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Munich - Around Town : Along the Isar River (part 1)

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Four distinct neighbourhoods flank the east bank of the Isar: Bogenhausen, Haidhausen, Au, and Giesing. Bogenhausen is an exclusive district studded with villas and inhabited by many prominent citizens; lively Haidhausen has the best and most extensive bar scene; parts of Au and Giesing, on the other hand, still have a special working-class charm. All were on the “other side” of the Isar from the Old Town and long retained their village character. To the west of the Isar, on the left bank, lie the Englischer Garten, Lehel with its beautiful historic buildings, and the Glockenbach quarter, Munich’s gay village. Most sights are found along the righht bank, such as Müller’sches Volksbad, Villa Stuck, and – on an island in the river – the Deutsches Museum.

Glasscherben District

Haidhausen used to lie beyond the city boundaries. A poor, rural village, it was referred to as a “Glasscherbenviertel” or “broken glass district.” After 1871, French reparation payments launched development in this area, which explains the names of streets in the district – such as Pariser Str., Sedanstr., Bordeauplatz, and Metzstaße.


A plaque mounted on Gasteig commemorates Georg Elser’s attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1939.


For details on the fascinating history of the Praterinsel and its monkish origins, visit www.praterinsel.de


Some 64 beer cellars were located along the Isar between Wiener Platz and Gasteig in the 1860s when the area was a brewery district.


NOTE

  1. Friedensengel

    Soaring high above the banks of the Isar, the Friedensengel (Angel of Peace, 1896–99) commemorates the Franco-Prussian war of 1870–71. Based on the Greek goddess Nike, this gilded figure stands 6 m (20 ft) tall. At its foot, two sweeping flights of stairs lead down from the escarpment to a terraced park with fountains on the lower end of Prinzregentenstraße.

    • Prinzregentenstr.

    Friedensengel
  2. Museum Villa Stuck

    Not far from the Friedensengel is the villa (1897–98) of painter Franz von Stuck, in itself a work of art. A miller’s son, Stuck quickly rose to fame and was instrumental in the creation of a Munich style of Art Nouveau – Jugendstil. The villa has served as a museum since 1968. On view are Stuck’s private rooms, a permanent Art Nouveau collection, and changing exhibitions in the studio wing .

  3. Prinzregententheater

    This theatre is one of several monumental buildings on this stretch of Prinzregentenstraße in Bogenhausen . It was headed by August Everding, whose legacy to the city includes the Bayerische Theaterakademie, a training ground for young stage talents. Next door is Prinzregentenbad, a public bath. Across the street is Feinkost Käfer, a gourmet-food shop.

    • Prinzregentenplatz 12

  4. Maximilianeum

    This building in Haidhausen by Friedrich Bürklein (1857–74), on the high banks of the Isar, marks the end of Maximilianstraße. The seat of the Bavarian parliament since 1949, Maximilian II built this massive structure as a school for gifted students from poor backgrounds. The school is now housed in the rear building.

    • Max-Planck-Str. 1

    Maximilian bridge
  5. Gasteig

    The site of the former Bürgerspital hospital, and Bürgerbräu-keller, where Georg Elser failed in 1939 to assassinate Hitler, it was transformed into the red-brick Gasteig cultural centre between 1978 and 1985. Its facilities include the Munich Philharmonic, the Carl Orff concert hall, the headquarters of the adult education centre (Volkshochschule), and the municipal library.

    • Rosenheimer Str. 5

    Gasteig
  6. Müller’sches Volksbad

    Named after Karl Müller – a private citizen who financed the project – this Art Nouveau bathing temple was built from 1897 to 1901 and is based on a design by Carl Hocheder. It was the first public pool in the city and is still one of the most beautiful today. The pool was divided into a men’s and a women’s area: the men’s pool has a barrel vault, the women’s a large cupola. It is worth going for a swim just to see the interior and the facilities – which include therapeutic baths and a Roman steam room. Afterwards, drop by Café im Volksbad.

    Müller’sches Volksbad
  7. Deutsches Museum

    Looking diagonally across from the Müller’sche Volksbad, the island seen in the Isar is home to the largest museum of technology in the world. Eighty per cent of the Deutsches Museum was destroyed in World War II; however, the doors to the collection were open again by 1948. Plan at least a full day to see the principal exhibits .

  8. Praterinsel & Alpine Museum

    Immediately adjacent to the museum island are two other small islands, Praterinsel and Kalkinsel. The Alpine Museum, run by the German Alpine Association, is located on Praterinsel. It documents the history of mountaineering and features special exhibitions throughout the year. A teaching garden displays the various types of rock found in the Alpine regions. Old factories on Praterinsel – in the former Riemerschmid distillery – have been converted into a cultural centre with artists’ studios. The ensemble is home to ongoing exhibitions and special events, such as the Comicfest. Tango fans gather in the courtyard on summer nights to enjoy this most sensual of dances.

  9. Isar Bridges

    From the bridges that cross the Isar you can enjoy wonderful views of the river and the cityscape. One of the most historically important is the Ludwigsbrücke, between Deutsches Museum and Müller’sches Volksbad. Henry the Lion ordered that the bridge, built in 1157–58 by the Bishop of Freising, be demolished (it was located near today’s Oberföhring).This meant the salt road was diverted – effectively usurping lucrative customs fees from the bishopric. Henry then ordered a new bridge built farther to the south – where today’s Ludwigsbrücke stands. The new bridge, by which Benedictine monks had settled, was quickly surrounded by a thriving settlement later called München (literally, “near the monks”).

  10. Auer-Mühlbach District & Valentin-Haus

    In the past, several small creeks ran through Munich, many of which were later filled in with concrete. One of the surviving creeks is the Auer Mühlbach, which is most visible east of the Isar. Just south of Ludwigsbrücke, this creek has formed a small island that is home to a restored ensemble of historic houses. Karl Valentin’s birthplace is nearby at Zeppelinstraße 41. The building is not open to the public.

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