Outside of Neues Rathaus is the famous Glockenspiel clock resides. It was built in 1907, so it is fairly modern. Three times a day, the motorized figures dance for 12 minutes ending with a chirp of a cuckoo bird. The figures represent popular Munich folklore. No dragons though.
The upper level of the clock tells the story of the 1568 wedding of Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine. They sit up high in the clock, watching the life-sized figures below them twirl around and dance for their entertainment. Duke Willy and his lady were a bit on the extravagant side. Their wedding was possibly the most expensive wedding of the Middle Ages. Today it would be an average Hollywood wedding.
Willy was Austrian, and the entire country was invited to this shindig. He arrived at the wedding with about 1,500 horses leading the way. Not to be outdone, his bride has over 3,500 mounted escorts to the wedding. 600 Angus beef cattle were murdered and BBQed. Willy was famous for his BBQ sauce. Anyway, the party lasted two weeks.
The show’s highlight was not the bride and her fancy dress, the twenty-layer wedding cake, or the adorable flower girl in her tea-length dress; no, it was a jousting match. This match took place right where you stand while looking up at that clock. The winner was a strapping lad with bright blue eyes and muscles on top of muscles. His name was Caspar Nothaft von Wernberg zu Alhaming. Unfortunately, he did not come away unscathed; he hurt his left pinky during the joust. Caspar was the Jason Momoa of Munich, and all the ladies wanted a piece of him. He is the star of the clock.
The lower level of the clock shows the city’s barrel makers doing a jig. Barrel makers were the men the ladies liked the most; something about a man and a beer barrel is thrilling. The dance officially began during the plague. Legend says the barrel makers started to dance to let the public know the plague was over. In reality, the barrel makers did not handle the quarantine well, lost their minds, ran out to the street, and had a party. They were getting fat from the stay-at-home order. The other people figured that they knew something and went with it that the plague was over. I guess barrel makers double as newsmen and doctor’s assistants back then. Good to know.
I bet you all thought the barrel makers at the bottom would be macho men. Tricked ya