Munich – much more than just the land of beer

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2011 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2011)

Neuschwanstein

Munich, the capital of the State of Bavaria is renowned worldwide for its Oktoberfest, but the city has a lot more to offer to the traveler than just beer, regardless of the time of year. And since it is barely an hour and a half away from the French Riviera by plane, it makes for a perfect destination for a weekend gateway.

Situated on the River IsarMunich is one of the bigger tourism hubs in Germany and one of the major cultural centers in the nation. It features many old buildings, churches and palaces that highlights fine examples of GothicRenaissanceBaroque andneo-classical architecture. In the center, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the New Town Hall is notably famous for its beautiful carillon that is over 100 years old. Twice a day, at 11am and noon, people like to gather in front of it to watch the32 life-sized figures reenact historical Bavarian events.

Not far from it is the site of the Victuals Market, a popular open market which offers fresh products, a wide range of winesand many nice cafés.

Further away from the center, the Nymphenburg Palace, the former summer residence of the Bavarian monarchs, boasts beautiful gardens and a lavishly decorated interior. Munich is also home to many museums, well-known all throughout Europe, and modern buildings such as the BMW Welt Munich, constructed in the shape of a double-cone, located near theOlympic Park.

Of course, no visit to Munich, or München as it is called in German, would be complete without a stop in the world-famous beer hall, HofBräuhaus or to one of the city’s many beer gardens where locals like to meet to share a pint or two.

If you have more than two days, you should definitively head to the nearby Bavarian Alps to visit the three of King Ludwig II’s castles: The stocky Hohenschwangau where “the Mad King” spent his childhood, the breathtakingly beautifulNeuschwanstein (pictured above), which served as a model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, and the small and exquisite Linderhof.

Finally, because one should never forget the horror of the holocaust, a visit to the concentration camp of Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, is almost a requirement. The complex which was one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany, contains the original prisoner baths, barracks, courtyards, and the crematorium, as well as an extensive exhibition and various memorials.

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