Travel Diaries: My Favorite Historical City, Munich, Germany

April 3-6, 2012

After a short bus ride from Oberweyer, we’ve arrived in Munich! Using the book my parents bought me (I’d recommend Let’s Go’s Europe 2012 Guide Book. It includes all the major cities around the continent), I’ve encircled so many places I wanted to go to. As I later on found out, Munich was the capital of Germany during the rise of the Nazi Party. I have this thing (okay, a pretty huge thing) about the World War II, Nazis, and Hitler. I have a bunch of books around that part in history and, although I don’t claim myself as a history buff, I’ve been and am really interested in it. So you can just imagine me roaming around the city just relishing in the history-ness. HAHA.

But first, duty called and we sang a short segment of our concert repertoire after the mass at the Filipino Catholic Mission (I forgot the exact name). I was housemates with Rina (finally a housemate!) and we travelled using the S-Bahn  Line 8 towards Herrsching. Our stop was Neuaubing. 

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The map of Munich’s transportation system: S-Bahn, U-Bahn, Tram and the Bus Lines

I have this thing about maps. Unfortunately, the Philippines isn’t graced (YET) with a good public transportation system and so I’ve always found it exciting to check out the best routes using maps like these when I go abroad.

For both mornings of the next two days, we had grueling, intense, almost five hours of rehearsals! Around an hour and a half for sectionals, cleaning specific songs in preparation for the European Grand Prix (more on that on a separate post). As much as I knew it was badly needed, you can imagine how frustrating it was singing the same lines  and the same song over and over for five straight hours because you can’t perfect it. *sigh* I can still remember how hard those rehearsals were. We finished at 13:00 on both days plus lunch and so sight-seeing was the agenda for everyone afterwards!

Luckily on Day 1 they were able to arrange sight-seeing around important landmarks across the city so that pretty much put a checkmark on many of the circled parts of my book.

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Group 1 a.k.a. those who already had transportation tickets

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We went down this station for our first stop

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Odeonsplatz is the largest square in central Munich. It was where the infamous 1923 Beer Hall Putsch happened. Feldherrnhalle (this picture above) was where Hitler would make his speeches and hundreds of Germans intently listened. Since then, they’ve passed into law that no one can make public speeches in the exact same square again.

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Right beside it was the Theatine Church. It doesn’t look that special outside..

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The interiors were simply pristine. I couldn’t stop staring at its high ceiling, white and clean colors..

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… And simple yet elegant decors. This is the most beautiful church I’ve ever been to.

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The long doorway before going outside the church.

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Right in front of the Theatine Church, there are four Lion heads and if you touch all four at the same day, it is believed to give happiness and the person will be back in Munich. Of course I touched all 4!

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This building used to be the headquarters or one of the offices of the Nazi Party. Everyone, even civilians who didn’t support the party, had to give a salute in honor of Hitler.

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This was the street right beside the HQ/office. People against Hitler passed through here to get to Odeonsplatz to avoid doing the salute. Eventually they put in guards dressed as civilians and would beat up or kill civilians who went through here and would still not salute. The gold strip is to remind the people about the people who were killed.

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Munich’s most famous beer house!

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I’ve always wanted to take a picture with a street performer in Europe! Check off the bucketlist!

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Church #2! I don’t know what it’s called in English but this is: Heilig-Geist-Kirche.

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The interiors were the opposite of the first church but it was still as simple and striking. The paintings in the ceiling were beautiful but my neck hurt after craning to look up so long. Haha.

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Next stop was a small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it statue near the second church we went to.

Julia’s story is the usual story about a poor peasant girl who longed to be with the prince. She couldn’t be with him and drowned herself. It’s believed that if a girl leaves a flower by her statue, she can ask any question about love or her relationship and Julia will answer. (Side note: How many pervs have touched her breast seeing as it already turned gold?)

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Church #3 was Asam Church. It was built by the Asam brothers who lived right beside it. It’s one of the smallest churches in Munich. It’s one of the most decorated and lavish churches I’ve ever seen. I didn’t particularly like it (I’m more of a minimalist) but it was different, nonetheless.

I wasn’t able to take good pictures due to poor lighting (and my camera wasn’t really topnotch) but the inside tried to portray heaven, purgatory and hell through the colors it used. The bottom was dark and went up lighter and brighter as it reached the ceiling.

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I really liked the gate going inside the church though. It was so intricate!

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Last stop was Mariensplatz and the Rathaus, the center square of the city center.Image 

We waited until 5 PM to watch the Glockenspiel! So many people surrounded the city square to watch about 5-10 mins of it. My neck hurt a lot again, we were too near it.

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The New Rathaus (City Hall)

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The Mariensäule. The golden statue above is of the Virgin Mary and because of this column, the square was named Mariensplatz.

My feet definitely hurt after walking the whole day but I was happy to see the top sights in Munich all under two hours!  For our second day of sightseeing, we decided to go to Dachau Concentration Camp (a little outside the city) and we were scheduled to have a tour around the BMW Welt afterwards. I’ll have a separate post about the concentration camp.

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We rode the U-Bahn from Dachau to BMW Welt. Luckily, we were able to ride one of the newer trains. Badass German trains!

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BMW all started in Munich. You will always see BMW cars on the streets, and so many of them.

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Many architects around the world were asked to make a sketch of the BMW Welt and an Austrian won.

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And that’s how BMW centered the museum on: playing with the customer’s emotions and senses. I wasn’t a car enthusiast but I still was able to appreciate how BMW cars were showcased. I could see the car lovers (mostly the guys) gawk at the cars though 😛

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This is the special thing about the Welt. This is where customers who buy their cars in Munich get their cars. The car goes up through those glass elevators after a thorough inspection and cleaning.

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Once the customer is very satisfied with the car, they drive out of the Welt through the ramp. I WANT TO TRY THIS SOMEDAY.

The BMW Headquarters is also located in Munich and the museum was right across. Too bad we ended at 18:00 and the museum closed at the same time as well so we couldn’t go inside anymore. It was drizzling and the wind was pretty strong when we got outside so people quickly decided to leave already.

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S-Bahn Line 8 on the way home alone

Since Rina and I went on different adventures, we both went home alone (and good thing we were actually on the same train, unknowingly, because I had the key and our host wasn’t home yet!). It was exciting for me to find my way back alone because in a trip with 38 other people, you’re bound to never be alone (most of the time) so I was actually thankful that I wasn’t familiar with going home from BMW Welt (if you look at the map of the transportation system, you can see how far it is to my host’s house). All I had was my map, iPod and phone, I happily looked for the fastest route going home. It was nice to feel independent for a change 🙂

I’ll be back in a few years (hopefully), Munich, for a more in depth inspection!

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