Greetings, from the Wittelsbachs’ winter palace in Munich, commonly known as The Residenz. It was here that my family ruled for 700 years– longer than any in European history. If you’re a fan of rococo and baroque and all manner of gilded grandeur, you’ve found the right place!
Here, you’ll find relics spanning the 14th to 19th centuries. Everything from pre-Christian mermaid’s breasts to the Neoclassic canopies favored by the latter-day Wittelsbachs (who preferred comfort over ornate gloom).
The photo above is of one of the most precious rooms at the Residenz. The Private Chapel of Maximilian I. The chapel is smothered in gold leaf and culiques, and includes a working pipe organ dating from the 16th-century, as well as stucco marble paintings on the walls, (below).
if you go here, as you enter the room, note the case on the right. In it are three skeletons of babies ruthlessly slaughtered by Herod when he was looking for Jesus. (It’s not a pleasant feature, I admit, but it gives the room a certain gravitas, don’t you think?)
Not exactly Budweiser horses
We all know that Bavaria is famous for beer — Oktoberfest was invented by my uncle, for God sakes — but the popularity of our breweries cannot be understated. In Munich, you can enjoy a hand-crafted Pils with your morning rye toast, a bottom-fermented Bock with your noon-time Brat, and a stout Doppelbock alongside a bowl of Spaetzle before you polka the night away.
So, you’re convinced. You wish to book your flight, get off the plane, stein in hand, and lumber up to the first Brauhäuser you find and you want the best bang for the Euro. I suggest, as I would for any European adventure, a consultation with Rick Steves.
Pop upstairs for a polka
But, if you’d like the shorthand, go with Sisi’s recommendations herewith:
- Jodlerwirt near the town hall. It’s squeezebox and dirndls and lots of wurst with your dunkle.
- Altes Hackerhaus is fancy and old and famous for its Hacker-Pschorr beer. It’s a must in courtyard weather season.
- If you like crowds, kraut and variety, head to Andechser Dom. Reservations suggested during peak hours.
- And, if you’re a total alcoholic and prefer to just get down and funky without sullying up your calorie intake with actual food, go directly to Heilig-Geist-Stuberl and tip one back with the locals!
Want to tour the big six? You can read more about the conventional Munich suds scene here.