The pair of lions watching over the area from the Feldherrnhalle bore witness to one of Munich’s most infamous incidents.
On November 8, 1923 the then still small-time rabble-rouser Adolf Hitler tried to take over the government at a nearby beer hall in an incident that's known as the "Beer Hall Putsch".
He and his supporters kept 3,000 people hostage for an entire night before realising the attempt wasn’t going places.
Then his mob of about 2,000 armed brutes marched down to the square to be met by a force of 100 policemen. A firefight broke out leaving 16 Nazis and four policemen dead.
Hitler ended up in a Landsberg prison over the attack, where he penned his manifesto Mein Kampf (My Struggle).
Nazi-era temples that one stood on the square have long since been removed but there’s still a small plaque on the pavement in tribute to the murdered policemen.
Every once in a while a book comes along that changes your life.
Until it does, please consider buying Destination Munich and Bavaria, the grooviest, most informative guide on the market :-)
It'll give you full-colour maps, practical info and hundreds of tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
It's 227 pages of up-to-the-minute travel intelligence and it can be yours as an eBook for less than the price of an Oktoberfest beer. (read on)
• Return to the Munich Attractions main page
• Jump from Odeonsplatz back to Destination Munich Home
What to do in Munich - multi-day itineraries
Find your perfect Bavarian tour
Munich Oktoberfest 2018 photo preview