Neues Rathaus

Gargoyles, weird statues, and a dragon’s Oh My!

There are two Rathaus (townhall in German) in Marienplatz, Altes (old) and Neues (new).  This time we are talking about the new one.

In the 1800s, Munich was growing like crazy.  The Octoberfest was so great; people worldwide moved there as the residents got the best tables.  The city council needed more space for government offices, so they built Neues Rathaus.  Of course, the center of the old town was chosen, Marienplatz.  Two dozen buildings were demolished, which ticked off many Germans that did not get the full value, plus a bonus, for their buildings being demolished.  They were not amused and moved to Sweden in protest.

The architect was just a youngster.  At age 24, Georg Hauberrisser was chosen to design the building.  Rumor has it, his uncle was the mayor. This jump-started his career, and he went crazy trying to prove it was talent, not relatives, that got him the job.  Check out the neo-gothic façade of the building for all the gargoyles, statues, and the dragon scaling the turrets.  This kid put a zoo on the outside of that building.  The magnificent creatures that live on the walls of his building were a great source of interest to The Mad King Ludwig. 

The initial building did not have the tower; there was a shortage of flour that year, so not many bake sales. However, it was added during the expansion a few years later, once the cricket invasion ended and flour started to grow again.  Georg’s tower did not disappoint.

The main attraction of the building today is the Glockenspiel.  I know you are all shocked it is not the dragons on the turrets.  I would have chosen the dragons.  Millions of people today visit the clock for the show. Be forewarned, during the performance of the clock, you may become the victim of the five-finger feel-up, also known as pickpocketing. So have some fun, hide your cash in a secure spot and place a dummy wallet in your pocket.  Fill it with feminine protection, religious tracts with the ten commandments on them (make sure you highlight the “thou shall not steal” part).  Better yet, put a naked photo of Betty White in there.

View of the new town hall from the church tower nearby. Amazing huh? Not sure what is more amazing, the view or the fact I hauled my chubby butt up all those stairs and lived to see another day.
See, I told you the dragon was amazing

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