. Marienplatz is as it were the focal point of the busy pedestrian zone. Above all at 11 a.m., 12 noon and 5 p.m., guests from all over the world gather in the centre of Munich to hear the carillion (Glockenspiel) at the New Town Hall and to watch its figures dancing.
Not far from Marienplatz is the church whose distinctive silhouette is Munich’s best-known symbol: the Liebfrauendom (Frauenkirche) the largest Gothic hall church in southern Germany. Max-Joseph-Platz is slightly north of the cathedral. Here we find Munich’s splendid National Opera House, which is modelled on a Greek temple and the interior of which is also classical in style. We also find the main entrances to the Residenz and to the “Schatzkammer”. With approximately 1,300 rooms, 130 of which are open to the public, the huge complex of the Residenz Palace is the largest museum of its kind in the world. Heading east and moving away from Max-Joseph-Platz, we find ourselves in the city’s most exclusive shopping boulevard, Maximilianstraße, where world-renowned names like Gucci, Armani and Bulgari, among others, count art galleries and elegant cafes as their neighbours. The famous “Viktualienmarkt”, where fresh produce from Bavaria and the rest of the world are to be had, is located south-east of Marienplatz. You can try Bavarian delicacies at the stalls or take a rest in the beergarden or any of the traditional Bavarian restaurants nearby. International cuisine can also be enjoyed here. You can have anything ranging from Jewish, to Japanese, to Italian, Thai or even Indian specialities.