Matt and I spent the last few days of our honeymoon in Munich! We explored the beautiful Residenz and so many amazing sights in Munich (plus, we ate lots of delicious food!). One of the first things we did in Munich was take a tour. I love taking tours when I travel because you can learn so much about a city and its culture, and the historic tour of Munich we took was pretty great! We took a free tour with Sandemans, and if was so interesting! We learned all kinds of fascinating stories, like about the devil’s footprint and a dance during a plague- keep reading to find out more! If you want to see amazing sights and learn interesting stories about old town Munich, I highly recommend doing one of their tours 🙂
Historic tour of Munich
The tour started at the town hall in Munich, which is an INCREDIBLE building! I have a lot of photos of it in this post, but I definitely took five times as many photos. I could have spent hours just checking out all the ornate details of the building. Construction started on the town hall in 1867 when it was decided that the old town hall was too small. I think the new town hall is probably big enough because it’s a MASSIVE building. I didn’t get a chance to go inside, but I’m sure the interior is as impressive as the exterior!
Every day at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (and 5 p.m. in the summer), the glockenspiel at the top of the town hall has a little performance. Music plays and statues spin around to tell stories. The first one is about a famous royal marriage, and it ends with knights jousting. The second one is about the “coopers dance.” During a plague in 1517, people were scared and locked themselves in their homes, so coopers started dancing in the streets to cheer people up and encourage them to come outside. The glockenspiel is a pretty cool sight, so I definitely recommend trying to see the performances while you’re in Munich!
History of Munich
The tour covered a lot of ground and a lot of history of old town Munich! Munich dates all the way back to the 12th century, and it was built up over the centuries and became a very prominent city. It became the capital of Bavaria in 1506, and it became a center for politics and art. In the 1800s when Bavaria was its own kingdom, Munich remained the capital and the city was built up a lot during that time. It was damaged during WWII, but a lot of the city has been restored since.
Munich has probably the most famous beer garden in the world- Hofbräuhaus! Matt and I did go inside on our own later (stay tuned for the photos), but we stayed outside and got its history during the tour. It was built in 1589 by Duke Maximilian I as an extension of a brewery. Mozart famously lived nearby, and it’s said that he wrote one of his operas after several visits to Hofbräuhaus to clear his head. In more recent history, Hitler presented the Nazi Party Twenty Five Point Program in the beer hall.
Today, Hofbräuhaus is most famous for Oktoberfest! Thousands of people come every year to drink and eat all day long, and our tour guide told us that things can get a *little* out of hand and lots of people loose their passports every year. So if you go to Oktoberfest, you might just want to leave your passport in your hotel for safekeeping.
We saw Residenz on the tour and Matt and I went back to explore it after!
One of the last places on the tour was Frauenkirche. It was built in the 15th century in the Romanesque style, and it’s one of the largest cathedrals in southern Germany. It isn’t very ornate compared to buildings like the town hall, but it’s beautiful and grand!
Frauenkirche is famous for its “devil’s footprint,” which you can see in a photo below. Legend says that the devil made a deal with the architect not to have any windows in the church, but the architect tricked him and hid windows behind columns when you look at the sanctuary from the back of the church so the devil couldn’t see it. When the devil realized he had been tricked, he stamped his foot in the ground and left the footprint. Pretty interesting legend!
I learned SO much on our historic tour of Munich! And we got to see some pretty incredible sights around the city. If you want to learn about old town Munich, I highly recommend taking a tour with Sandemans! 🙂