GOTHICA: Munich's New Town Hall is one of Germany's most distinctive buildings.
The big daddy of Marienplatz is the splendiferous Neues Rathaus, a structure with the power to turn people who don’t give a damn about architecture into ardent fans.
It’s simply a feast for the eyes. There's something new to notice in virtually every square metre of the neo-gothic edifice.
Even though I must have seen it 100 times I still swing by Marienplatz whenever I can just to gawk.
NIGHTSHADE: The town hall looks great after
dusk. Photo by Jametiks
Officially, the Neues Rathaus is where Munich’s Lord Mayor grinds away for the benefit of the citizenry.
Since 1993 that’s been Christian Ude from the left-of-centre Social Democratic Party (SPD).
He’s known as a progressive with a satirical sense of humour who occasionally moonlights as a comedian (no kidding!).
The building has other uses – there are shops and a Tourist Information Centre in the ground-floor arcade.
Wander into the central courtyards to find
the Ratskeller, a traditional restaurant where you can sample typical Bavarian fare.
SMAUG: This dragon is among the most popular embellishments on the building.
On the bottom level the "Schäfflertanz" is played out, that's a jig traditionally performed by Munich’s red-coated coopers (barrel makers).
The city's real coopers repeat this dance every seven years to celebrate the end of the Plague which devastated Munich in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The next Schäfflertanz is due in 2019.
Location: Marienplatz 8
Phone: 089 2 33 00
Open: Tower viewing platform open November to April, Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. May to October open daily from 10am to 7pm.
Directions: Take any S-Bahn or U-Bahn no. 3 or 6 to Marienplatz.
• Hofbrauhaus - The most famous beerhall in the universe!
• Munich Residenz - Old seat of the Bavarian rulers. See the family jewels!
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