77 Photos - Jun 5, 2014
Photo: Entering Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you know you're stepping into a different world.Photo: I think of it as the real world DisneylandPhoto: Photo: Photo: Even the normal houses look like they're made of gingerbread.Photo: Photo: And there's no mistaking the castles.Photo: Photo: Photo: There's even an old fashioned pharmacy!Photo: It has plenty of toy shops, full of hand crafted German toys.Photo: Photo: Photo: It's on the Romantic Road trail, and overlooks the road.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: St Michaels church: Inspired by Rome’s Gesu church, it was built in the 1500s for Bavaria’s Jesuits and has a has statue of Michael fighting a Protestant dragon (Jesuit priests would hammer away at Protestant heresy from the pulpit). King Ludwig II, the ‘mad king,’  is buried here.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: The Virgin Mary , a rallying point against Protestantism represented by the Serpent of Heresy/Martin Luther (Munich has more Christian relics than any city outside of Rome, because the pope used to grant them prizes whenever they opposed Protestantism as they did until the 1800s)Photo: New town hall: constructed between 1867-1908, with 40 statues of royalty rather than civic leaders. One of the few buildings to survive the bombing, it served as the US military HQ  in 1945. Glockenspiel/jousts (daily at 11 & 12) recall a noble wedding that took place here the 1500’s, between a Bavarian groom’s family and his French bride’s relatives.Photo: Photo: Photo: The munchner kindl, a symbol of Munich (cloister of monks is where name comes from), is everywhere.Photo: Old town hall: Disneyesque building on the right as you face the new town hall. All salt trade had to stop here in old days. It was completely rebuilt post bombs. In fact, only 2% of the buildings in Munich survived WW2 bombing (I stayed in one of them!)Photo: Photo: Viktualienmarkt: Munich charges grocers only a percentage of their gross income, which is how they can afford the otherwise massive real estate prices in the area. In exchange, the government monitors the goods for their authenticityPhoto: Maypole with flags from all of Munich’s breweries. They take turns manning the beer counters.Photo: Photo: St Peters Church: oldest church in town. Built on the hill where Munich’s original monks probably settled (the city was founded in 1158). It was rebuilt with beer money & private donations (the church used to play bells without the last note as a reminder that they needed money)Photo: Photo: Photo: Platzl: This is a small square, the heart of Medieval Munich. It took 5 years just to clear all the brick from the WWII bombing. It was rebuilt from 1945-2000.Photo: Hofbrauhaus beer hall: The most famous beer hall in Munich, Hofbrauhaus means beer of the royal court, and the structure’s been in place since 1880 when it was a brewery. It seats 5,000, but before you sit down, climb up to the top for a historical recreation. The 1950s painted ceiling had to be rebuilt post bombing.Photo: Photo: Photo: Max Joseph Platz:The statue is of Napoleon’s son-in-law Max Joseph, whom he installed as Bavaria’s king in 1806, in exchange for Joseph marrying his stepson to Napoleon’s daughter (wikihow becoming royalty). Max Joseph was actually a really good king. He emancipated the Protestants and the Jews, gave the realm a constitution… and Viktualienmarkt… and was understandably popular. For your reference, Germany was only created in 1871, it was Bavaria before this.Photo: Maximilianstrasse: If you’re into shopping, the most exclusive shops are on this road, as are the national theatre & the Residenz.Photo: The royal gardensPhoto: Photo: Photo: Odeonsplatz: The square where Hitler first tried sparking up a furor, and was arrested. Some of his supporters were killed here. When he was released, he built a memorial here, and called them the first martyrs of the 3rd Reich. He demanded everyone passing by to salute it with a ‘Heil Hitler’ as they went by.Photo: Viscardigasse: It’s where those brave enough to be anti-Nazi would detour so they wouldn’t have to walk by Odeonsplatz.Photo: Photo: Japanese tea gardens in the English Gardens; the world's largest park in a city. Goes without saying that it's bigger than Central Park in NYCPhoto: Photo: Photo: Video: Urban surfing in the English gardensPhoto: Haus de Kunst, a rare Fascist building still left standing.Photo: Olympic GardensPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Walking by the Munich riverPhoto: Entering Dachau, the first camp, instituted before concentration camps were conceived of. It was mostly used to house people who opposed the Reich, to begin with. It eventually became a worker’s camp, where people were put to work until they died. All the other concentration camp training happened here. It was a departure point for people shipped to gas chambers, a prison for priests, and a center for some barbaric medical experimentation. It also lasted a lot longer than the other camps, because the Nazis arrested by the Allies were detained here until 1948*, and ethnic Germans expelled from Eastern Europe settled here in barracks till 1964.Photo: "Work will set you free".Photo: Photo: Photo: Electric fence surrounding the propertyPhoto: Memorial sculpture funded by survivors & the families of people who were killed here.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Where people were signed in/registeredPhoto: Some of the things people brought along to camp, not knowing what to expectPhoto: The 'death wagon'Photo: Solitary confinement cellsPhoto: BunksPhoto: Photo: Old crematorium, which had to be added on to as it couldn't keep up with the loadPhoto: Photo: Photo: Gas chambers, which they used to call showers to lure people in