If you're old enough to remember the popular '50s TV show, "Your Show of Shows," you probably remember a classic comedy skit in which regular cast-members Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howie Morris are mechanical revolving Bavarian figures on a huge clock (Glockenspiel). Suddenly, there's a glitch, and the figures turn in wrong directions, repeatedly bump into each other and smack each other with hammers.
A trip to
Old City Hall at Marienplatz
I stood among spectators
eager to hear the Glockenspiel's 43 bells and to cheer or jeer for
32 life-size mechanical figures, including jousting knights on
horseback. Behind me, street musicians were preparing to entertain,
but my attention was on the architecturally exquisite
The Glockenspiel at Marienplatz
Greenery! Parks and
park-like settings are ubiquitous, like the 910-acre Englischer
History and the
splendors of elaborate design are embedded in
Antiquarium in the Residenz
The Residenz also features the Ancestral Gallery, a Baroque hallway filled with dozens of paintings of the Wittelsbach family. Gilt is ornately carved on the walls and ceiling. The Residenz' Treasury is a trove of the rulers' valuables and collectibles, including heavy crowns encrusted with priceless gems that once sat on the heads of kings.
The summer residence of
the Wittelsbach rulers was the palace, Schloss Nymphenburg, in
|A room in Nymphenburg Palace|
It was at Nymphenburg that King Ludwig I created his Gallery of Beauties. These were 36 women of all backgrounds -- from a shoemaker's daughter to a nobleman's daughter - whom Ludwig I considered beautiful. He had their portraits painted for the Gallery. One of the "beauties" was his mistress, the mysterious, seductive dancer, Lola Montez.
More culture and history echo inside Munich's Neo-Classical-style Glyptothek (a repository for sculptures), founded by Ludwig I. Touted as the world's only museum devoted to ancient sculpture, the temple-like Glyptothek exhibits Greek and Roman statues plus an astounding collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.
An offbeat attraction is
It's not surprising then, that Munich fizzes with beer gardens, those casual gathering places offering a cold pint, a plate of potatoes or sauerkraut and bratwurst or sauerbraten or wiener schnitzel, with a side order of musical entertainment provided by a Bavarian-costumed band. I noticed that at beer gardens, the food, music and conversation make everyone look happy.
|Musicians at a beer garden|
The synagogue, dedicated in
2006, replaces the Ohel Jakob synagogue that Hitler ordered
destroyed because it blocked his view of the city. The
10,000-square-foot Jewish Museum (Judisches Museum Munchen) opened
in 2007 and concentrates mostly on the contributions that Jewish
people have made to
For instance, a past
exhibit was about the Folk Art of the Wallach Brothers, successful
textile merchants in
In the Jewish Museum, there
are numbered information signs placed on a numbered, carpeted map.
The signs correspond to a lighted wall collage of photos that add a
"face" to the information. The exhibit is called "Voices, Places,
Times - Jews in
An exhibit at The Jewish Museum in Munich
The museum's most precious
artifact is a 17th-century, gold-embossed Sabbath Prayer Book.The
museum enlightens visitors about the Jewish people's positive
More than one million
people live in