Marienplatz – Munich’s Main Square

Remember we talked about this earlier? Marienplatz was where the monks hung out and kissed Henry the Lions ass to convince him to let them have a market there.  Apparently, it was a good spot as it still is the town’s main plaza, and people come from all over the world to visit their little market site.  Those monks sure did know how to pick a good spot.  The funny thing was I never saw one monk when I was in Germany; I thought they would be running rampant all over the place in their orange sheets.  Thailand?  I saw them everywhere but not a one in Munich.

The square was not only a market back in the day, but it was also a place for all sorts of tournaments in the middle ages.  I did not get the knights on horseback with lances vibe while I was there, but they say it is true so it must be. The Knights, Monks and Wittelsbach’s are long gone.

Much of the square was heavily damaged during WWII, but it was rebuilt and damn, they did an amazing job.  The square is surrounded by some of the must-see destinations of Munich.   Altes Rathaus, Neues Rathaus, the Glockenspeil, Peterskirche, Frauenkirche, Viktualienmarkt and of course Hofbrauhaus beer hall.  During Christmas time the square becomes a world-famous market with free concerts and fabulous shopping.  Let’s not forget Oktoberfest; we all know about that beer bash.  German beer…good.

The original residents called it Monkworld, but once the Wittelsbach’s showed up, the square was given the name Schranne.  I am a little shocked it was not Maximillianplatz, Ludsplatz or Ottoplatz, the only names they seem to have for their male children.   It was changed to Marianplatz to convince the Virgin Mary to protect Munich from the cholera epidemic.  They did not have penicillin at that point in time, so Virgin Mary protection it was.  Sadly, the square is no longer the central market; it was moved to the Viktualienmarkt.  It is bigger, fancier and has more weird shit to eat and buy.  The good news is there is an outdoor beer garden under the chestnut trees.  Oh goody, warm days and big mugs of beer.  It opens at 9am.  The Germans know how to have a good time.

All weird German customs aside, Marienplatz is the place to go see and be seen.  It is the heart and soul of Munich and I love it. When you arrive at the metro stop, head up to the surface and there it is.  You are in the most amazing place in the city.  I have been there several times, and each time it is still a treat and something new is always there waiting to be discovered.  One special treat is the dude banging out good music on his accordion.  Ivan Hajek, look him up on youtube.  I saw him back in 2014 and tossed every spare coin I had at him; he is really that good.  I had the pleasure of seeing him again this summer; he is older, fatter, but damn he is still rocking the tunes in the square.   You have not lived until you have heard Ivan on the accordion.  Say hi for me and toss him some change. 

I have seen this place in the spring and summer; I must return in the fall and drink a Radler beer under the chestnut trees. Until you have had a German beer in a real German beer garden, you have not lived.

Looking down on Marienplatz from Peterskirche. There she is..the Mariensaul, no not the tall tower on the building, the small pillar in front of it.

The super cool dragon on the town hall building
A view of the Marienplatz looking towards the old town hall

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