Frauenkirche & Cathedral of Munich – Munich, Germany
One of Germany’s most beautiful cities is Munich, capital of the famed region of Bavaria. Munich is a city filled with stunning architecture. Its skyline is pierced with spires of churches and cathedrals and towers and its ground is laid with cobblestones. The city centre is filled with architectural wonders – palaces, halls, great houses, beer halls, churches, towers. In the above photo, the spire to the right is from the Cathedral of Munich, while the twin spires to the left are from the Frauenkirche. It is in the Frauenkirche where you’ll find a footprint indented in the floor. Legend has it that this is the Devil’s footprint – the builders needed help finishing the church and the devil offered his aid to finish it. From the front door, the columns form an illusion to block all of the windows so the Devil thought that it would be a dark, damp church and no one would want to go there. When he realised that the builders tricked him, he was so angry he stomped his foot down in anger – hence the imprint of a foot on a stone by the door. (A less exciting explanation could be a the footprint of the master builder himself). Whatever you believe, it makes a good story!
Pro Tip: Take the free walking tour of Munich as you’ll learn about this legend and more – a perfect introduction to Munich!
It’s hard to put the words “Munich” and “quiet” in the same sentence. Usually, the name “Munich” brings to mind Oktoberfest, beer, drinking, and drunkards. It’s hard to imagine one visiting Munich any other time of year–or for any other purpose. Yet, those who do venture into the capital of Bavaria outside the Oktoberfest period will be pleasantly surprised. The city is beautiful, charming, and historic. In fact, the city is teeming with history, both good and bad. Take any one of the free walking tours available, and it seems as if every corner has a story behind it. From the monks that founded Munich, to the king who fled in the face of the formidable Swedish army (who later returned after the army was defeated, bearing the gift of the golden Mary now in the main plaza as way poor way of saying ‘sorry’), to the Crystal Night (the night when window after window of Jewish homes and stores were smashed), to the Holocaust and the Gestapo and the horrors that followed. In the central cathedral, you’ll find a footprint on the ground which common legend says is the Devil’s footprint after he was tricked by the church-builders; on the other side of the old town, you’ll find a church that was rebuilt halfway authentic, and halfway in concrete, with clocks painted on every side of the bell-tower (why one would need eight clocks, no one really knows anymore). Sure, the beer in Munich is fantastic, and be sure to visit a beer-hall while in town. But…just remember, there’s more to Munich than the Hofbrauhaus and the Augustiner breweries!
Many think that this building is a church. Many also think that the New Town Hall is actually the old one due to its Gothic (revival) style – but in both cases, the onlooker would be wrong. This is, in fact, Munich’s Old Town Hall, located on Marienplatz. And old it is! First records show it existed in the 1390’s (while the New Town Hall was only constructed in the 1800’s, though most believe it is from the Middle Ages due to its Gothic design). See those arches at the bottom (mostly hidden by the crowd)? They are actually tunnels, cut into the original building to make way for pedestrian and vehicle passageways, which unfortunately have altered the original floor-plan. Most people think of Munich only in conjunction with Oktoberfest, which is a shame – Munich is an amazing city with far more to see than just the Hofbrauhaus! Though of course, a pint here or there only adds to the city’s character…