Altes Rathaus hit the history books in 1310; the Monks were so proud. For the next 150 years, it saw government-type meetings, bake sales, pot lucks, and the occasional raffle for a donkey.
The great electrical storm of 1460 burned the building down; at least, that was the rumor. The building was re-built and stayed busy with pot lucks, bake sales, and government stuff. All was right in Munich again. The only issue was Alfred Wittlebache was pissed off that his sister won the first donkey raffle, so he posted her phone number on the men’s room wall. It was quite a scandal, but he found it funny until his sister married a prince that saw the number and called her. She exiled Alfred to England. WWII hit, and the building was bombed to smithereens. After the war, it was fixed up and paid for from all those bake sales. Everyone loves a good snickerdoodle.
Fun fact – the dude that designed Frauenkirche church also designed this bad boy, Jorg Von Halspach. He made a deal with the Devil to fund this church and also worked with politicians for Altes Rathaus, not much difference in his clients, really.
As the town grew, so did the traffic. Eventually, the Marienplatz was like the 405 at rush hour with people trying to squeeze through the narrow passageway. The people wanting to buy their fresh fish on Fridays were stuck and could not get to the market as the streets were narrow. So the smart leaders of the city created a tunnel through the building. Presto, no more people caught in traffic and nice windows for shopping at the Government surplus shop. It was the first drive-thru ever and the inspiration for McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
Another fun little tidbit for the men in your life is the Juliet Capulet statue. The statue is a duplicate of the one located in Verona, Italy, and was a gift from the people in 1974. Juliet Capulet is the female half of the Romeo and Juliet romance novel. Rumor has it if you feel her up, you are granted luck with the ladies. She stands there for eternity with her breast exposed to every freaking perv that walks by and tweaks her titty. It’s true, I saw a dude give her a quick feel as he walked by, and her boob is very shiny. Poor girl.
Now for the bad history of the place, you knew there would be some. Joseph Goebbels gave his famous Kristallnacht speech at the Grand Hall of the Altes Rathaus on 11/9/1938. He was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of propaganda. As one of Hitler’s closest associates, he hated Jews and was gifted at public speaking. He wanted the extermination of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. He was a sick fuck.
The SA paramilitary forces and civilians carried out Kristallnacht throughout Germany. Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed, their synagogues smashed. The riots destroyed 267 synagogues and over 7,000 Jewish businesses. 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and moved into the concentration camps. His speech, which started the Kristallnacht, was the prelude to the “final solution.” The result was the murder of over 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. One of the most horrific events in history started at this place. To me, the building is a place of great sadness for the world.
The Altes Rathaus now hosts a toy museum. Ironically, such a horrible history at a place is now a happy memory toy museum. I feel it is a bit uncomfortable going to look at old toys there. The building is the start of the Holocaust and should be remembered for that. It happened; it should never happen again; own it and make sure it never occurs again in this world. The world should never forget.