6 Historical Things to Do in Munich besides Oktoberfest

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The city of Munich is known worldwide for its annual Oktoberfest.  Munich is more than just a city to drink beer in.  It is steeped in history.  Munich has been the seat of power of the Bavaria since the 1200s.  For centuries, Munich was the home to House of Wittelsbach which was one of the longest ruling houses in Europe.  After World War I, the city would play a role in the Nazi’s rise to power. It earned its place in the horrors of World War II.  After WWII, the city was occupied by the US and rebuilt.

Schloss Nymphenburg

historical things to do in munich

Schloss Nymphenburg also known as Nymphenburg Palacewas the summer residence of the House of Wittelsbach. The Baroque palace, was built by Ferdinand Maria in 1664.  It was further expanded by other Dukes and Kings of Bavaria. Nymphenburgh sits on a 200-acre garden complex with several water features.  During the summer, the 5 pavillions are open to the public.  These include a hunting lodge and a bathing house.    Today, it serves as the permanent home of the current head of the House of Wittelsbach.

Marienplatz and Glockenspiel

historical things to do in munich

The Marienplatz is a plaza located at the center of Munich.  It is named after a Marian column built in the center in 1638.  The plaza is home of the Neues Rathaus, the New City Hall.  The Glockenspiel is the name of the clock tower.  Every day at 11 am the tower chimes and uses life-sized figures to tell local stories.  The first is the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V the founder of Hofbräuhaus.  The second is the coppers’ dance bringing vitality to the plague ravaged Munich.

Munich Residenz

historical things to do in munich

This is the Grottenhof which is made of thousands of sea shells.

The Munich Residenz was the royal palace of the House of Wittelsbach in Munich. It is the largest city palace in Germany.  The Wittelsbach changed architectural styles based with ages. Architecture from the late Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classicism can be seen.  The Residenz is home to the Wittelsbach treasury and crown jewels.

historical things to do in munich

The tiara of Queen Therese of Bavaria, circa 1830

Geschwister-Scholl and Professor-Huber Platz

historical things to do in munich

We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace! This is the last line of the White Rose Society pamphlet number 4.  The White Rose Society was a group of University of Munich students and their philosophy professor.  Most the members were in their early twenties and some had served on the Russian Front.  These young men and women opposed Hitler’s oppressive Third Reich.  They published and distributed five pamphlets before being captured and executed.  Their sixth pamphlet was smuggled out of Germany and was air-dropped via Allies.

historical things to do in munich

Copies of the White Rose pamphlets near where they were distributed

Dachau Concentration Camp

historical things to do in munich

Dachau concentration camp is located in the small town of Dachau.  This quite town in the outskirts of Munich was the home of the original concentration camp and SS training facility.    It was built in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler.  Dachau was primarily a work camp and originally used for political prisoners and ordinary German and Austrian criminals.  As the war progressed, it was used to house other Nazi prisoners such as Jews and foreign nationals.  The camp is open for visitors to remember and pay their respects.  It is possible to follow the route the prisoners would walk from the train station to the camp.

Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München

historical things to do in munich

I know I said that this was a list of historical things to do in Munich.  Well, the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München is historical.  It was founded in 1589 by Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria.  Still to this day, Hofbräuhaus is owned by the Bavarian state government.  Many of the beers are made using Wilhelm’s original recipes using only natural ingredients.  This is required by the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516.

Do you have any other historical things to do in Munich or Germany?

historical things to do in munich

22 Replies to “6 Historical Things to Do in Munich besides Oktoberfest”

  1. Pingback: 6 Historical Things to Do in Munich besides Oktoberfest | Tripeasel Blog

  2. Pingback: Walking to the Camp - The Dachau Path of Remembrance

    • Jennifer Post author

      I love Munich too. I never said you couldn’t go during Oktoberfest. I just said there was more to do in Munich than just Oktoberfest.

      Reply
  3. Vanessa Chiasson

    Munich was one of the first cities I ever traveled to and I still have a fond spot for it in my heart. I would love to return some day soon and get re-acquainted with the city.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Post author

      The Residenz is very cool. It was rebuilt after WWII but most the furniture is original from the Residenz. It was hidden away during the war to protect it. The path of remembrance is interesting. The town has barely changed since WWII.

      Reply

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