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 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
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.
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.
Geschwister-Scholl and Professor-Huber Platz
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.
Dachau Concentration Camp
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
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?