Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First day in Munich, Germany

It was an early start in Finland for Anne and I to catch our planes - Anne back to the Netherlands and to work, and I on to Munich Germany where I was to stay with Michele, another Say What? Club friend.  

Flying into Munich was amazing - everything was so green and colourful.  I texted Michelle to say I had arrived, and then caught the Bahn to Ismaning station where Michelle met me off the train.  I recognised her immediately, and we wandered/walked back to her apartment.  Poor  Michelle had fallen off her bike that morning and hurt her knee. So we made a pair - both limping, me with my foot and Michelle with her knee. 

We had a bite to eat for lunch then caught the Bahn into Munich city together for an exploration.  This is what greeted me when we came out onto the street.  A busy square with tall buildings all around.  

We had a city map and wandered first to St Peters Church. I was quite impressed - a lovely airy building with gorgeous painted ceilings. Lots of gold statues so I guess it was a rather wealthy one.

I found this old morbid relic which is Saint Munditia.  She is venerated as a Christian martyr. Her relics are found in a side altar at St. Peter's Church (known as "Old Peter," Alter Peter) in Munich.It consists of a gilt-covered and gem-studded skeleton, located in a glass case, with false eyes in her skull, which is wrapped in netting. Jewels cover the mouth of the relic's rotten teeth. Her relics were moved to Munich from Rome in 1675 from the catacombs of Cyriaca. They were transferred to her Baroque Era-shrine was built on September 5, 1677.

The Roman document of authenticity states that she was "beheaded with a hatchet", describing the manner of her martyrdom. There is also documentation referring to the fact that she was martyred during the consulate of Andronicus and Probus, thus making her date of death 310 AD.

In 1804, her relics were concealed behind a wooden shrine, but this was removed in 1883, restoring interest in her cult. Her feast day is now celebrated annually with a High Mass and a procession with candles.

So there you go - a centuries old skeleton encrusted with jewels.

Back on the street we wandered down the main drag towards the English garden. Lots of Tulips everywhere which was a great sign of spring. It was much warmer here than in Finland. 

The Main drag with the Theatiner in the distance (yellow building)

The Theatine Church of St. Cajetan (German: Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan) is a Catholic church in Munich, southern Germany. Built from 1663 to 1690, it was founded by Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, as a gesture of thanks for the birth of the long-awaited heir to the Bavarian crown, Prince Max Emanuel, in 1662.

The church was built in Italian high-Baroque style, inspired by Sant'Andrea della Valle in Rome, designed by the Italian architect Agostino Barelli. His successor, Enrico Zuccalli, added two 66 meters high towers, originally not planned, and then finished the 71 meters high dome in 1690. The church is 72 meters long and 15.5 meters wide. The facade in Rococo style was completed only in 1768 by François de Cuvilliés. Its Mediterranean appearance and yellow coloring became a well known symbol for the city and had much influence on Southern German Baroque architecture.

This church had me in absolute awe. The marble was carved in incredible detail, all white, and the light was amazing.  Michele was in awe too - so much so she couldn't stop staring  upwards and promptly fell over. I missed the spectacle but was so glad to be in such good company - someone that falls as much as I do! Though she hurt her knee even more unfortunately!


Afterwards we wandered over the road towards the Park and the English Gardens.

Where the locals weren't tooo friendly! 

At the mouth of the artificial stream that runs through the English Gardens, there is a standing wave produced by the water pumping mechanism. Surfers attempt to surf on this wave for as long as they can. The signage states that surfing should only be done by expert or skilled surfers. We stopped for ages here as it was amazing to watch..

 Here you see them all lined up for a turn.

The Park itself is absolutely gorgeous.  Like a painting. There was even a small round Greek Style temple built on a 15m high foundation around which a small hill was created in 1832, using leftover building material from recent work on the Munich Residenz (Royal Residence). Hill and temple were completed in 1836. Ten Ionic columns support a shallow copper covered dome.  Rather pretty.

Which path do we take?  If Michele hadn't been with me, I would have got absolutely lost.  The park was huge.  Lots of people enjoying it too.

We found a Beer Garden and stopped for Sausage and a beer.  The beer was delicious!  Sausages were great too.  This is Michele looking far into the distance dreaming of...?

Back on the street we came across the The Bavarian State Library. which is the state library of the Free State of Bavaria and one of Europe's most important universal libraries. With its collections currently comprising around 9.81 million books, it ranks among the best research libraries worldwide. Moreover, its historical stock encompasses one of the most important manuscript collections of the world, the largest collection of incunabula worldwide, as well as numerous further important special collections. It is also in possession of stolen manuscripts from WWII.

Outside the library are statues of Thukydides, Homer and Hippocrates. I'm actually kicking myself for not going into the building as the architecture inside looks amazing.

 Further down the road I found this lovely statue outside a cafe...

One more church... Munich is full of them!  Although plain inside, the door was very elaborate...

Then onto the Hofbrauhaus where we were meeting Tim, Michele's husband for dinner.  And more Beer.  

 I ordered the Pork, which was delicious

Listened to the Music...

 And toasted our Knees, Ankles, Travels, Good health, and anything else we could think of!


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