Continuing on from An Afternoon In Munich – part 1
After a spot of lunch we left the Viktualienmarkt behind and walked down Dreifaltigkeitsplatz.
Here our guide introduced us to Bratwurstherzl. A traditional Bavarian-Franconian eatery dating back to 1633 who serve traditional rich, hearty grub. Much loved by the locals, the only recommendation I need. He said the breakfast was particularly good here so we made a mental note to stop back here!
From here we walked up Heiliggeiststrasse, past the Heiliggeistkirche, a 14th century gothic church..
..onto Tal, where we found Weisse Bräuhaus, another haunt frequented by the locals. When it comes to produce, Weisse Bräuhaus only use ingredients that are grown locally and organically which will come across in the flavour of the food, which after all is what good food is all about. Certainly what keeps the locals coming back for more.
This eatery is renowned for their Munich White Sausage, a German speciality from Bavaria made of veal and pork shin. These sausages are only supposed to be eaten before 12 o’clock making them a breakfast speciality. In the days before refrigeration and preservatives, these unsmoked sausages would go bad before nightfall and needed to be made fresh every day. Because of this, these sausages needed to be eaten as early in the day as possible to ensure freshness. It has since become a matter of tradition rather than necessity to eat these little dudes before noon. I’m sure you probably could eat them later on in the afternoon these days but you would stand out like a sore thumb!
But make sure to give them a whirl. All the locals love them. Just look at this little guys face catching a whiff if you don’t believe me!
As any tour of Munich should, we were taken to the Hofbräuhaus..which we just so happened to have acquainted ourselves with the night before as you may have read here.
From Tal we walked onto Platzl where we found the legendary state owned beer hall.
It was great to be able to see the Hofbräuhaus again in the day light.
It was just as busy as the night before but the vibe was slightly different, more relaxed. Our guide explained about the plaques above certain tables, which we had noticed the evening before but had had no idea that they were more than mere decoration. These plaques needed dedication to attain. In order to get one above your table you would need to drink at the same table, at the same time each week, with the same group of friends for years on end. If this pledge is made then your table and group will get recognised with a sign above your spot.
This process taking years and years to fulfil means that this beer hall is frequented by locals and is not at all the tourist trap some people think it is.
During the Nazi regime Hitler used the Hofbräuhaus for some of his meetings and was frequented by the party members. As such, the decor inside this beer hall was nothing like we see today. The beautifully painted ceilings were adorned with swastika’s, some of which can still be faintly seen through the current paintwork despite numerous attempts to remove them and paint over them. But I think this just adds to the history of this wonderful building.
In a small nook, tucked out of the way, we were shown the tankard storage room. This is a room used only by the real Hofbräuhaus aficionados. That is because to store your tankard here, you not only need to make your pledge and get your table…but remain drinking at your table at the same time each week, with the same people each week for 15 years.
That is some serious dedication!
Around the corner from the Hofbräuhaus is the Pfistermühle, a restored old former flour mill dating back to 1573.
Once upon a time a stream ran along where the current street is and this water was used to operate the mill. This building is the only evidence of the stream ever having been here.
We continued on our walk and headed to the Munich National Theatre. Home of the Bavarian State Opera and the Bavarian State Ballet.
The present building is the third attempt at a Munich opera house. The first attempt was commissioned in 1810 by King Maximilian I of Bavaria, opening its doors in 1818 only to be destroyed by a fire in 1823. The theatre had been fitted with a state of the art water system to ensure the building couldn’t be burned down. But when a fire broke out in January 1823 and the water supply was turned on, it was found to be frozen. With the stream just round the corner by the mill, people gathered bucket loads of water to throw on the fire but to no avail. In one last desperate attempt to save the opera house, barrel upon barrel of ale was rolled over from the Hofbräuhaus to try and quench the fire. But it was too late.
The second building was completed in 1825 and this time lasted a little longer..until 1943 when it was bombed in an air raid during the war.
The building we see today is the third and hopefully final building of the theatre!
Just a stones throw from the opera house is the Munich Residence. This is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs and is open to the public for viewing. Stationed outside the entrance is this rather fetching lion, resting his paw on a shield with the sigil of the House of Wittelsbach. People often rub things for luck but when people wander past this lion they touch the bottom of this brass sigil to benefit from the virtuous characteristics and traits of the royal family.
Our tour coming to an end, our guide had one last story for us. This back street, the Viscardigasse is situated directly across from the entrance to the old palace. It was used by the people of Munich during the Nazi regime in order to bypass the Feldherrnhall army monument the next street along.
Situated just to the side of this monument were two guards and three wreathes, which the Nazi’s required the Munich citizens to salute to as they walked past. Many people didn’t want to do this and so they would take the Viscardigasse in order to avoid having to do so. As soon as the Nazi’s cottoned on to this, they would intercept people on their ‘detour’ and tell them to walk past the feldherrnhalle and make their salute. If they refused they were taken off to camps where they were forced to work. This happened at the beginning of Hitler’s regime and he would allow a number of these prisoners to be released back to their families after a time, in order that they spread the word of how horrible life was in the camps and thus instil fear into the German people in order to gain power and control.
On this note, we came to the end of our tour, thoroughly enlightened on the history of this fantastic city.
If you are ever in town please make sure to take a walking tour, it is one sure fire way to learn the history behind what you see!